How to Clear Disk Space on Mac

clear disk space on Mac

The general rule of thumb says you should always have at least 15% free storage space on your hard disk. It’s easier said than done, though, as your device naturally clutters up with different files, apps, and software over time. If you are in desperate need of some free space and don’t know where to start – here are our tips on how to effectively clear disk space on Mac. 

1. Uninstall applications

It seems like today there is an app for absolutely anything – whether that’s fitness, mental health, digital planner, or entertainment platforms. Each of them tends to take up a fairly big chunk of your disk space and so uninstalling any applications that you don’t use or need can clear out a significant amount of storage on your Mac. 

2. Empty the Downloads folder

Your Downloads folder is arguably the messiest space on your laptop, holding all kinds of old and unnecessary files. It’s also the one space that none of us tend to look through and clear out. Therefore, you will be surprised how much storage space the files in your Downloads folder were taking up once you empty it. 

3. Clear out cache files

Cache files are by no means your enemy – on the contrary, they are there to ensure that your experience on the Mac is as fast and smooth as possible. However, it is recommended to clear these temporary files regularly, since they also tend to pile up over time. Don’t forget that cache exists in your internal storage (such as apps and systems cache) as well as browser cache. 

4. Get rid of duplicate files

Duplicate files are something that can easily sneak into your Mac and go unnoticed for the longest time. They typically appear when you accidentally download the same file twice or perhaps have a file backed up in multiple spaces on your device. Either way, locating and deleting them can empty a good chunk of empty space on your Mac. Finding them manually can be a time-consuming process, so you may want to consider using dedicated duplicate-finder software. 

5. Delete system junk

System junk includes all kinds of files that are stored on your hard disk but are not needed anymore. This can be things like leftover temporary files from different software, systems, or apps. For instance, language packs that were automatically downloaded when you installed an app but never used them can be classed as system junk. Typically, your Mac will be able to locate and clean up system junk on its own, although you do have to enable the Optimise Storage feature in your settings for this. 

6. Use cloud storage

If you have already completed a big clean-up on your Mac with all of the above tips and your storage is still lacking space – this is a sign that you should make use of an external disk or cloud storage. Using such services as iCloud or Google Drive gives you a huge amount of free space, where you can automatically back up important files from your device onto the cloud storage. Doing this will keep your Mac clean and prevent it from getting cluttered and slowing down.