In this article, we will share the ultimate tips and tricks to help you free up storage space on MAC. While you may consider purchasing external memory or uninstalling programs, many other ways exist to reclaim gigabytes of memory. From clearing out your trash bin to utilizing cloud storage and deleting duplicate files, we will cover all the effective methods to optimize your device’s storage capacity. With the advent of solid-state drives, storage capacity has become a significant concern for Mac users, but with these tips, you can efficiently manage your device’s storage space.

How to Free Up Storage Space on MAC

As a Mac user, you might have experienced the frustration of running out of storage space. The problem can be daunting, whether due to the numerous photos, videos, documents, and applications you’ve accumulated over time or your Mac’s limited storage capacity. Running out of storage space on MAC can significantly impact your device’s performance, leading to slow speeds and system crashes. Fortunately, freeing up storage space on Mac is easier than you might think. This article will explore various ways to free up storage space on Mac, from cleaning out your hard drive to utilizing cloud storage and external drives. With these tips, you can keep your Mac running smoothly and efficiently.

How to Free Up Storage Space on MAC: 14 Easy Tricks

In addition, saving high-resolution videos and images is expected, which inevitably takes up a lot of space. Here’s how to always have at least 10 percent free space so your Mac can work well.

NOTE: Some of the below-mentioned tricks are no longer available on macOS Ventura.

Trick 1. Manage your free storage with macOS

With the release of the macOS Sierra OS version in 2016, Apple introduced a newly optimized storage feature that allows you to delete files from your Mac that you no longer need and transfer others to iCloud.

This feature is no longer available for macOS Ventura.

Although your computer will send you an alert when you run out of free space, we recommend checking how much you have available from time to time so as not to take any surprises. Here are the steps to follow.

1. Click on the apple icon at the far left of the top toolbar and click the ‘About This Mac’ option from the drop-down menu.

2. In the new floating window, make sure that the ‘Storage‘ label is selected. The horizontal bar represents your hard drive or SSD, which you will see divided into colors corresponding to each category of files you have saved.

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How to Free Up Storage Space on MAC: 14 Easy Tricks
NOTE: This trick is no longer available for macOS Ventura.

3. Now, click on the ‘Manage‘ button to see in more detail the space used. In the new window, you’ll see sections dedicated to iCloud, Trash, iTunes, Mail, iBooks, iOS files, and much more.

How to Free Up Storage Space on MAC: 14 Easy Tricks
NOTE: This trick is no longer available for macOS Ventura.

Trick 2. Activate the ‘Optimize storage’ option

The’ Optimize Storage’ option is an excellent way to free up space automatically.

1. Repeat the three steps indicated in the previous section: go to ‘About this Mac’ from the apple-shaped icon of the toolbar, tap on ‘Storage,’ and finally, click ‘Manage.’

2. In the same window, hit the button ‘Optimize… ‘, which you will see on the right-hand side of the ‘Optimize Storage’ option. Confirm the action by clicking ‘Optimize’ again.

How to Free Up Storage Space on MAC: 14 Easy Tricks
NOTE: This trick is no longer available for macOS Ventura.

3. When the process is finished, it now says’ Completed‘ on the button next to the option ‘Optimize Storage.’

Trick 3. Automatic Emptying of the Trash

Another convenient way to let macOS manage your store for you is by automatically emptying the Trash after the files you no longer need for 30 days.

1. Carry out the steps indicated in the first trick in this article: click the apple icon, select ‘About this Mac‘ in the new window, click ‘Storage,’ followed by ‘Manage.’

2. Now, after ‘Empty Trash Automatically’ from the list, click the ‘Turn On… ‘button. You will need to confirm by clicking on ‘Turn On’ on the floating window.

How to Free Up Storage Space on MAC: 14 Easy Tricks
NOTE: This trick is no longer available for macOS Ventura.

3. Finally, you can check that it has been activated by looking at the option’s button on the right-hand side, which should now be the ‘Completed’ button.

Trick 4. Use the ‘Reduce clutter’ option

Another function that macOS allows you to review the content you have saved on your computer to delete what you no longer need. Although you can do it manually, we recommend using this option to avoid neglecting anything.

1. As stated in the first tip of the list, head to ‘About This Mac’ by clicking on the block in the top right corner and, with the label ‘Storage’ selected, click the ‘Manage‘ button.

2. Click on the ‘Review Files‘ button, which you will see just to the right of the ‘Reduce Clutter’ option.

How to Free Up Storage Space on MAC: 14 Easy Tricks
NOTE: This trick is no longer available for macOS Ventura.

3. In the new window, you can see a list of the files that take up the most space and the downloads you have saved on your computer. You can also use file explorer.

4. Now, hover over a file and click on the magnifying glass icon that you will see on the right-hand side of its name. This will allow you to take a quick look at it to determine whether you want to keep it.

5. Finally, if you have decided to delete it, hover over the file in question again and, this time, click on the cross-shaped icon. Confirm that you want to delete it by tapping on delete.

Trick 5. Store your files in iCloud

Storing your files in your iCloud account is not as easy and fast as the previous ones. Apple only offers 5 GB of free cloud storage, so you must pay if you want to make the most of it.

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1. To save all your documents to iCloud, you will first have to follow the steps described in the first section of this article: select ‘About this Mac,’ followed by ‘Storage‘ and ‘Manage.’

2. On the new screen, click ‘Store in iCloud…’ ‘ so that only the most recent files are saved on your Mac, and the rest are automatically stored in iCloud.

How to Free Up Storage Space on MAC: 14 Easy Tricks
NOTE: This trick is no longer available for macOS Ventura.

3. Now, you can select or deselect the boxes of ‘Desktop and Documents,’Photos,’ and ‘Messages‘ to choose the files from which folders you want to transfer to the cloud. Then hit ‘Save to iCloud.’

4. Before proceeding, you must sign in to your iCloud account.

The problem with this is this: you may end up downloading photos from all your Apple devices on your Mac. If you find yourself in this situation, it may be best to delete these photos from your computer, although they will still be in iCloud.

On the other hand, we think investing in any other type of external storage is wise to save all your photos despite having many. This will prevent your devices from being filled with hundreds of images.

Trick 6. Use another cloud storage service

If iCloud does not convince you, you should know that there are other cloud storage services, such as Dropbox or OneDrive, although you should understand that if you have the application installed, this will cause your Mac’s hard drive to fill up quickly.

That’s because these services are automatically synchronized with your computer, allowing you to access their contents from a folder on your Mac that, logically, takes up space.

In both services, you can synchronize only specific files or folders, which will occupy fewer gigabytes. On the other hand, you can also choose to access the content only from the web.

Trick 7. Do a Photo and Music cleanup

When you want to free up space on a device, the first thing to do is to think about the files that occupy the most gigabytes, such as your image gallery. It is worth reviewing, detecting those you no longer need, and transferring those you do on another device.

Also, your iTunes library is undoubtedly another reason you run out of memory. In this sense, you have several options on how to continue enjoying good music without affecting the space of your Mac.

  • Copy the original files from your iTunes library to an external device and set iTunes to locate them there. This trick can be helpful for iMac users but not so much for MacBook users.
  • Use a network-attached storage device to archive your songs and access them as long as your computer is connected to the NAS.
  • Subscribe to iTunes Match to access your music from any device, even if you imported the songs from a CD. This plan costs € 24.99 per month for users in Spain.
  • Subscribe to Apple Music for €9.99 per month or €4.99 and €14.99 if you are a student or a family, respectively. This option allows you to access the entire Apple Music library, so you don’t have to have song files on your Mac.
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You can also read: How to Get Unlimited Google Photos Storage for Free: 4 methods.

Trick 8. Empty the Trash manually

As we have said before, you can clear Bin automatically after 30 days or do it yourself manually more often by clicking on the ‘Empty‘ button.

Trick 9. Delete files from your Downloads Folder

Apart from the Trash, another folder that usually takes up a lot of unnecessary space is the downloads folder, which we tend to ignore more often than we should. It accumulates documents, images, and installation files that you may no longer need.

We recommend deleting those files that once allowed you to install a new program on your Mac. Also, please look at the documents, as in many cases. They will only be duplicates.

Trick 10. Get rid of Duplicate Files

To make sure that you delete the files of which you have more than one copy on your Mac, you will need the help of a program designed for it, as is the case of Gemini 2, Declutter, or Singlemizer.

How to Free Up Storage Space on MAC: 14 Easy Tricks

Trick 11. Delete attachments from your Email App

As the Mail app settings are configured by default, attachments from the emails they receive are automatically stored in your Mac’s ‘~/Library/Mail’ folder.

In your Mail Settings, you can select an option with attachments removed from that folder automatically once you’ve deleted the Mail from your inbox.

Trick 12. Close Background Apps

Although it may not seem like it, closing applications that have been open for days and that we do not use or even resetting your Mac occasionally will help you have more free space on your computer or laptop.

Applications create temporary files to store data that will get bigger and bigger the longer we have that program open. When you close it, these cache files will be deleted, and you will recover the space they occupy on your disk.

BONUS TIP: Shutdown your MAC frequently to speed it up!

Trick 13. Remove programs you no longer use

In today’s world, applications are readily available for every task, and downloading them on our MAC is effortless. However, this often leads to a cluttered system with an overwhelming number of programs, resulting in limited storage space. Simply deleting applications is not enough to reclaim memory.

There is ‘Other‘ folder with almost all the files you do not need anymore. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to access such files and folders. For this, you must use cleaners such as App Cleaner or AppZapper.

How to Free Up Storage Space on MAC: 14 Easy Tricks

Trick 14. See which other apps take up the most space

Once you have gotten rid of those programs that you know occupy GBs and that you no longer need, it is also worth using apps such as GrandPerspective, DaisyDisk, or CleanMyMac 2 to make a more detailed analysis.

These apps with not help you recover storage space on MAC but it will also help you speed up your MAC.

You can also read the following:
How to Speed Up macOS Catalina? 7 Easy Methods
How to Speed Up macOS Big Sur? 7 Easy Methods

How to Free Up Storage Space on MAC: 14 Easy Tricks

Conclusion: Free Up Storage Space on MAC

In conclusion, running out of storage space on Mac can be a frustrating experience, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent problem. By following the tips and tricks discussed in this article, you can effectively free up storage space on Mac and optimize its performance. Whether you clear out your hard drive, delete unnecessary files, or use cloud storage or external drives, the key is to make regular cleaning and organization a habit. These simple steps ensure your Mac remains fast, efficient, and ready to use whenever needed.

You can also read: How to Clear Cache on Mac and Recover a LOT of Storage Space


Ruby has been a writer and author for a while, and her content appears all across the tech world, from within ReadWrite, BusinessMagazine, ThriveGlobal, etc.

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