How to clean up your mac hard drive for free

Here at Macworld, we like to throw open the windows, beat the dust out of the rugs, and straighten up our Mac desktops. Clean up your Mac. If you're using macOS Sierra, it has a feature that will help tremendously with your Spring cleaning: Optimize Storage. You can use Optimize Storage to activate the Store in iCloud option, remove iTunes videos you've watched they can be re-downloaded , set it to empty the Trash automatically, reduce clutter caused by large files and downloads, and a lot more.

Optimize Storage is especially handy if you're using a Mac laptop with flash storage. You usually don't get the same amount of space as you would with a hard drive, so managing your space becomes more important.

Beside Optimize Storage, there are other way to keep your Mac digitally clean. These tips from our editors will help you keep your Mac fresh and organized, whether you're using macOS Sierra or an older version of OS X.

Store in iCloud

It stores all desktop files and folders in a hidden Shadow Desktop, which you can access from the menu bar or in the Finder. That way, every file I download, each screenshot I capture, and every image I drag and drop to my desktop is stored and filed in an easy-to-reach location. The utility quietly works its magic at scheduled intervals—as often as every minute or as infrequently as every seven days.

It even organizes desktop items by file type, which makes finding and renaming files easy. For most people, the Downloads folder is a dumping ground where files pile up in forgotten heaps. Go to the Downloads folder in the Finder and type disk image into the search box.

Our favorite Mac cleanup tips

Select Disk Image under the Kinds header. Now, delete all of those downloaded DMG files that are just taking up space! In macOS Sierra, there's another way to delete disk images. In the Reduce Clutter section, click on the Review Files button.

What is Startup Disk Full on Mac OS?

In the main window, click on Downloads and the click on the Kind header to sort by that particular type. To delete a disk image. Most of the time I save those files to my desktop or my Downloads folder, but on occasion I make the mistake of double-clicking a file. When you do that, the document saves itself to your Mail Downloads folder, hidden away in your Library file. Double-click enough files, and that folder can balloon in size. The easiest way I find to do this is to use Spotlight—press Command-Space to see a search field appear—and then type Mail Downloads. In the Folders section, you should see the Mail Downloads Data folder.

Click Go , and a Finder window will open showing the Mail Downloads folder.

How to Clear System Storage on MacOS High Sierra - (Other Space)

With a few stray clicks, the Mail Downloads folder can balloon in size, holding megabytes' worth of files you didn't even know were there. Just check the things you want to remove, and then click the Clean button.


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These files often take up disk space for no good reason. Mac OS X tries to automatically remove temporary files, but a dedicated application will likely find more files to clean up. These caches contain files from web pages so your browser can load the web pages faster in the future. Each browser limits its cache to a maximum amount of disk space, anyway.

This will pull up a folder that has a ton of folders in it, which you can select and delete manually if you choose.

Find and Remove Duplicate Files

You can clean up temporary files easier, and much safer, by using CleanMyMac. Just open it up and run through a scan, and then go into the System Junk section to identify all of the cache files and other things that you can clean up.

Our favorite Mac cleanup tips | Macworld

The thing about temporary files, of course, is that most of them are going to come back after you use your Mac for a while. So deleting temporary files is great, but only works for a while. You can then delete these space hogs to free up space. If you care about these files, you may want to move them to external media — for example, if you have large video files, you may want to store them on an external hard drive rather than on your Mac.

Mac applications come with language files for every language they support. However, you probably just use a single language on your Mac, so those language files are just using hundreds of megabytes of space for no good reason.

OmniDiskSweeper

You can change the Mail settings to not download attachments automatically to save space, or run a cleanup tool to get rid of them. You can run a scan, head to Mail Attachments, and see all of the attachments that can be deleted. Click Clean, and your hard drive will be free of them. And those folders sit there looking innocuous but taking up tons of space on your drive.

Once you are there, you can go through the new settings and enable the ones that make sense to you. For example, you can delete downloaded. The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere. Join , subscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more. Windows Mac iPhone Android.


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