Content is stored on the cloud and is always there within the reach of the user whenever it is needed through the improved efficiency of storing, processing and retrieving files on macOS Sierra. The new system will automatically store up those files that you do not use often in the cloud to free up storage space with macOS Sierra. Optimized versions of your pictures and other frequently used files will stay on your Mac while all other files are saved and can be retrieved by downloading them from the cloud. See how you can do this below.
You can view a summary of your storage pattern on your Mac by clicking on About This Mac from the Apple menu. An overview of your used and free space will be displayed in the storage section.
Click on the Manage button in the top right corner to view options to free up storage space with macOS Sierra. If you already have some options enabled, you will see fewer options available in this window.
1. Store in iCloud
After selecting the Store in iCloud option, you will have the option to choose between "Files from Desktop and Documents in iCloud Drive" and "Photos and Videos in iCloud Photo Library".
The first option will store all files that are not used often on iCloud drive whenever space is needed on your system. All files that will be stored in the cloud will have the cloud icon next to it which can be clicked to download the files at any time.
For the second option, all full versions of your pictures will be stored in iCloud photo library with the optimized versions on your system. You can download the originals from iCloud photo library at any time. The storage space available on your iCloud is according to the plan you are on. You can manage this option to increase or reduce the available space.
2. Optimize storage
Here you can choose from the options below after clicking on it;
Download only recent attachments - only recently received attachments will be downloaded automatically. Other attachments can be downloaded manually by opening and saving them to the system.
Don’t automatically download any email attachments - email attachments will only be downloaded when you open that email or the email attachment and save it on the system.
Automatically remove watched iTunes movies and TV shows - all iTunes movies and TV shows that you have watched will be removed from your Mac to cloud storage whenever more space is needed. These items can be downloaded again at any time by clicking on the cloud logo next to them.
3. Empty trash automatically
Selecting this option will mean that you have set your Mac to automatically delete all files that are sent to trash and have stayed there for a 30-day period. Any files in trash after 30 days will be automatically deleted to free up storage space with macOS Sierra.
4. Reduce clutter
This option will help you point out all the large files that you might not be needing any longer. When you click on Review Files, you can select from the options in the side bar to search your compartments like Documents and Applications. You can delete some files directly from these categories with your pointer hovering over them. Select the X key to delete them from your Mac for good. If you purchased them from iTunes, Apple store or iBooks store, you can download them again later. For categories with compartments you can see the total size of the file from the side. You can open up the file to see the different compartments and their sizes and choose what to delete from there. These will also be permanently deleted.
Other ways in which macOS Sierra saves space automatically
You will get reminders to delete application installers that you have already used and will not be needing again on your Mac
Your cache, logs and other data deemed as unnecessary will be cleared automatically to free up storage space with macOS Sierra
Any duplicate downloads from safari will be detected by the system. Only the more recent version of the download form the duplicate options will be saved on your Mac.
All fonts, languages ad dictionaries that are not being used by your Mac will be deleted
5. Where to find settings for each feature
Store in iCloud: choose Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > Options. Desktop & Documents Folders and Optimize Mac Storage settings will be selected automatically. Deselect iCloud Drive to turn off iCloud Drive entirely. In photos you can choose Photos > Preference > iCloud. This selects iCloud Photo Library and Optimize Mac Storage.
Optimize Mac Storage: in iTunes choose iTunes > Preferences > Advanced. Optimize Storage will select "Automatically delete watched movies and TV shows". In mail choose Mail > Preferences > Accounts. Optimize Storage sets the Download Attachments to Recent or None.
Empty Trash Automatically: from the finder, choose Finder > Preferences > Advanced. This will choose "Remove items from the Trash after 30 days".
6. Learn more
In the About Mac pop-up menu, purgeable content will show in the Storage section if Optimize Mac storage is turned on. Files considered purgeable are those Mac can remove to make space but they can all be downloaded again.
During the process of freeing up space on your Mac, you might delete or lose a file by accident and want it back in the future. You can do this with Mac Hard Drive data recovery software. Recoverit for Mac is a good option for this. You can recover data from Mac hard drive that has been lost, deleted or formatted.
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