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What to Do If Your Macbook’s Drive Lacks Free Space

Have you noticed how there is less storage on your Macbook’s drive each time you look at it? If that is the case, it may not be too long before only a few gigabytes of free space are left. When that happens, you will encounter computer performance problems.

In fact, your Mac may be running slower than it should because there is not enough free storage on the hard drive.

As a rule of thumb, there should be about 10 to 15 percent of free storage. Less than that will spell trouble.

Thankfully, there are multiple methods to free up Macbook’s drive space. Take the steps mentioned below, and you should manage the problem. Also, keep in mind that the information in this article should turn into a regular maintenance routine. 

Cleaning the Macbook’s drive once is not enough. If you neglect the issue again, it will not take too long before you are back to square one.

Step #1 – Find Unnecessary Applications

You should remove mac apps you no longer use. Look at the list of Macbook applications and think which of the applications you have not used for a while and whether you are planning to use them again.

Since the goal is to free up drive space, do not overthink and delete apps you consider useless. In case you need to use them in the future, there is an option to download and reinstall them later. 

Step #2 – Take Care of Temporary System Junk

Temporary system data is another part of the equation. You should get in the habit of removing app caches, extensions, plugins, and old backups regularly. 

In addition to freeing up drive space, getting rid of temporary junk will also speed up the computer since the OS will have fewer files to process.

Deleting temporary data manually takes a long time, and the work is monotonous. If you wish to avoid that and save yourself some time, consider getting a cleanup utility tool that automatically removes unwanted junk. 

Step #3 – Check for Language Support Files

Some apps come with support for foreign languages. For the most part, you should be fine with just the English version, meaning that there is no real need to keep around files for 50 or so languages.

Check each app manually to confirm that there are no redundant language pack files. If you find any, remove them from the computer. Also, pay attention the next time you install an app because there should be an option to accept or decline to install a foreign language support pack.

Step #4 – Keep Tabs on Downloads and Email Attachments

Pay attention to downloads and email attachments. These folders can accumulate files faster than you expect, and it is easy to forget about them. The system saves each email attachment you double-click on, and downloads are just that – files you use once and forget about.

Changing the default location for both downloads and email attachments is one way to solve the problem. For example, if you save these files on the desktop, you will notice them right away and can delete them after they have served their purpose.

Step #5 – Remember to Delete Files Permanently

Speaking of file deletion, keep in mind that it is not enough to drag files to the Trash Bin to remove them from the computer permanently.

For that, you will need to empty the Trash Bin each time. Or, if you do not want to bother with the Trash Bin, use Option + Command + Delete. Select the file you want to delete and hit the keyboard shortcut. There will be a pop-up that you need to confirm. Doing so will remove the file from the Macbook permanently.

Step #6 – Use External Hard Drives

A computer data management strategy can revolve around more than just deleting files. You can also take advantage of external storage devices. Hard drives and memory sticks are quite inexpensive, and you can get them for an even lower price during sales.

Step #7 – Transfer Files to Clouds

Besides external storage devices, cloud storage could also be an excellent way to store your files in a location other than your Macbook’s hard drive. 

Services like Dropbox and iCloud come with a few gigabytes of free storage with an option to extend by paying a monthly fee. You can also access files in the clouds from devices other than your Macbook so long as your account is synced with the said devices.

Step #8 – Consume Media on Streaming Platforms

Large media files can be problematic, particularly if you like to procrastinate and build a long backlog. Instead of keeping movies, TV shows, and evetn music tracks on the Macbook, why not consume media on streaming platforms?

The method is more convenient, and it should free up more than enough space on the Macbook’s hard drive.