How to free up local disc space on mac

10 Ways To Free Up Disk Space on Your Mac Hard Drive

Is your Mac out of storage space, or getting dangerously close? If so, there are lots of things you can do to free up some much-need disk space. Rid your Mac of all those unnecessary files in one fell swoop with CleanMyMac. Clear out your Downloads folder The Downloads folder on your Mac is one of the biggest culprits of wasted storage space. Then when I was done with them, they end up staying there for months on end.

Remember, almost everything you download from any web browser gets dumped into the general Downloads folder.

In many cases this also includes files sent to you through other apps as well. I actually had two additional libraries on my iMac, and I have no idea why. This can be caused by apps that were deleted long ago, or even duplicates. It had come over from several backups and they were already backed up to an external, leaving no need them to take up space. You can think of DaisyDisk as a pack of hounds with one job — sniffing out large files on your hard drive and drawing your attention to them. And of course it can help you clean them up as well. Service files and app remnants can eat up terrible amounts of disk space.

Sometimes I download apps with every intention of using them, and then I never do. This is where I end up deleting them. If I ever need them again, I can just re-install. AppCleaner also lets you pick and choose what files you delete inside an app.

5 Top Tips: How to Clear Disk Space on Mac

That being said, AppCleaner does an excellent job of helping you clean up unused apps that are hogging unnecessary storage. And whenever you add another piece to your workflow, it seems the duplicates always love to come back in droves. If you suspect you have duplicate photos floating around in your library, there are tons of apps available to help you clean them up.

One of my favorites is PhotoSweeper. Not only can it scan your library for exact matches, you have tons of options for customizing your photo triaging. For example, I can search for only photos of the exact same file type great for photographers who only want to search for RAW files , or only files of the exact same size. Instead, you can stream them using iTunes in the Cloud.


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As you can see in the screenshot above, I have a cloud icon next to all of my movies. To delete movies off your actual Mac hard drive, just right click the movie and remove it.

How do I sync online-only content to my computer?

You may experience errors or files may appear to be empty when trying to open a file that is Online-only. Usually, setting files to be online only will free up space on your hard drive within minutes as long as your computer is online and able to sync to Dropbox.

How to Clean Up Your Mac the Easy Way

However, there is a known limitation with macOS Apple's operating system macOS With APFS, the operating system takes snapshots of the file system and available hard drive space. These snapshots may not update after you've used Smart Sync to set Dropbox files as online only. This means that hard drive space you freed up with Smart Sync may not be immediately reflected or available if this snapshot hasn't updated.

This hard drive space should eventually be freed up by the OS, but the amount of time this will take can vary. This isn't a behavior specific to Dropbox, but instead the designed behavior of macOS. Follow the steps to change the selective sync settings for your folders.

Startup Disk Full on Mac? How to Fix (Delete "Other" space)

Once your folders are no longer selectively synced, they automatically become online-only folders. No, making a file online-only doesn't delete it from your Dropbox. When you make a file online-only, the file content will be deleted from your computer, but the full file will still be available in your account online and on your other devices.

Online-only files use a small amount of space on your hard drive to store information about the file, such as its name and size. This uses less space than the full file. Some applications you're using may need to re-sync files to your computer's hard drive to function properly like applications with a "recently viewed" menu.