You may be surprised to learn that there are nearly 100 million active Mac users in the U.S., making it so 1 out of every 5 computers is running macOS. That number continues to pick up steam thanks to Mac’s sleek bodies, intuitive operating systems, and easy support features.
When you buy a Mac, one of the first things you’ll notice is how much your price can vary based on the internal storage size you choose. Buy too much storage and you’ll end up overpaying. Buy too little, and you’ll end up with storage management drama.
Below, our team shares tips on how you can get your Mac storage in check if you’re pushing the bounds of your hard drive and need more space. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Scrub Installed Applications
One of the lowest hanging fruits when it comes to Mac storage management is scrubbing your installed applications. In your applications window, you should be able to quickly see every program you have sitting on your computer. Have a look at each of them and if there’s something on your list that you haven’t used in a long time (or ever), uninstall it.
Uninstalling certain programs can free up 10gb+ of space and may immediately resolve your storage drama.
2. Lose Languages
macOS comes preinstalled with a countless amount of languages. These languages allow users from all over the world to quickly hop into an OS they can understand without having to have an active internet connection to install niche languages.
Most Mac users will only ever use one of the countless languages that are sitting on their system. So, to free up space, we recommend checking out your computer’s various language packs and uninstalling everything except your primary one.
Each language pack will be about .25GB so a thorough scrub can bring a lot of space back to your machine.
3. Clear Out Your Downloads
Whenever you download something online, it moves to your downloads folder. Even when you install that something (assuming you’re downloading software) the installer tool will remain in your downloads, forever taking up space until you toss it out.
Hop into your downloads folder and give it a look. If you’ve never swept it before and you’ve had your computer for a while, you’ll likely see tons of pictures, files, documents, etc. that can be moved to your trash bin.
If you accidentally delete something you need, take a deep breath and check out sites like https://setapp.com/how-to/how-to-use-time-machine that’ll help you revert to system restore points so you can hopefully recover losses.
4. Sweet Up Junk Files
Your downloads folder isn’t the only place junk lives on your Mac. Junk data can be sitting in your documents folder, temp folder, browser cache, and in many other places.
Rather than manually sweeping all of that stuff as part of your storage management workflow, we recommend picking up free tools like CCleaner which will scour your Mac on your behalf and get rid of any unnecessary data that’s taking up space on your machine.
5. Run a Virus Scan
macOS is nowhere near as prone to picking up viruses as Windows machines are. Still, virus transmission is a possibility and may be causing your hard drive storage problems.
To be safe, run a free virus scan on your machine using any number of free tools you can find online. If your reputable scanning tool detects something, remove the offender, and restart your computer.
6. Empty Your Trash Bin
When you delete items from your downloads folder, desktop, etc. those items go to your recycling bin. Anything that’s in your recycling bin is still taking up storage space on your machine.
Fortunately, cleaning your recycling bin is as easy as right/command clicking on it and selecting to empty your bin out.
7. Invest in Cloud Storage
Sometimes, even after a deep clean, your Mac storage is still on the brink of overflowing. If that’s the case for you, adding storage space is your best path forward.
To start, consider investing in Apple’s cheap iCloud storage option. iCloud storage costs $.99 for 50GB and will automatically offload picture and video files from your machine saving you tons of space if you have a lot of those files.
8. Invest in Network Attached Storage (NAS)
Don’t want to lease hard drive space from Apple? Buy your own network-attached storage device which you can hook into your router and upload files to.
You can learn more about network-attached storage here. In short, having a NAS device is a lot like having your own private iCloud, Google Drive, etc. the difference being you won’t pay any monthly leasing fees.
9. Upgrade to a More Robust Mac
This is by far the most expensive way to make room for more files on your computer so we recommend it as a last resort. If nothing else on this list works for you (and something should) you could trade in your old computer for credit towards one with a bigger internal drive.
Apple has its own in-house trade-in program so check that out to get a feel for how much money you’re likely to get for your old machine.
There Are Several Ways to Solve Any Storage Management Issues
As we hope you’ve surmised from this post, there are a nearly limitless amount of ways to solve Mac storage management issues. Which one you choose will be largely influenced by your preferences and even more so by the severity of your storage problems.
Our team wishes you the best as you get your Mac back into fighting shape. We also welcome you to read more of our storage space-related content in our blog.