You know the feeling: you go to save your new project and there isn’t enough space. As awesome as Macs are, a lot of them don’t come with a huge amount of storage. Knowing how to free up space on Mac is one of the most important pieces of knowledge that you can have if you’re one of the nearly 100 million Mac users.

How do you hunt down and remove duplicate files? Which programs should you remove without a second thought? How do you clear storage on a Mac?

We know that there are a lot of options available to you for making space. It can all seem a little overwhelming at times, but we’re gonna show you how to free up space on Mac in minutes, giving you more room for designing!

Ready to have space to spare? Keep reading!

1. Find Duplicate Files and Remove Them

Some of the worst things for storage on a Mac are duplicate files. While having a backup is great, it shouldn’t be on your hard drive. If the hard drive fails, you’ll lose the duplicate too!

Even if you don’t make duplicates deliberately, they can sometimes be made without your knowledge. If you didn’t make them, how are you supposed to find them? You need to employ a specialized program.

There are multiple cleanup programs available that search your hard drive for files you don’t need and give you the option to remove them. This should be your first port of call: the amount of space you can save is sometimes surprising.

2. Take Out the Trash

Something that surprises a lot of Mac users who are learning how to clear storage on Mac is that your trash can take up a lot of space. Like the Recycle Bin on Windows, Trash is where Mac keeps files that have been deleted.

“Mac keeps my files that have been deleted? How does that work, devastatingly-handsome writer of this article?,” I hear you cry.

Well, the thing is that deleting files doesn’t remove them from your computer instantly. Your computer knows that accidents happen, so it keeps them around for a while.

Emptying your trash is easy. All you need to do is right-click on the trash can icon on your dock, and click on “empty trash.” If you’ve recently deleted files and wondered why you’ve not got any more space back, this is why!

3. Move Files to iCloud

Why keep all of your files on your computer? When you get a Mac or other Apple device, you get 5GB of storage for free. Storing in iCloud couldn’t be easier.

Set up iCloud from your AppleID in System Preferences. After this, you can then set your Mac to upload files to the iCloud automatically. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Open AppleID
  2. Select iCloud in the sidebar
  3. Click Options
  4. Select Desktop and Documents Folders

When this is done, anything saved in these two locations will be uploaded automatically. Knowing how to do this can save a whole lot of space.

4. Get an External Hard Drive

If you don’t trust the cloud for security reasons, we’d recommend buying an external hard drive. You can use these to store a whole lot of bulky files, such as games, movies, and pictures.

External hard drives are cheap and can be much bigger than the SSD or HDD on your Mac. Grab a 2TB hard drive for instance, and you’ll never need space on your Mac ever again. If you want to know how to free up space on Mac in the cheapest possible way, this is probably the answer.

When shopping for a hard drive, look for the best external hard drive for Mac that you can find! Look for high write speed and a lot of storage, if you want the best experience.

5. How to Free Up Space on Mac Quickly: Uninstall Applications

We’re willing to bet that your Mac is full of apps that you don’t use that often. Some of these applications can take up a whole lot of space on your hard drive.

Load up Finder and then hit Applications in the sidebar on the left-hand side. Click on the “size” tab and it will list your apps by their size. If there’s a large file that you don’t use, uninstall it!

To do this, click on the name of the application then drag it down to the trash icon that we mentioned earlier. That’s all there is to it! Review your applications regularly if you need to free up space.

6. Remove Temporary Files

If you’ve been using computers and web browsers for more than five minutes, we’re sure that you know how to remove the cache from Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Yet these aren’t the only temporary files that are taking up space on your system.

Open up a file explorer and go to ~/Library/Caches. Here, you’ll find a selection of caches for any number of programs. You can delete any of these, but you should Google the name of each cache beforehand to make sure that it won’t impact performance.

As a rule of thumb, if you don’t use the program often, you can delete the cache.

7. Remove Other Language Packs

If you only use one language on your Mac, you don’t need to keep all of the other language packs installed. By default, your Mac will have every language pack available downloaded.

To remove these, use Monolingual. This tool lets you remove as many other language packs as you like. Unless you use another language pack, there’s no need to keep it on your system.

Making Your Mac Better

We’ve shown you how to free up space on Mac. Follow these tips and you’ll find that your Mac runs more smoothly and you’ll never run out of space for your designs!

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