We bring you the ultimate tips and tricks that will help you have more storage capacity on your Mac or MacBook. Freeing up space on your Apple computer or laptop has never been easier.
To have more storage capacity on your Mac or MacBook, you may be thinking of buying an external memory, uninstalling programs from your computer, or simply starting from scratch and formatting your machine to factory settings.
Now, did you know that there are many other ways to earn gigabytes of memory? You will find them all in this article: from emptying the trash to saving your documents in the cloud to getting rid of duplicate files.
When all computers had hard drives, these allowed us to have much more space in our Macs. Still, with solid-state drives, despite having other advantages, the capacity has been significantly limited.
In addition, it is common to save high-resolution videos and images, 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.
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.
Although your computer will send you an alert when you are running out of free space, we recommend checking from time to time how much you have available 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 choose 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.
3. Now, click on the ‘Manage‘ button to see in more detail the space used. You’ll see sections dedicated to iCloud, Trash, iTunes, Mail, iBooks, iOS files, and much more in the new window.
Trick 2. Activate the ‘Optimize storage’ option
A good way to free up space automatically, so you don’t have to worry about doing so, is by using the ‘Optimize Storage’ option, which will delete series and movies you’ve already watched and delete attachments from your email.
That does not mean that you will lose the deleted videos and files since your emails will be stored in your iCloud account, and the series and movies you bought in iTunes can always be downloaded again.
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 hit ‘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.
3. When the process is finished, you will see that it now says’ Completed‘ on the button next to the option ‘Optimize Storage.’
Trick 3. Program the automatic emptying of the trash
Another convenient way to let macOS manage your store for you is with the option of automatic emptying of the trash after the files you no longer need have accumulated there for 30 days.
1. Carry out the steps indicated in the first trick listed in this article: hit the toolbar apple, select ‘About this Mac’ and, in the new window, hit ‘Storage,’ followed by ‘Manage.’
2. Now, locate the option ‘Empty Trash Automatically’ from the list and hit the button ‘Turn On… ‘. You will need to confirm by clicking on ‘Turn On’ on the floating window.
3. Finally, you can check that it has indeed been activated by looking at the button on the right-hand side of the option, 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 so as not to neglect 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, hit the ‘Manage‘ button.
2. Click on the ‘Review Files‘ button, which you will see just to the right of the ‘Reduce Clutter’ option.
3. In the new window, you can see a list of the files that take up the most space, as well as the downloads you have saved on your computer. You can also use the 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 if you want to keep it or not.
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
The process of storing your files in your iCloud account is not as easy and fast as the previous ones. Currently, Apple only offers 5 GB of free cloud storage, so you will have to pay if you want to make the most of it.
In the eurozone-, the prices are as follows: 50 GB for € 0.99 per month; 200 GB for €2.99 per month; 2 TB for €9.99 per month.
1. To save all your documents to iCloud, the first thing you will have to do is 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.
3. Now, you will have the option to 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 you can proceed, you’ll need to 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 it is wise to invest in any other type of external storage 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, by default, 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.
Now, luckily, in both services, you have the option to synchronize only specific files or folders, which logically 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 why you are running 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 from now on. This trick can be useful 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 so you can access your music from any of your devices, even if you imported the songs from a CD. This plan has a price of € 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.
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, it is straightforward to accumulate files and more files that we no longer need in the trash. You can choose to have them removed 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 especially recommend deleting those files that once allowed you to install a new program on your Mac. Also, please take a look at the documents, as in many cases, they will only be duplicates.
Trick 10. Get rid of duplicate files
There are several reasons why we accumulate duplicate files, either because we have chosen the option ‘Copy to iTunes Media the files added to the library in the iTunes preferences, or because we have downloaded a file more than once.
Trick 11. Delete attachments from your emails in Mail
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 that will have 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 from time to time 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 occupied on your disk.
Trick 13. Remove programs you no longer use
Nowadays, there are applications for everything, and they are so easy to download that it is widespread to accumulate programs on our Mac. That makes us run out of space very quickly. But to recover memory, it will not be enough to delete the program.
There is also another folder with almost all the files you need to work on every application we have installed, but getting rid of them is not a bargain. For this, you will need to use cleaners such as App Cleaner or AppZapper.
Trick 14. See which other apps take up the most space
Once you have gotten rid of those programs that you know occupy many gigabytes and that you no longer need, it is also worth using apps such as GrandPerspective, DaisyDisk, or CleanMyMac 2 to make a more exhaustive analysis.
You can also do it quickly without using an external program by simply following the steps below.
1. Go to the ‘Macintosh HD‘ folder of the Finder, followed by ‘Users,’ to find the one that icon has one in the form of a house. You can use the shortcut by pressing the ‘Shift,’ ‘Command,’ and ‘H’ keys simultaneously.
2. Then also use the shortcut ‘Command‘ and ‘F’ to be able to search through your files and, after clicking on the ‘Class’ button, choose ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu.
3. Now, you should have opened another window. Swipe down until you find the ‘File Size’ option. Select it using the box on the right-hand side and hit the ‘OK button.
4. After determining what information you want the file search process to take into account, you will have to hit the ‘equals to’ button and select ‘is higher than,’ change the drive ‘KB’ to ‘MB,’ and choose file size, such as 100.
5. Finally, you will be able to see all the files more significant than the indicated size on your computer. Delete or uninstall them to free up space on your Mac.