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How Can You Free up Drive Space on a Macbook?


Some Macbook users struggle with keeping all the data they want on the computer. And the most recent trend of replacing hard drives with solid-state drives for the sake of performance makes it even harder.

Nevertheless, there are ways you can manage Macbook data even if the disk does not offer that much storage. After all, for all the people who have problems with their Macbook, there are the same number or even more Mac users who are perfectly fine.

Take the steps in this original article and create a strategy that will help you keep Mac’s drive in check.

Step #1 – Delete Files Permanently

If you want to get rid of files for good, it would be worth getting into the habit of using a keyboard shortcut rather than drag the files in the Trash Bin. 

Hitting Option + Command + Delete after selecting a file will permanently delete that file when you confirm the pop-up box.

The reason why you should use the keyboard shortcut is simple. Not everyone remembers to empty the Trash Bin when they put files there, meaning that instead of deleting data, you are only relocating it. 

Step #2 – Get Rid of Temporary Junk

Macbook Air

Temporary system backups, app extensions, logs, and other junk data is a bother because it also gives the Macbook system more files to process in addition to taking storage space.

You can get rid of temporary junk in two ways. The first is to access the files by changing the system settings and deleting them manually. It is monotonous, and you risk to delete important files accidentally, so prepare to create backups.

On the other hand, the second method seems like a more efficient option. A cleanup utility tool can do the work for you. There are multiple options available online. Look at the software reviews or ask for recommendations from people you know and trust.

Step #3 – Remove Old Applications

Uninstall applications that you have not used for a while. If your goal is to free up disk space, then there is no reason to keep apps you can redownload later.

Also, it is worth mentioning that some applications come with redundant language support. These language files can take up to 1 gigabyte of space because of 50 or even more languages installed. 

Step #4 – Consume Media on Streaming Platforms

Streaming Platforms

The availability of streaming services made it possible to consume media online without downloading files on the device or purchasing a DVD. 

Movies, TV shows, and even music when you have hundreds of tracks will take up a big portion of your Macbook’s drive. And if watching movies and TV shows or listening to music are some of your favorite pastimes, then you should look to use streaming platforms more often. After all, these services eliminate the need to keep large media files on the computer.

Step #5 – Check Email and Download Folders

Email and download folders can grow faster than you think, especially if you use email for work and communication with friends and family. Each email attachment you double-click on is saved on the computer by default. 

Regular downloads from the internet are similar. One strategy is to change the default download location to the desktop. Whenever you download a file and no longer need it, you will see it on the desktop and remember that there is no need to keep it anymore.

Step #6 – Transfer Data to Clouds

Cloud services are a good alternative to figuring out which files you can delete and which files should be kept on the computer. 

Dropbox and iCloud are two of the most popular cloud platforms. You have an option to upgrade the plan for extra storage, but there is a fee.

At the same time, clouds are reliable, and some people believe that there is no better location than Dropbox or iCloud if you want to keep your most important files in a safe place. 

Step #7 – Get External Storage Devices

External Storage Devices

Similar to clouds, devices like external hard drives and memory sticks can also be of great use. You can transfer files into these devices and access them directly on the device or transfer the data back to the Macbook.

If you are on a low budget, look for second-hand devices or wait until the holiday season when there are sales. 

Step #8 – Reinstall the OS

You have an option to reinstall the operating system if every other method is not solving the issue of freeing up Mac’s disk space. Seek someone who can help you if you have never reinstalled the OS because the process is pretty complicated, even with all the available sources online. 

Also, since the reinstallation wipes the computer’s data, remember to back up your most important files via Time Machine or by transferring them to external storage devices or clouds.

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