8 Ways to Free Up Space and Manage Storage on Mac [2019]

Is your Mac running low on storage and you can’t seem to free up space on Mac? Read on as we have listed 8 working solutions on how to clear space on Mac in this post.

Aug 13,2019 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

0

Truth to be told – this is one of the major queries of almost every Mac user these days. While Mac offers a wide range of features, most of the models suffer from limited storage. Therefore, a lot of people find it hard to manage storage on Mac and seek the assistance of external sources. Though, if you want, you can take some preventive measures and clear up space on Mac. There are several techniques and methods that can help you do the same in less time. To make things easier for you, we have come up with several solutions that will clear space on Mac and resolve this situation.

select-scan-location

Part 1. How to See How Much Space Is Left on Mac

Before you learn how to clear space on Mac, it is important to know about the system’s available storage. In this way, you can get a clear idea of how much space in left in Mac and you can clear other content accordingly. Here’s how to see how much space is left on your Mac storage.

  1. Firstly, launch Finder on your Mac and from its sidebar, go the Devices section and select the root directory.
  2. Here, you can view all the partitions and external devices. Select the Macintosh HD (or Fusion drive). Right-click to get the context menu and go to the “Get Info” section.

    get-info-drive-mac

  3. A pop-up window will open stating all the essential details of the hard drive. The “Capacity” section will display the total storage while the “Available” option will inform you of the total free space on it.

    capacity-disk-mac


How to See What's Taking up Space on Mac

After knowing how much space is left on your Mac, you can also take some extra measures as well. For instance, you can know what type of data is accumulating how much space on your system. To get an extensive bifurcation of the storage, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Mac’s desktop and click on the Apple logo at the top left corner of the screen. From here, go to the “About This Mac” option.

    about-this-mac

  2. This will launch a dedicated window with details about your system. Visit the “Storage” section from here.
  3. Now, you can view the storage details of your Mac’s partition or connected external sources. It would also depict the total and the available space on it.
  4. After that, you need to press “Command + Shift + Period” to toggle to view hidden files.

    use-keyboard-shortcut


Eight Solutions to Free Up Space on Mac

1. Downloads Folder

The Downloads folder is the default location on Mac that stores all the content that you have downloaded from the web. If you have been using your Mac for a while now, then the Downloads folder can accumulate a lot of data. Therefore, you should consider visiting the Downloads folder every now and then, and delete the unwanted files from it to clear disk space on Mac.

  1. To access your Mac’s Downloads, just click on the “Go” option on Finder and open the Downloads folder.

    go-downloads-mac

  2. You can also just launch Finder and visit the Downloads folder from the sidebar.
  3. On the right, you can view all the files stored in the Downloads folder. Simply select the unwanted data, right-click, and move it to Trash.

2. Unwanted Apps

We all use different kinds of apps on our Mac for numerous purposes. Though, there are times when the system ends up having too many unwanted apps. You can just inspect all the installed apps on Mac and get rid of the programs you no longer want. In this way, you can easily learn how to free up disk space on Mac and boost its processing as well.

  1. Just go to Mac’s Finder > Applications to view all sorts of apps installed on Mac under various categories.
  2. Select the application you wish to delete, right-click, and move it to Trash to get rid of it.

    mac-delete-apps

  3. If you are removing any important application, then you would get a confirmation prompt like this. Just enter the admin username and password to confirm your choice and delete the app.

    confirm-app-deletion

  4. Apart from that, you can also go to Launchpad to view the programs installed from Mac’s App Store. Long press any app to get the delete option (as the icons would start to wiggle).
  5. Click on the cross button (delete option) at the top of the app icon and confirm your choice to delete the app.

    remove-app-launchpad

3. Duplicate Photos and Media Files

This is something that almost every Mac user suffers from. Since we all move our photos, videos, music, and other media files from one place to another, it often results in redundancy. If you wish to free up space on Mac, then check for any duplicate content and get rid of unwanted files.

  1. Most of the times, users observe the presence of duplicate photos on Mac. To analyze this, go to Finder > Pictures from the sidebar.
  2. Here, you can find both Photos Library and iPhoto Library. You can choose either of these options and import photos from one library to another to get rid of duplicate files.

    delete-duplicate-photos

  3. Apart from that, you can take the assistance of iTunes to detect duplicate content as well. Simply launch iTunes and go to its File > Library > Show Duplicate Items.
  4. This will display all the duplicate songs, videos, and other media files on iTunes. You can just remove the files of your choice from here.

    itunes-duplicate-items

4. Get rid of Trash

Whenever we delete something from Mac, it is moved to Trash. This lets us recover the files that we have deleted accidentally. Though, if you wish to clear space on Mac, then it is important to wipe the Trash folder as well. In this way, you can delete files from Trash permanently and clear disk space on Mac easily.

  1. If you want to empty the entire Trash folder, then select its icon first and go to Finder. Click on the “Empty Trash” option from here and confirm your choice.

    mac-empty-trash

  2. In addition to that, you can also select the Trash icon from the dock and right-click. From the context menu, click on the “Empty Trash” option.

    empty-trash-dock

5. iTunes Backup

To make it easier for iOS users to manage their device, Apple has provided several options in iTunes. Chances are that you must have taken its assistance to back up your iOS device as well. For instance, if you have an iPhone, then you can easily take its backup on iTunes as many times as you want. Though, multiple backups can take a toll on Mac storage and should be checked regularly. If you want to learn how to free space on Mac, then follow this simple drill.

  1. Start by launching iTunes on your Mac and go to its iTunes menu > Preferences.

    itunes-preferences-mac

  2. As the Preferences window will open, you can go to the “Devices” section to view the available backup files.
  3. Simply select the file you wish to get rid of and click on the “Delete Backup” button. Confirm your choice and the iTunes backup would be erased from your Mac.

    delete-itunes-backup

6. Temporary Files

Just like every other leading operating system, Mac also stores temporary and cache data while processing. Ideally, these temp files help us with the processing of certain actions and the overall Mac performance. Nevertheless, they can also accumulate after a while and consume a large chunk of your Mac’s storage. Thus, it is recommended to remove temporary files every now and then to free up space on Mac.

  1. Since every application can have its own temporary files, you can start by visiting the relevant folders. Visit Finder’s Go > Go to Folders and enter “~/Users/User/Library/Application Support/” in the address bar.

    temp-files-mac

  2. Once the Application Support folder would be opened, you can visit different files and search for temporary files (with temp or tmp extensions). Subsequently, you can move the relevant files to Trash.
  3. Apart from temporary files, you can also check the Cache data on Mac too. Just visit Library > Caches and remove all kinds of unwanted cache from here.

    mac-cache-files

7. Mac Mail Attachments

Mac comes with tons of native apps like Mail that can help us manage our emails and messages in one place. Needless to say, the constant use of the mails and the downloading of several attachments can consume a lot of storage. If you want, you can get rid of individual or bulk attachments in the following way.

  1. Firstly, open the Mail app from Finder and go to the mail that has the respective attachment.
  2. Once the attachment is loaded, go to the Message option from the Finder and choose to Remove Attachment.
  3. If you want to manually delete bulk attachments that are already downloaded on Mac, then go to the ~/Library/Mail folder.
  4. Here, you can view all the stored Mac mail attachments. Make the relevant selection and delete the unwanted files.

    delete-mail-attachments

8. Move Files to an External Storage

While we can delete unwanted content from Mac, there are certain files that we can’t get rid of. In this case, you can simply move them to an external storage like an SD card, pen drive, or external hard disk. This will free up disk space on your Mac while still keeping your important data safe.

  1. Simply connect an external data source to your Mac. Most likely, you can see its icon on the desktop from where you can access the storage.

    open-external-disk-mac

  2. If you want, you can also launch Finder and visit the location of the files you wish to move.
  3. Select the respective files, right-click, and cut them from the source. Go to the external source from Finder’s sidebar and paste your files here instead.

    flash-drive-mac


Part 4. How to Manage Storage on Mac

By following the above-listed techniques, you would be able to clear disk space on Mac. Apart from that, you can also manage storage on Mac more efficiently by following these suggestions:

• Manage iCloud Sync

By default, every Apple ID gets access to 5 GB of free storage on iCloud. If you want, you can even buy more storage as well. You should make the most of it by syncing certain things on iCloud with your Mac. This will maintain a dedicated backup of your data (like Photos) and improve their availability. Simply Go to Finder > System Preferences and launch the iCloud app. Set up your account if you haven’t already and enable the syncing option for your photos, contacts, notes, etc.

icloud-app-mac

• Auto Empty Trash

A lot of users forget to empty the Trash after moving files to it. If you want, you can make sure that the data would only be stored for 30 days in Trash. After that, it will automatically be removed from Trash to make more space on Mac. Just go to Finder > Finder Preferences > Advanced. Now, enable the option to remove items from Trash after 30 days automatically.

finder-preferences-mac

• Optimize Storage

There are also different ways to manage storage on Mac by optimizing it. To start with, de-clutter your system and try to have an organized hierarchy of the file system. If you want, you can automate this feature as well. Just go to Finder and click on the Apple icon > About this Mac > Storage > Manager. Here, you can enable the Optimize Storage option to remove the iTunes movies and shows that you have already watched.

optimize-storage-mac

There is also an option for “Reduce Clutter” that you can turn on. This will organize your Mac and get rid of the documents you no longer need.

• Delete App Data

Sometimes, uninstalling apps is not enough as they can leave residual data on Mac. If you won’t remove the leftover app data, then it can consume a lot of storage of your Mac in the long run. Just go to your Mac’s Library and visit the folder of the app you have already uninstalled. From here, you can carefully remove the existing app data that is no longer needed by Mac.

delete-app-data

• Organize Mac Partitions

You might already know that Mac lets us create different partitions to logically separate the disk. It is recommended to empty the partition and delete it in order to defragment the disk space. Once you have taken a backup of your data, go to Applications > Disk Utility and view the existing partitions. Delete the unwanted partitions, create new ones, or merge existing partitions from here to make the most of the provided space.

organize-mac-partitions


Part 5. How to Recover Lost Data While Clearing Space

As you can see, there are different ways to learn how to make space on Mac by managing the storage and getting rid of unwanted content. Though, there are times when we end up deleting something by mistake. In this case, you can take the assistance of Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac to get back the lost, deleted, or inaccessible data. Recoverit 8.0 is the latest release of the application that provides a wide range of data recovery features and an extremely simple user interface. Here are some of the new and advanced features of this data recovery tool.

Download | Mac Mac Version Download | Win Windows Version

Since the basic version of Recoverit 8.0 is available for free, you don’t have to spend a single dime to have a hands-on experience of the tool first. Later, you can follow these simple steps and restore your lost data from Mac using Recoverit 8.0:

Step 1: Select a Location

Install and launch Recoverit 8.0 on your Mac, whenever you wish to get back your lost files. On its home, you need to select a location to scan. This can be Mac’s entire storage, a partition, or even a particular folder. You can browse to a specific location of your choice as well.

select-scan-location

Step 2: Scan the Location

As you would click on the “Start” button, Recoverit will scan the source and extract all the essential files from it. It might take a few minutes for the process to be completed, and hence, it is recommended not to close the application in between.

scan-location

Step 3: Preview and Recover

When the scan is complete, the interface will let you preview all the extracted data. It will already list everything under different categories. Recoverit 8.0 now also provides a bigger and better preview for photos, videos, and documents. Select multiple files if you want to and click on the “Recover” button to save them to any location of your choice.

recover-email


Conclusion

Who knew it would be so easy to manage storage on Mac and even recover lost data from it. To make things easier for you, we have listed eight different solutions on how to free up space on Mac. Furthermore, we have even provided a smart guide on how to see storage on Mac beforehand. In this way, you can see the difference in your Mac storage before and after following the listed suggestions. Additionally, if you have deleted something by mistake, then simply take the assistance of Recoverit Data Recovery. Developed by Wondershare, it is one of the most advanced and reliable data recovery tools for Mac that you should certainly keep handy.

Sue Wen

staff Editor

0 Comment(s)
Home | Resources | Solve Mac Problems | 8 Ways to Free Up Space and Manage Storage on Mac [2019]