Table of Contents
If your Mac has been slowing down recently, it’s possible that it’s running very close to full capacity. Anything over 85% of storage space being used is where Mac’s performance may drop or unexpected issues may arise.
Tips to Free Up Space on A Mac
However, before starting, head to About This Mac under the Apple menu and press Storage. This is where you can see a breakdown of how much storage space you have left – and perhaps even what the main culprit is for hogging it all. For more tips on clearing Mac storage, click this link.
Firstly, Apple has a solution for you that requires very little effort. When on this storage page detailed in the introduction, click on the Manage tab. Here you will be presented with four options: Store in iCloud, Optimize Storage, Empty Trash, and Reduce Clutter. All four tools are very fast, automatic ways that macOS has figured out how to save you space.
Clean Up Your Downloads Folder
Next is to get your hands dirty with some manual deleting. If you open the downloads folder, you will likely find a bunch of stuff you have downloaded off the internet over the years. This is a notoriously messy place that’s difficult to keep on top of. So, going through each file (or sorting it by the largest file size) and deleting individual files you no longer need can help free up space – such as movies you no longer need or want.
Uninstall Unused Apps
Next, do a similar thing but with apps. Applications can easily take up tens of gigabytes, and many we actually only use once. Head to Finder and select Applications. You can sort by Date Modified to see some of the older apps, or by file size. Either way, try not to be too protective here. Downloads speeds are increasing year on year around the world, so it’s likely you can redownload an application fairly quickly. If you haven’t used it in the last month and don’t expect to use it in the next month, do you really need it? Right-click the apps to move them to Trash.
Clear Safari Cache
Cleaning cache can be an instant way to free up some storage, but you generally have to do it for each browser individually that you use. You can also automatically clear cache using cache clearing software, though.
To clear Safari cache, open Safari, click Preferences, then Advanced. Check the box for “Show Developer menu in the sidebar” then click on the new Develop tab at the top. On this screen, there will be an option to Empty caches.
Much of what you have just deleted has only been moved to Trash – now you have to empty the Trash. You can do this by right-clicking the Trash icon on the dock and pressing Empty Trash. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that you can automatically clear items from Trash after they have been in there for 30 days. To do this, use the built-in tool mentioned in the first step.