How to Manage Storage on Mac

George Herman
George Herman
IT Security Expert

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As all of you know, every computer runs out of space at some point. This might happen to your Mac either, but we are here to help you out.

There are plenty of things you could do to free up some disk space without deleting your personal files and media. Just follow our guide below and your Mac storage will be successfully optimized.

  1. Check your Downloads folder – this is the folder that takes a huge part of the free space on your Mac. Thus, you should clean it regularly. To do so, just go to Finder, open the Downloads folder and go through it carefully checking what you want to save or delete permanently.

  2. Delete the applications you don’t need – after going through your Downloads folder, remove all the apps you don’t use by dragging them to the Trash folder on your Dock. After doing so, the free space on your hard drive will increase significantly.

  3. Check for duplicate iPhoto librariesopen the Photos folder on your Dock and check if there is more than one iPhoto library. If you’re using the latest Photos app, but you previously used iPhoto, there is a great possibility to have duplicate iPhoto libraries on your hard drive. In case you find a duplicate iPhoto library, just follow our guide to remove it.

  4. Use a disk cleaner application to delete your unwanted files – there are plenty of such apps offered by the App Store, so you can just read the reviews and pick up the right one for you.

  5. Utilize iTunes in the Cloud – to save some space on your hard drive, you can stream movies via iTunes in the Cloud instead of physically downloading them to your Mac. If you want to delete movies off your hard drive, just right click on the movie icon and remove it. It will continue to be available for streaming via iTunes.


  6. Transfer photos and videos – if you keep old photos and videos on your hard drive, you’d better offload them to either an external drive, or to a storage service such as Dropbox. Use the Selective Sync feature of Dropbox that prevents it from storing files you don’t need on your drive. To access the selective sync settings, choose Preferences and click the Accounts button. Choose Selective Sync and don’t select your photo backup. In this way, you disable the photo backup from Dropbox on your Mac. Additionally, you have to go through and uncheck any other Dropbox folders you don’t need access to.

  7. Enable iCloud Photo Library – if you don’t have enough space to store your photos and media files locally, use iCloud Photo Library to keep them all. Just make sure that you have a full backup of your photo library before enabling the iCloud Photo Library. To enable it, launch the Photos app on your Mac, choose Photos in the top navigation and then select Preferences. Then, check the box for iCloud Photo Library under the iCloud section and make sure the sub-option for Optimize Mac Storage is selected.

  8. Last, but also very important tip for saving space on your hard drive, is to regularly empty your Trash. Until you keep it full, you won’t be able to regain the space the deleted files have occupied. So, right-click on your Trash icon and just empty the folder.

After performing the above-mentioned operations, the free space on your Mac should have increased significantly. If not, you should look for some other options, or contact the official Apple support for further assistance on the issue.

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