Clearing Out Clutter: Steps To Create Space On Your Mac

Ophelia Kyte

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If there’s one thing that Mac users are constantly worried about, it is running out of storage space. Although Apple has doubled and quadrupled the storage on its newest Mac models, one can never have free storage space. If you use your Mac for personal and work purposes, it is easy to see why the hard drive fills quickly. You may have a mountain of confidential work data and email attachments stored, along with movies, music files, videos, pictures, and more.

At a time when macOS Sonoma is about to make its official public introduction later this fall, you may want to prepare your computer for the upgrade. And the best way to have your Mac ready for macOS 14 is to clear storage space. Or you may need to declutter for some other reason.

Whatever your reasons, here are the best ways to clear out clutter and create space on your Mac.

  • Delete apps 

Suppose you have 20+ apps installed on your Mac. Do you use them all? Are they useful to you? If you answer negatively, there’s something you can do about this.

There’s no need to have unnecessary apps taking up space on your Mac. Delete Apple apps in the following methods:

  • Use Launchpad to delete apps. Press and hold the app’s icons, and when they start shaking, you will see the X icon. Select the icon to delete.
  • Remove apps with the Finder. Open Finder > choose Go from the menu > hold the Option key on the keyboard > select Library. Then, choose the app you want to delete and remove it.
  • Uninstall apps from the Mac App Store.

Of course, there’s no need to worry because you can reinstall the apps if you need them.

  • Send files to the cloud 

Sending and storing files to the cloud is a helpful way to save space on your Mac. Apple’s iCloud is a good option, and it is integrated with macOS. Initially, you’ll get 5GB of free storage space. If you need more, you can pay and upgrade storage.

You can use iCloud to save space on your computer’s hard drive by clicking the Apple icon > selecting System Settings > General > Storage > clicking Store in iCloud. Ensure both Photos and Desktop and Documents are selected, and then click Store in iCloud. Now, your computer will automatically upload files to the cloud and save space.

  • Remove duplicate files 

If your Mac’s hard disk has reached its limit, search for duplicate files and delete them. The reason why your drive is filled with duplicates is because you may accidentally download the same files multiple times. You might download the same email attachments or have multiple copies of edited photos and other documents. Hence, duplicates are inevitable to happen. They might occupy up to thirty percent of the storage space.

Having duplicate files on your Mac is a significant waste of storage space. You can manually remove them. But this can be a huge waste of time. You can install a Mac cleaner app to have duplicate files cleared automatically.

  • Clear browser cookies and cache 

Are you a heavy Internet user? Yes? Chances are that your computer’s drive is full of temporary files called browser cache and cookies. Cache and cookies help load the websites you have visited before faster. Although this is helpful, excessive cache files take up a lot of space on your Mac and slow it down.

Clearing browser cache can free up a lot of space on your Mac.

With most web browsers, when you clear the cache, you also delete cookies. Cookies are small text files that store information about sign-in details and website preferences. Removing them is a way of clearing space on Mac’s hard drive.

Assuming you use Safari, you can clear cookies and cache by going to Safari > Preferences > Advanced > marking the checkbox next to Show Developer > clicking Develop in the top menu > selecting Empty Caches > selecting History from the menu bar > Clear History > choosing Clear All History > clicking Clear History.

The steps for clearing cache and cookies in Google Chrome and Firefox are similar.

  • Empty the Trash 

Whenever you delete something on the Mac, they go to the Trash. They remain there until you permanently delete them. You can empty the Trash manually, or you can automate the process.

If you automate the process, the files in the Trash will be permanently deleted within thirty days. Enabling this option will help save 30% of your hard drive space on your Mac.

To do this, head to Find > Settings > select the box next to Remove items from the Trash after 30 days.

The Bottom Line

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Clearing out clutter on your Mac isn’t as difficult as you think. Simply follow the methods and tricks mentioned above, and you’ll have enough space for your files and documents.