Most Mac users face the problem of freeing up storage space when your startup disk is full. As a rule, we keep a lot of unused files in storage and don’t remove them immediately, meaning a lot of large and junk files accumulate on your Mac, stealing its disk space.
We gathered a lot of questions from the Apple community discussion boards (discussions.apple.com), but few answers are provided that can really help you, so we decided to share some tips for cleaning up your Mac. These tips will help you to free up your Mac and delete all unneeded files.
Table of Contents
1. Remove browser’s cache.
Web browsers allow you to visit a wide variety of web pages. To speed up the loading of these pages, web browsers save downloaded media files—videos, pictures, etc.—on the computer and store them for a while. These temporarily saved files are called caches, and they can be deleted, or the web browser will delete them over time.
Browser caches are accumulated on your disk space and can take up a lot of space if you do not clear them regularly. If you want to free up your disk space, you should delete caches. To delete browser cache, complete the following steps:
- Launch Safari.
- Open Safari Preferences.
- Go to the Advanced tab.
- Check the Show Develop menu in the menu bar option.
- Click on Develop in the menu bar.
- Select Empty Caches.
2. Remove installation files.
Installation files are files that we download to install a new program on our computers, but they remain on our computers even after the application has been installed. You can easily remove them to get more free space.
Usually, such files are located in the Downloads folder. They can be of three types: .dmg, .pkg, and .iso. To delete installation files, complete the following steps:
- Launch Finder.
- Go to the Download folder.
- Find .dmg, .pkg, and .iso files.
- Delete them.
3. Delete unused files from Downloads.
The Downloads folder is usually used as the default folder for downloaded files. Often, we use them only once or twice and forget about these files. To free up your Mac disk space, we recommend you delete large, unused files from this folder. You can sort them by size to quickly free up some space by removing the biggest files. To delete large unused files from the Downloads folder, complete the following steps:
- Launch Finder.
- Go to the Downloads folder.
- Sort files by size.
- Select and remove the biggest files that you no longer need.
4. Clean up Trash.
The most obvious thing you can do to free up space on your Mac is remove all deleted files from Trash. When you find out how many files are in the Trash, you will see what has taken up your disk space, and you will understand the significance of this step when you are cleaning up your Mac. To clean up your Trash, complete the following steps:
- Find the Trash icon in the Dock panel.
- Right-click on the Trash icon.
- Select Empty Trash.
5. Uninstall unneeded apps.
Most Mac users have a lot of unused apps installed on their systems. If you check your Applications folder, you will discover that some of your apps are old and haven’t been used for a long time. All these unused apps take up a significant part of your disk space. To free up your Mac, you’ll need to uninstall them.
The most common way to do this is to drag and drop the icon into the Trash. But, you should also remember that an app’s system files occupy your disk space as well. An application’s system files are located in the hidden Library folder on your Mac. Complete the following steps to uninstall the application completely along with all its remains:
- Drag and drop the application into the Trash.
- Launch Finder.
- Click on Go in the Menu Bar.
- Choose Go to Folder.
- Type ~/Library and click the Go button.
Find and delete all the files and folders which contain the name of the application in their title.
6. Delete old and large files.
Almost every user has huge, forgotten files on their Mac. Large files stored on your computer can significantly reduce your disk space. To prevent the Startup Disk full error, you should find and delete the files you don’t use. To do, complete the following steps:
- Launch Finder.
- Choose File in the menu bar.
- Select New smart folder.
- Click on the little + icon, below the search field.
Below will appear two filters. Change the first one.
- Click on the drop-down menu and choose Other. Select the File Size item and click OK.
- Change the next filter to is greater than.
- Then enter the size you want to find.
Tip #7. Clean up your Mac with a special tool.
Freeing up your Mac manually can be a time-consuming process. You need to review several folders to find all kinds of junk files. Moreover, not all of them can be found manually, as some of them are hidden in the applications’ system folders.
There are a lot of special tools that can help you to clean up your Mac with just a few clicks. We recommend the MacCleaner Pro. This is a multifunctional bundled application that contains six cleaning apps in one.
With the help of MacCleaner Pro, you can:
– remove unneeded temporary files;
– increase your Mac performance;
– manage your disk space;
– delete duplicate files;
– uninstall applications completely;
– find and remove the biggest files.
In this article, we described 7 tips for freeing up space on your Mac. Most can be performed manually, but it can take a lot of time and be quite difficult.
We recommend you use the automatic way to clean up your storage easily and quickly. With the help of a special tool called MacCleaner Pro, you can perform all steps that were described before with one easy step. The automatic way will save you time and can help you to analyze your Mac and optimize disk space usage.
Anastasiia Panchenko is a content marketer at Nektony software development company. Anastasiia has a Master’s Degree in Marketing. She loves to write about Apple technologies and share tips for Mac and iPhone users.