The Best Tips to Free Up Space on your Mac

By Dave Johnson - Senior Staff Writer
3 Min Read

Is your Mac running low in space? If so, here are 5 practical ways to quickly free up space on macOS.

Whether your Mac comes with 128 GB or 1 TB of space, chances are you will inevitably see the notorious "Your disk is almost full" message somewhere down the road, prompting you to revert to the healthy 20% of open disk space.

The first thing that comes to mind is to purge your unused apps and files you forgot you had. But that may not be enough. Your Mac stores a lot of other data as well, such as email attachments, language files, cached files, and so on. In this post, , we’ll walk you through the best tips to free up storage space on your Mac to make room to store more files and install feature updates without issues.

1. Clear all bins

We typically delete files in the same way, which is moving them to the Bin. While it’s an excellent way to store files you may (or may not) need later, your once deleted files may be significant space invaders. An obvious recipe here is to clear the Bin by accessing it from the Dock.

Apart from the main Bin located on your Dock, your system may have other bins as well, for example, the Photo app’s trash bin. As such, make sure you dive into your apps and clear the files inside the apps that have their internal bins.

2. Uninstall applications

Just because you’re not actively using an outdated app doesn’t mean it’s still not hanging around. Get control of your storage space by deleting unused applications that take up space.

The more apps you have on your Mac, the less space is free on your disk. You can review how much space each app costs you by going to Finder – Applications. Then, you should click the gear icon and find the Sort By option. Choose "size" and review your apps in order from the most to the least sizable. To get more free space, you need to purge apps you don’t care about by going to Finder on your Dock – Applications. To remove an app, simply drag its icon to the Bin.

3. Clear Mail attachments

Attachments tend to pile up on your hard drive, especially if you’ve used Mail for years without taking the plunge and deleting them. To prevent the files from winding up on your disk in the future, dive deeper into the settings of your email services by going Account – Download Attachments – None.

To do away with your old attachments, you should open Finder and enter "mail downloads" in the search field. It will bring up the Mail Downloads folder so you can delete its contents.

4. Dial down on language files

Your Mac is multilingual. On top of the language(s) you chose during the set up, it supports other languages and stores files for all of them. It can cost you a lot of space, so it makes sense to delete the files pertaining to the languages you never use, especially if your Mac comes with limited space capacity. Here’s how you can remove language files:

  • Go to the Applications folder via Finder;
  • Choose an app and right-click on it;
  • Select Show Package Contents from the drop-down menu;
  • Open the Contents folder and find the Resources folder;
  • Locate folders with the .lproj extension.

The name of the folder indicates the language, for example, fr.lproj for French. If you only want to stick to English, you should manually delete all other language files. Repeat the process for all of your apps. After that, clear the Bin.

5. Finally, Clear temporary files

Your browser may be teeming with temporary files, deleting which will help you regain a chunk of free space and even boost up your Mac’s speed. Files like this help your browser load information faster as they pull up data from websites you’ve visited. Over time, the cache may get overboard, which causes slowness and poor performance. Thus, it’s a good idea to clear your browser cache from time to time. Apart from the browser cache, your Mac can also contain a wealth of temporary system files. You can access them via Finder – Go (in the menu bar) – Go to Folder. After you open the search field, enter ~/Library/Caches, which will take you to the folder with temporary files. Here you can delete files and folders manually.

In the end, note that your Mac has amazing storage management tools designed to help you get more space on your Mac without sacrificing your valuable files.


These are the most effective steps to make the most of the available space on your Mac in our experience.
There’s a lot of information above, but this is not an exhaustive list of everything you can do to clear space on your Mac. We hope that you now have the tools that you need to breathe new life into your Mac or MacBook.
Happy spring cleaning!

By Dave Johnson Senior Staff Writer
Dave Johnson is a staff writer for GeeksChalk based in New Jersey. He covers news, how-tos, and user guides for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.
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