Tips for Freeing up Space on your Mac

If your Mac is running slow, and you want to clear some space and be able to accomplish anything more than a basic task, there are plenty of solutions. This will be particularly important if you have a newer model; recent MacBook Pros use solid state drives (SSDs) rather than hard disk drives (HDDs), which at the moment, are much more expensive and the storage is typically a lot lower. They are, however, more durable, so there’s less chance of losing your data and needing to consult a professional data recovery specialist to recover it. If you have a Mac with a 128GB SSD, the chances are, you’re going to fill it fast. So what can you do to save space and speed up your Mac?

A good place to start is by deleting and uninstalling unused apps. Everyone has applications that are downloaded for a specific purpose and then never used again, and just sitting on the drive. You should really try and delete all apps that you haven’t used in the last six months, or even three months. You’ll probably find that you don’t use more than half of the apps in the Applications folder as much as you think you do, and clearing unused apps will free up vital space. Apps purchased from the Mac App Store can be redownloaded at any time, so you don’t need to worry about losing access to them in the future.

Related to the above point is the issue of app data – files that many apps store that can take up a huge amount of space. A quality piece of free software for Macs that can identify and remove app data is AppCleaner. This lets you pick and choose which files within an app to delete. As a general rule of thumb, only delete things you’re certain won’t cause long term damage to the running of the app in question. It goes without saying that you should routinely empty your Trash Can, too.

Another unlikely culprit is duplicated files, which can eat up vast swathes of your Mac’s storage. Many people have duplicate files clogging up their Mac’s drive, often unknowingly. These files are often large, like multimedia files – pictures, music and videos, for example. Gemeni is a good piece of software that comes as a free and paid version. The free version will allow you to get an idea of how big a problem this is for your Mac by identifying all duplicate files on the drive. You then have the option of locating them and deleting them manually, or upgrading to the paid version for $10, which deletes all duplicated files automatically.

With the use of solid state drives becoming more and more widespread, replacing more traditional mechanical hard disk drives, Apple expects users to only store the most important files on the internal storage. Other files can be stored either on an external hard disk drive, which are incredibly cheap, or in the cloud.

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