Step-by-Step Guide to Free up Hard Drive Space on Mac

It was hard to fit everything you want back when Macbooks used mostly hard drives as their disks. These days, solid-state drives are becoming the norm for most computers, and Macs are no exception.

While SSDs are great for better performance, they provide even less storage than HDDs. So it is no surprise to see so many new users struggle with finding solutions and keeping every file they want on the computer.

The situation should not be something to discourage you from buying a Macbook. The computer is great. It is just that you will need to readjust your strategy of keeping data. And this guide should be a good reference point. Follow the steps below, and you should be able to develop a solid strategy.

Step #1 – Remove Temporary Data

Temporary junk like app extensions, plugins, and old backups are not necessarily something that takes the most space. However, removing this kind of data on a regular basis should still be one of your priorities.

You can change the system settings and access these files with the intent to remove them manually. Or, as an alternative, look at the list of the 10 best cleaners that are utility tools for deleting temporary junk files. Having something that gets rid of the problem automatically sounds like a much better option, even if it costs some money, right?

Step #2 – Delete Old Applications

Old applications can be removed without thinking too much. After all, download reinstalling them again is pretty simple. Look at the list of all the apps you have installed and sort the list by the time you last used the applications.

If you notice that some apps have not been used for a while, and you have no intention of using them anytime soon, do not hesitate and delete them. Doing so will free up more drive space, and that is what you are looking to do.

After you delete the applications, you should also get rid of old, unneeded files. And after you do so, do not forget to empty the Trash Bin on your Mac – otherwise, the files will stay on your computer. 

Step #3 – Check for Language Pack Files

Some programs come with language pack files. The feature might seem like a good addition on paper, but the reality is quite different. There are hardly any times when someone would need to use a language other than English.

Other language files are only consuming valuable disk space. When you install an app, make sure to uncheck the option when it asks if you want to install a language pack together with the application. 

Step #4 – Keep Tabs on Download and Email Attachment Folders

Not everyone remembers to delete files that they download from the internet. The download folder could be larger than you expect. 

A similar thing can be said about email attachments. If you use email for communication and work, each attachment you double-click on is saved on the computer by default. And these files accumulate quite fast. 

Keep close tabs on both email and download folders. Remove stuff from those regularly so that there are fewer files that are consuming the computer’s space.

Step #5 – Scan for Potential Cybersecurity Threats

A virus or malware could be consuming drive space without you realizing it. If you notice that there is less storage every day, and you do not install or download new stuff, consider the possibility of a cybersecurity threat.

Scan the system with a solid antivirus and remove any files that may have been corrupted. Be more wary with how you use the internet when browsing to avoid such issues in the future. 

Step #6 – Subscribe to Streaming Services

Streaming services can be a life-saver for people who like to consume a lot of media. The likes of Netflix have virtually everything you need for movies and TV series. Spotify offers the best selection for music and podcasts.

Media files tend to be quite large. And when there is an option to access them with just a few clicks without needing to download the files to the computer, it is no wonder to see such popularity for streaming platforms. 

Step #7 – Transfer Data to Clouds

Some files do not have to be deleted. You can simply transfer them to another location. Dropbox and iCloud are some of the best options for that.

Cloud services are free with an option to upgrade your plan for extra storage. And you would need to look pretty long and hard to find a safer location to keep your data.

Step #8 – Buy External Storage Devices

External hard drives, disks, and USB flash sticks are some of the best investments you can make if you are looking to free up Mac’s drive space without getting rid of your files.

It is simple. You transfer what you want and keep the files on these devices. And there is no need to transfer them back to the computer in some cases. Some files can be used directly from external storage devices. 

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