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How to Deal with the Disk Full Error Mac Message

Erik Blandford,

Every day we go about our daily lives enjoying all the fun that our Mac provides. However, we are unaware of the looming threat that is around the corner. That threat happens to be the message “Your startup disk is almost full”. This is a message any Mac user don’t want to receive because it simply means trouble.

We should be worried about two specific reasons when we get the Mac disk full error message

  • Low space
  • Slow performance

The startup disk full error Mac message means you are about running out of space. For effective day-to-day running, your Mac usually needs about 10% of free space available at all times to ensure the good and smooth working of your device. The second reason why you need to be concerned is that your device will certainly start to function at a very slow pace and this can be very frustrating. To check disk space:

  • Click on the Apple Icon
  • Select “About This Mac”
  • Click Storage (or More Info > Storage on older Macs)

Now, the entire information about apps and files and space occupied are right in front of you. Time to delete files or move them to an external storage. Music, pictures, and videos can easily be deleted or transferred to another storage source.  However, there are some system files that require being left alone because tampering with them can affect the way your Mac works. So, if you do not want to run into any kind of trouble there is the MacFly Pro which is a cleaning app that you can download. This app will help you run the diagnostics and clean your device, thereby, freeing up some space.

Simple ways to free up space on the startup disk

One very important thing to know is that when Mac works it creates junks along the way. Not to worry this is part of its job. How so you may ask. Well, it creates caches, which serve as ways to speed up Mac and backups to work correctly. Over time, these build up and occupy a considerable amount of space.

Get rid of iTunes Backups

A lot of people are fans of iTunes but they fail to note that it is also a trailer of backup junk. Each time you update iTunes, it comes with a backup and just imagine the backing up of your entire library. Do you really need this? No, you don’t. So start by deleting all these unnecessary backups as they really serve you no purpose. It’s quite a simple process to quickly delete backups.

  • Navigate to Finder > Go > Go to Folder
  • Type in ~/Music/iTunes/Previous iTunes Libraries
  • Sort the files by date and delete all but one or two of the most recent backups

Take out the Trash

The solution to freeing your startup disk can be staring right at you in the face without you even knowing it. The trash happens to dumpsite of unwanted apps and useless files. If you check the amount of space occupied by the trash it will blow your mind. Basically, go to your trash and press “Empty” to totally delete them. Another secret you need to know that every single app comes with its own trash folder, so find and delete them and get enough space. Mac’s data will still remain intact.

Delete App Cache

The cache files happen to serve a good purpose initially created to speed up processes and after their job is done they tend to be left behind as temporary files. Over time, they pile up and occupy large spaces. It’s very important to delete them to make some available space. Doing this is easy, just follow the steps below:

  • Navigate to Finder > Go > Go to Folder
  • Type in ~/Library/Caches
  • Go into each folder (or just the ones taking up the most space) and delete the files inside
  • Now do the same for /Library/Caches (without the ~)
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As mentioned previously, there can be some risk associated with manually deleting files as you can end up deleting the wrong file. To be on the safer side and to clean in less time just get the MacFly Pro.

Delete Browser Cache

When you visit any page on the browser it creates a cache. Ordinarily, with time this folder gets loaded and occupies a large volume of space. Deleting this folder can go a long way to reduce the problems for your Mac. Though different browsers have their own way of deleting their cache, follow these steps.

  1. Open your browser
  2. Open the history tab and tap Clear browsing data
  3. Select the files you want to remove: Cookies, site data, Cached images and files
  4. Choose from the top menu how far back you want to delete
  5. Hit the clear browsing data button

Remove Language Packs

Sometimes I wonder what the language pack is really for as most users just need one and at most two. It comes as a good option when needed but best you do away with what you do not need to free up some space for more important files. Manually you can delete the language pack by:

  • Navigate to Applications
  • Right-click on an app and select Show Package Contents
  • Click on Contents
  • Click on Resources
  • Delete whatever languages (ending in .Iproj) you don’t need
  • Repeat process for other apps

Remove iOS Backups and updates

Each time you update the iPhone or iPad using the iTunes on your Mac you are also creating huge loads of backups occupying valuable space on your startup disk. Quickly free up some space by doing away with the iOS backups.

  • Navigate to Finder > Go> Go to Folder
  • Type in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
  • Delete all but the most recent backup

Also, as backups are created so are updates and most of the time after an update is done there is no need for the file any longer just sitting and occupying space.

  • Navigate to Finder > Go > Go to Folder
  • For iPad type in ~/Library/iTunes/iPad Software Updates
  • Delete any updates, which are completed
  • Now do the same for iPhone at ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates

Uninstall Apps

There are many users with old school usability mindset who just keep piling up apps which they really never launch or make use of. These apps take up valuable space and even affect the RAM space if they run in the background. Find these apps you don’t use and delete them. If you drag them to the trash they will be uninstalled but residues of flies will be left behind hidden. So, clean them out totally and easily by employing the help of MacFly Pro.

Delete Duplicate Libraries from the Photos app

There are times you make a switch from the old photo app to the new one on your Mac. Apple, for some reason, still allows the old library stick around. So, you end up with duplicates. Get rid of them by:

  • Opening Finder and clicking on Pictures in the left menu
  • If you see two Photos Libraries, simply move the duplicated one to the Trash
  • Note, you may want to backup the folder first, just in case

Limit Dropbox Sync

Dropbox default settings allow it synchronize everything onto your Mac. So best you go to your Dropbox folder and delete files and folders you don’t need.

  • Open the Dropbox app
  • Click the gear icon and go to Preferences
  • Select the Account tab
  • Click Change Settings
  • Uncheck files and folders you don’t want to be synced to your Mac

The Disk full error on Mac shouldn’t scare you, rather starts the habit of weekly cleaning up your device using MacFly Pro.