How To Free Up Space on Your Mac

Is your Mac running slow? Want to clear out some space or be able to process more than anything basic? Well there are plenty of things you can do. If your Mac is newer, its memory will come in the form of a solid state drive (SSD), which can be as low as 128GB. The likelihood is that you’re going to hit the storage limit pretty quickly.

Everyone has apps they install and use once, then never open again. It might seem obvious, but clearing your Applications folder of apps you don’t use can make a huge difference to performance. You should try and delete apps that haven’t been used in six months or more. You don’t need to worry if you’ve purchased them from the Mac App Store, as you can just redownload them if you ever need to use them.

An extension of the above, apps store files that can take up a huge amount of space, and are often not even needed. A good free program to get around this problem is AppCleaner, which lets you pick and choose the files within an app that you want to delete. As a general rule of thumb, don’t delete anything that you aren’t certain won’t cause repercussions.

Another culprit that can eat up space on your Mac is duplicate files. Many people unwittingly have duplicate copies of files, photos, songs and videos stored on their hard drive or solid state drive. However, finding these files is likely to be very time consuming. That’s where Gemini, one of the best ways of removing duplicate files and folders, comes in. While it does cost $10, it is well worth it, and won’t burn a hole in your pocket. It has a very user-friendly interface and is able to find duplicate files for you, and then remove them. If you want to try it out, you can download the free version, but this won’t allow you to delete files, only view them

This might go without saying, but you should regularly empty your Trash Can. The equivalent of Windows’ Recycle Bin, any file or folder that you delete from your Mac’s hard drive or SSD isn’t deleted. These files in your Trash can eat up space on your drive, so you should remove them regularly. This isn’t always enough, however, as many apps contain Trash Cans within their interface. With these apps, like iMovie, you’ll need to do this within the app itself.

With the advent of solid state drives (HDDs), replacing traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), Apple expects users to only store essential files on the built-in storage, and store less important files elsewhere. There are several solutions for this, the cheapest being an external hard drive. These are essentially large USB drives, but they have moving parts - meaning your data is slightly more at risk and the chance of you needing a hard drive data recovery specialist is higher. You can also store files in the cloud; Apple machines are optimised to use iCloud. This may not suit everyone, as the cost per bit of storage is higher than that of an external hard drive, and it requires a relatively fast internet connection.

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