Will Sierra speed up my Mac?
The new macOS enhances convenience and helps keep things running well
MacOS Sierra includes an exciting new feature called Optimized Storage that can help you to pinpoint what’s unnecessarily using space
and deal with it. It’s not going to grab headlines the same way Siri’s debut on the Mac will, but it could well save you time – and money too, as you may not need an space-saving app like DaisyDisk.
Optimized Storage inspects several relevant preferences around your Mac and offers suggestions on how you can save space. One of the most impactful options moves your Documents and Desktop folders to iCloud Drive, giving you access to things you casually save there on your iOS devices as well as other Macs. Bear in mind, though, that if you store a lot of files in those places, especially large ones, you may need to spend more each month on a larger iCloud storage tier to hold everything. As this issue went to press, Apple introduced a new tier for iCloud storage that looks intended to cater to this capability for heavy users: £13.99 per month gives you 2TB of storage, though remember that’s shared with other iCloud services, including email.
Many of Optimized Storage’s suggestions are really just shortcuts to individual apps’ preferences. One of them simply switches on Photos’ option to store full-quality originals in iCloud but keep only copies optimised for your Mac’s display locally, at least until you edit one of those pictures.
Another suggestion turns on a new item in iTunes that tells the app to remove movies and TV show episodes after you’ve watched them. After all, you can redownload them if you ever want to see them again. There’s also a shortcut to a new Finder preference that automates the clearing out of old items from the Trash, so anything left there for 30 days will be removed. This isn’t on by default, so you won’t lose anything unexpectedly.
There’s also an option that tells Mail to download only recent attachments, or not to automatically download any at all, so that your drive doesn’t become overburdened by old items you may never refer back to.