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How to free up space on your Mac

The lack of free space is a global issue. With the lockdown and everything, we started to consume more content and use our devices more. Not surprisingly, many of us faced the problem of a full disk. Sadly, the limitless hard drives haven’t been invented yet. If your drive touches about 80% of its capacity, then your Mac will be absolutely slow.

According to MacWorld magazine, nearly full hard drives performed 17% slower in the test. Luckily, there are some useful methods to recover disk space on Mac.

I’ll show you my favorite ones. But before we get started, make a Time Machine backup to ensure you can access anything on your Mac that you might need later.



Check your storage details

It’s also good to check your storage details.

  • Head over to the Apple menu in the Finder.
  • Click About This Mac.
  • And choose the Storage tab. In this window, you will see how your storage space is being used.

How to free up space on your Mac


How much space do you have available? Share in the comments below!

Let’s start up by finding and deleting large files you no longer need.


Here’s how.

  • Go to your desktop and press Command-F hotkeys.
  • From there, choose ‘This Mac’. Then, select Other in the drop-down menu.

How to free up space on your Mac

  • Under the Search Attributes menu, check the box next to File Size and File Extension.

How to free up space on your Mac

Well done! Now you can type in different file extensions & sort the result by size. Start with the. DMG files or application installers. They are just dead weights, and of course, you can live without them. The same goes for. ZIP archives. But there is also a faster, automatic way to do that.



How to delete large files automatically

CleanMyMac X can do the job easily. It’s a Mac cleaner and performance booster notarized by Apple. The great thing about CleanMyMac X is that you don't have to be a savvy macOS user to make the most of it. And you can try it for free! To remove large files and folders that you haven’t opened for a while,

  • Launch the app and go to the Large & Old Files tab.
  • Choose the files you want to delete.
  • Hit Remove to root out these space eaters.

How to free up space on your Mac

Super simple! If you're running out of space, cleaning up the Trash is also a smart thing to do.



Empty the trash

Still, people forget to do it all the time. We throw files down the Trash and think they are over with. But these are just things moving from one pocket to another.

  • To free up Trash, open it.
  • Then, click the Empty button.
  • To confirm the action, press Empty Trash.

How to free up space on your Mac

If you don’t want to empty the Trash every time, there is a scheduled option. If you tell it so, your Mac will auto remove the trash every 30 days.

  • Just go to Finder in the upper menu.
  • Click Preferences and choose Advanced.
  • Check the box next to ‘Remove items from Trash every 30 days.

How to free up space on your Mac

That’s all! Since macOS Sierra, Apple introduced the storage management tools that come pre-installed on your Mac.



How to manage storage on Mac

  • Click on >  the Apple logo
  • Choose About this Mac.
  • On the Storage tab, hit Manage.

First, inspect the tabs on the left sidebar. Most likely, your largest files will be stored in Documents. Examine this category to find files you can scrap. Then, go back to Recommendations in the top left corner. Here Apple offers you four options for optimizing your storage.

How to free up space on your Mac

They may vary depending on your settings. At the top of this window, you might see 'Store in iCloud'. This option helps you store everything in iCloud and automatically makes you seldom-used files available on demand when you need more space. Is iCloud paid? Yes, if your storage needs are more than 5 GB. In 2020, it's laughably small. But when you need to clear disk space on Mac, every little help.

Now, let’s look at the ‘Optimize Storage’ tool. It makes older email attachments and Apple films and TV shows that you’ve already watched available on demand.
  • Just click Optimize and confirm.

How to free up space on your Mac

This may help you free up a couple of GBs. But to really declutter your Mac, get rid of your system junk.



Delete system junk

Outdated files, browser caches, app localizations, and old-time machine backups are an excess burden on your device. Removing system junk manually might be a very time-consuming task even for a power user. So if you want to free up space on Mac quickly, run CleanMyMac X. It cleans up all discarded bits and pieces your system generates.

  • Launch the app & > click the System Junk tab.
  • Then, run the Scan.

How to free up space on your Mac

  • Once done, review the files and press Clean to trash them for good.
Well done!


Compress your files

If you don’t want to delete the files for some reason, archiving or compressing is a nice alternative. But note that not all file types compress similarly well. Compression can substantially reduce the size of your Documents and presentations. However, movies are harder to shrink. So, how to free up disk space on Mac using compression? Luckily, you don’t need a third-party solution to zip things up — your Mac has its built-in tool.

  • First, open Finder and go to your Documents.
  • Right-click on a folder or multiple folders at once.
  • Then, choose Compress.

How to free up space on your Mac

Pay attention that macOS leaves the original file untouched. So once you have the archive, you can trash the original folder. Once done, you may transfer the newly created archive into an external drive. Great! You’ve just saved some space!


Delete old backups

Did you know that outdated iPhone and iPad backups can take up a lot of room?


Here's how you can get rid of old backups.

As we learned iTunes has split into several apps in macOS Catalina. As a result, iPhone & iPad backup capabilities have made their way to Finder. By the way, what do you think about Apple's decision to discontinue iconic software like iTunes? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

  • So, to delete an old backup through the Finder on Catalina, plug your device into Mac first.
  • Open the Finder.
  • Then, choose your iPhone or iPad in the sidebar.
  • Next, scroll down and click Manage Backups.
  • Now, select the backup you wish to remove.
  • Finally, click on the Delete Backup option at the bottom left corner and then confirm the action.

How to free up space on your Mac



Get rid of language files

When you need to clear space on Mac, extra localization files are another target. There are 180+ languages in the world. And most of your Mac’s apps can operate in these languages. But you usually use just one or two. So, how to locate useless language files? Language files end with “lproj” extension, which stands for “language project”. Unfortunately, finding them manually is too tricky. Still, if you want to recover 1 GB of free space out of thin air, get CleanMyMac X to help you out. It deletes extra localizations automatically.

  • Go to the System Junk tab and run Scan.
  • The same as we did in Method 4.
  • Once the scan is over, click Review Details.
  • Here you’ll find the Language Files.
  • Hit Clean to eliminate them all at once.

How to free up space on your Mac

As easy as pie! Well, I’ve described the quickest ways to free up disk space on your Mac. Decluttering can add a fresh spark to your digital life — so try it today. Share in the comments how much space you have now.

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