If you have a MacBook Air or even a newer MacBook Pro, you know that storage can be a premium, thanks to Apple using solid state storage. Of course, you can upgrade it to as much as 512GB of storage, but most of us like to save money and go with the lowest tier, thinking that 128GB or even 64GB will be enough.
Almost nine times out of ten, that never ends up being the case, and you suddenly find yourself with no storage space left on your Mac. What do you do?
Fear not, because we’re here to help. There are numerous things you can do that will free up a ton of disk space on your Mac, from simply emptying the digital trash can to deleting hidden temporary files that are probably just burning a hole in your storage space.
Your mileage may vary, obviously, but utilizing these tricks has freed up nearly 20GB of space, which is a huge percentage when we’re talking about 128GB of total storage. That’s nearly 16% of the total storage space that was freed up on my MacBook. Try these tricks out for yourself and let us know how much space you saved in the comments at the bottom.
Delete Old iTunes Backups and Apps
If you have an iPhone or iPad and regularly back it up through iTunes on your Mac, then you most likely have multiple iOS device backups that are just sitting on your Mac wasting space. You really only need the latest backup if your iPhone or iPad craps out, so why does your Mac keep past backups? No clue, but there’s a way you can fix that.
You can delete older backups in iTunes by going up to the upper-left corner and clicking on iTunes and then navigating to Preferences > Devices. There you’ll see a list of all the backups you have stored on your Mac. Again, you really only need the latest backup for each of your iOS devices, so just click on a backup that you want to get rid of and click Delete Backup to finish the job.
Furthermore, iTunes also stores all of your iOS apps that you’ve ever downloaded, some of which you probably don’t use anymore. You can delete individual apps that you no longer use by right-clicking them and selecting Delete, moving the files to the Trash as you do so.
Delete Old iMovie Projects
If you use iMovie a lot, you may not be aware that all of your older iMovie project files are still stored on your Mac. And if you’ve been working with especially large movie files, those are still stored on a secret folder long after you finish creating your custom video.
However, you can delete these older projects with ease. Simply navigate to your User folder, then open up Movies. Both iMovie Events and iMovie Projects will have stuff that you can delete. The iMovies Projects folder obviously contains the iMovie projects, while the iMovie Events folder contains the raw video files. If you don’t need these files anymore, simply delete them. Depending on how much was in these folders, you could free up a ton of storage space.
Uninstall Applications You Don’t Use Anymore
Just like emptying your trash can on your Mac, getting rid of applications that you no longer use is a simple and easy task that can have a big payoff. Some applications can easily get into the multiple gigabytes, but if you don’t use them anymore, why bother having them installed and taking up space?
To delete an application that you no longer use, click on Applications folder either in the Finder sidebar or in the Macintosh HD folder. You’ll be presented with all of the applications that you have installed. Simply just drag an application to the trash can to delete it, and be sure to empty the trash can once you’re done.
Use Disk Inventory X to Find the Biggest Culprits
So you’re almost out of storage space on your Mac, but what if you have no idea where all of these space-hogging files are located? An app called Disk Inventory X can scan your Mac and find out where the space-hogging files are located.
Sometimes, you’ll discover that the biggest culprits are system files that you can’t delete, but most likely, Disk Inventory X will point you to files that you forgot you had on your Mac, like a few HD movies for instance. From the app, you can delete the files you don’t want, or manually navigate to that folder and delete the files from there.
Use CCleaner to Delete Hidden Files Taking Up Space
Disk Inventory X isn’t the whole package, though, which is why CCleaner is another great app to have on hand to delete even more space-hogging files. CCleaner has an easy-to-understand user interface that allows you to get rid of hidden temporary files that are no longer being used by applications on your Mac.
With CCleaner, all you have to do is checkmark the items that you want deleted, and then click Analyze to see how much space deleting these files would save. If you’re happy with that, click Run Cleaner and let the app do it’s thing.
Use Monolingual to Delete Unused Language Files
How many languages do you speak? If you’re like most users, you probably only speak one language, maybe two if you’re good. However, your Mac has language files for numerous languages that you’ll never use, and these files take up extra space.
CCleaner can delete unused language files, but we actually prefer an app called Monolingual to do a more thorough job. All you do is simply select the languages that you don’t use and the app will delete them off your Mac. Doing this alone freed up a whopping 2.2GB of storage space.