Free up space on your Mac

Mac Format - - APPLE SKILLS -

1 Find the fea­ture

Choose > About This Mac and then click the new win­dow’s Stor­age tab. This shows cat­e­gorised break­downs of used space on your Mac’s di­rectly at­tached stor­age. There’s a Man­age but­ton next to only the cur­rent startup disk. Click it.

2 Re­view its sug­ges­tions

The Stor­age Man­age­ment win­dow opens, with Rec­om­men­da­tions se­lected in its left pane. On the right, ideas of how you can save space are de­scribed, with a but­ton next to each item. Click one for more info, then ac­cept or ig­nore it.

3 Store in the cloud

The first item’s word­ing will sug­gest stor­ing files and full-qual­ity pho­tos in iCloud, de­pend­ing on whether you’ve al­ready set iCloud Photo Li­brary to keep op­ti­mised ver­sions on your Mac if space is low (this was pos­si­ble be­fore Sierra).

4 Files in iCloud Drive

Pho­tos ob­tains a full-qual­ity copy from iCloud when you edit a pic­ture. As for files in Drive, ac­cept­ing that idea turns on a new item in iCloud Drive’s pref­er­ences that keeps only re­cently used files on your Mac if space gets low.

5 Movies and TV shows

The next sug­ges­tion is equiv­a­lent to turn­ing on an item in iTunes’ Ad­vanced pref­er­ences. It in­structs iTunes to re­move movies and TV episodes from your Mac af­ter you’ve watched them, po­ten­tially sav­ing you lots of space due to their size.

6 Auto- empty the Trash

Sierra can be set to au­to­mat­i­cally re­move items that have been in the Trash for longer than 30 days. This is the same as en­abling an item in Finder’s Ad­vanced pref­er­ences. Past the grace pe­riod, items can still be re­cov­ered from Time Ma­chine.

7 Re­cover lost files

As long as you haven’t ex­cluded the Trash from Time Ma­chine back­ups, open a win­dow on the Trash in Finder and then choose En­ter Time Ma­chine from the ser­vice’s menu bar icon. Browse back in time and re­store the file, like any other.

8 Re­duce clut­ter

The fourth rec­om­men­da­tion is the same as click­ing Doc­u­ments in the left pane. It can take a while for your drive’s con­tents to be an­a­lysed be­fore big items ap­pear un­der Large Files, where they’re listed with when they were last ac­cessed.

9 Trash un­wanted files

Se­lect an item un­der Large Files, Down­loads or File Browser and press the Space­bar to pre­view it, or ç+∫ to trash it. Be care­ful as File Browser is less safe than you might think; you can trash the folder that holds your iTunes li­brary, say.

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