How to Free Up Storage Space on Your Macbook

Free Up Storage Space

If you’ve run out of space on your Macbook, you are not alone. Nothing is more frustrating than a slow computer. Apple recently doubled its storage space, encouraging people to buy a new Mac.

However, there are things you can do to help save space on your computer, so you don’t have to buy a new computer. Keep reading to learn ways to free up space and get your Macbook running more quickly and efficiently.

Empty Your Trash Cans

Just like the Recycle Bin on Windows, the Trash Bin on Mac does not permanently delete files on its own when they get in the folder. The files go to the Trash and stay there in case you want to restore them at a later time.

You need to completely remove these files to free up space. To do this, you will have to go to Trash and remove all the files. You may need to empty several trash cans.

You can enable the option to automatically delete files. To do this:

  • Go to the Apple menu
  • Select “About this Mac”
  • Click Manage in Storage tab
  • Click Turn On for the “Empty Trash Automatically” option 

Then you will not have to go in manually to delete files. By selecting this option, files stored in the Trash for more than 30 days will then be deleted permanently.

Remove Duplicate Files

Another way to free up space is to remove duplicate files and photos. You probably have a surprisingly large number of duplicate files if you have been using your computer for a while.

There are some great apps to help you remove duplicate files, and there are also software options to help remove duplicate photos so you don’t have to manually delete them.

Uninstall Applications You Don’t Use

You probably have some applications on your Mac that you don’t even use. If so, you should uninstall them. To do this:

  • Go to Finder window
  • Select Applications in the sidebar
  • Choose the Applications you don’t use
  • Drag them into the Trash

You can also find out which applications take up the most space. Open the Finder window and choose Applications. Then click on the “Show Items in a List” icon. Click on the Size heading to sort applications by size.

Clean Out Temporary Files

There are probably temporary files you do not need on your Mac’s hard drive. These files take up space on your laptop computer for no reason. Cleaning out these files may not speed up your Mac, but it will help you save space.

To find your temporary files, click the Go tab in Finder. Select Go to Folder. Then type ~/Library/Caches. Select Go.

This takes you to a Caches folder. Right-click on the file(s) to delete. Click Move to Trash. There are apps, like CleanMyMac, that will find and delete temporary files if you don’t want to do this manually.

Clear Out Downloads Folder

There may be some unnecessary files you probably no longer need in your Download folder. There may be some files that your computer downloaded that you didn’t realize like restaurant menus or work presentations.

To delete these files, go to Finder. Click the Go tab. Select Downloads to open this folder.

Then you can delete the files by right-clicking on the files. Select Move to Trash.

You may want to keep a shortcut of your Downloads folder on the Dock for easy access. To do this, drag the Downloads folder from Finder to your dock.

Zip Large Files

If you have larger files that you don’t want to delete, you can zip these files to save space and not have to delete them. This is because zipping compresses the file, so they need less space. When you need the file, you can double-click the file to unzip it.

Delete Unused Language Files

Your Mac comes with more than 180 languages loaded on it. These linguistic files can take up to 1.5 GB of hard drive space. Do you need all these files—probably not? So here’s how to get more space.

Before you remove unused language files, you should know that it could affect your user experience. This is because your applications mirror the language on the macOS. To change the language, you need to reinstall apps, even the Mac default apps. 

To delete unused language files:

  • Go to the Applications folder
  • Right-click an app
  • Select Show Package Contents from the drop-down menu
  • Open the Contents folder
  • Go to the Resources folder
  • Delete all subfolders that end in .lproj 
  • Empty the Trash

All Spanish files end with es.lproj. English files end with en.lproj.

Clean Up Email Files

You probably have a lot of emails that have files, pictures, or documents. Even when you open the attachment, they stay on your Mac forever, taking up space. You can prevent this from happening by:

  • Go to the Mail app
  • Select Preferences
  • Find the Remove unedited downloads option in the General tab
  • Set it to “After Message is Deleted”

You can also get rid of junk mail on a regular basis to clear up some room. To do this:

  • Go to the Mail app
  • Select Preferences
  • Find “Erase junk messages” in the Accounts tab
  • Set the option to erase “After one month”

This will automatically remove these messages after a month, so you don’t have to manually delete them.

Clear Up Some Storage Space on Your Macbook Computer

Follow these steps to see if you can clean out some storage space on your Macbook. You may not have to buy a new computer. Remember, to stay on top of deleting files by choosing to automatically do so in your options or make it a regular monthly chore.

Looking for more Macbook tips to improve your computer experience? Check out our Internet Tips and Technology sections for some more great advice.