How To Free Up Disk Storage On A MacBook? [Guide]

Free Up Disk Storage On A MacBook

There are plenty of reasons why having a hard disk that is not full can benefit your MacBook. For one, you will have better productivity working, you will have a much better gaming experience, and you can run memory-intensive apps without seeing any noticeable lags.

So, the benefit of optimizing and freeing up disk storage is clear, but how do you do it?

This quick guide will walk you through all the steps that you can take to free up disk storage on a MacBook without updating it to a larger disk.

First, you want to check available disk space.

Go to Apple Menu -> About this Mac -> More info -> Storage

This will give you a breakdown of how much storage is being used by each category and a working plan of action of how you can best reclaim the disk space.

Steps to Free Up Disk Storage On A MacBook

1. Empty the Bin

This should be your first step when trying to optimize your storage. You may have done a great job getting rid of files that you don’t need, but unless you delete them from the Bin, they are still on your hard disk, taking up valuable real estate.

If you’re not sure that you need a file later in the future, take regular backups either through Time Machine or backup your data to iCloud. There is no reason to keep your Bin folder full.

You can also set up automatic deletion in your preferences to avoid doing this manually.

2. Get rid of unused applications

Get Rid Of Large Files

Another easy way to free up disk space is to get rid of all the unused apps. You can open the Launchpad, take stock of all the apps, and start deleting them one by one.

Hold down the option key, and you will see the apps floating, then click on the small x button to uninstall the app. Keep in mind that the install files would probably still live on your system, so you have to delete those as well.

3. Find and get rid of large files

What if you have huge files that you don’t even need? To find these files, you need to use Finder. 

  • Open Finder
  • In the search field, enter a space asterisk
  • Change filter #1 to Size and Filter #2 to greater than
  • Enter the size you want to search for

The Finder will show you all the files that match these criteria. You can compress these or move them to cloud storage or external storage.

You can also opt to delete these in bulk. Just remember to empty the Trash afterward.

4. Empty Cache

Some apps use the cache to store information, but sometimes these can grow to a size that takes up too much valuable space. You can delete cache files easily – it will not impact the way you use apps. Apps can create cache files again as and when needed.

Similar to apps, browsers can also create large cache files and hog up your disk space. You can safely clear cache files on your browser without affecting the way you surf the web.

5. Delete unwanted media

Unwanted media in the form of images, music, and TV shows can take a lot of space. Offload these, and you will save a lot of disk space. For images, turn on iCloud storage, and you can save all your images directly to the cloud. For music and TV shows, only keep the files you want. You can choose to stream music online and offload shows you have already watched.

6. Compress old files

Any files that are too large or too old can be compressed or deleted. Compressing reduces the amount of disk space a file typically needs. Mac has built-in compression software, so you don’t really need to download an app to zip your files.

Once you create zip files, you can delete the original uncompressed files.

7. Archive emails

The Mail app has a lot of your emails and attachments saved to the disk. You can archive all of them since you can always fetch the email from the provider you use.

8. Delete duplicate files

Delete Duplicate Files

Identical files are a problem. You might have downloaded the files a lot of times or have near-identical images in your system. You can do this in 3 ways:

  • Using third-party apps can help clean your Mac
  • Use Finder to look up duplicate files
  • Using the Terminal to write a command or script

To sum up

Free up disk storage on a MacBook, will help you improve the performance of your Mac as well. If you do not find a marked improvement in the performance, you can either try an app to compress files and clean up old files or upgrade to a larger HDD.

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