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How to Clean Hard Drive Mac

Robby Fester,

Every Mac user has seen this horrible message “your startup disk is almost full” and therefore faced this exact problem with a small amount of free space. Most of us were forced to delete some files, which may come in handy later just in order to free space for another important thing.

The truth is, we should never overload the hard drive and leave it 85% full to avoid slowness and different errors. Though, the majority of people don’t care about this restriction. If you are one of them and already tired of choosing what you need to delete every time you see this error message, read this article and find out alternative ways of cleaning.

What are the ways to clean the hard drive on your Mac?

Basically, there are two ways you can easily clean your Mac: using a special app, which does all the work or cleaning by itself in a selective way. Both of these methods have pros and cons, but let’s look through them more carefully.

How to clean hard drive mac through the app

There are hundreds of apps that can help you clean space, however, these days most of the people choose MacFly Pro to deal with free space problems. The biggest advantage of this app is that it really works and does all the work itself, so you don’t need to waste your time and it is not extremely expensive. Although, if you want to know what files take the biggest percentage of your space, you’d better do the cleaning procedure on your own.

How to clean hard drive mac manually

Step 1. Find out what takes up space on the hard drive

Before you start cleaning, you have to know what kind of files fill all the space, so go to Apple menu – About this Mac – Storage. There you will see the picture which shows the percentage of files that “eat” your space.

Step 2. Delete files you don’t need

In some cases, the biggest amount of place takes the data that you don’t use anymore or even have never used. Here are some examples of that:

  • Trash can data. Obviously, you don’t need any info from your bin, if you already deleted it. So, in order to empty the can do the following: Ctrl+click or right-click and click on Empty Trash.

Note, that Mac can have multiple trash cans, so be ready to clean them all.

  • iTunes backups
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Sometimes, you back up the data, then forget about it and never use it again. Not to waste space for such things, go to Tunes > Preferences > Click Devices > Select the backup you want to remove > Click Delete Backup and enjoy more free gigabytes.

  • Old apps and app caches

Since iOS provides clients with a lot of new apps each year, you’d better check whether you have some applications you don’t use anymore. If you find things like that, simply delete them, but then don’t forget to clean the bin!

  • Big and unused files

If you can’t figure out what takes so much space even after you’ve cleared everything, try this: File > Find (or hit Command-F) -Kind pull-down menu – Other. When the Select a search attribute window opens, check the box for File Size. Then choose the volume of a file you are interested in (for instance, 1 Gb) and check if you still need all of the shown variants. If no, you know what to do (simply delete it).

  • Temporary files

Browser caches, Internet history cookies, download history and something we never need but for some reasons have to keep on our hard drive. If you want to get rid of that, choose the browser from which you can delete it and through its Settings figure out how to wipe unused cache info away.

Step 3. Move your files to the other hard drive or use cloud storage

If you don’t feel like deleting more info than you’ve already had but still need more space, you can easily upload your data to your favorite cloud storage or transfer it to the additional hard drive. If you’ve chosen the last option, here is how you do it:

  1. Connect additional hard drive via USB cable
  2. Choose the files you want to transfer to the hard drive. Hold down the “Command” button to select multiple items simultaneously.
    3. Press “Command-N” to open a second Finder window and then select your external hard drive on the list of devices displayed under the Devices heading on the left side of this new window.
    4. Drag and drop folders and files from your Mac’s Finder window into the external hard drive’s window. A status bar appears on your screen indicating progress. Wait until the full transfer completes.
    5. Click the “Eject” button to safely remove the hard drive when you’re finished.