How to Clear Disk Space on Mac: 8 Effective Techniques

The best way to deal with any issue is to work smart, not hard. For instance, Apple developers focus on effectively tackling the problem of occupied space on their products instead of simply creating bigger hard drives. You should think the same way when you face the shortage of the free space and start asking yourself "How do I reclaim the needed space?" And the first thing you should do is pay attention to a slice of the Storage bar titled “Purgeable.” This concept characterizes the outdated, useless files that clutter the system and occupy valuable hard drive space. It, in turn, may cause overall Mac's slowdowns.

The tern 'purgeable' can be applied to the user- and system-generated files that meet two criteria:

They are old & cold; the user has not launched them for a long period of time;

The files are synced with iCloud. Thus, their source can be deleted from the Apple computer.

The type of such files does not matter. Your hard drive’s space may be fed up with iTunes music tracks, movies or large photos taken by the camera. In fact, even language files inside various apps may be attributed as junk that you don't really need. So, why in the world that garbage should reside in your system spoiling your user experience?

Clear Disk Space

8 Competent Ways to Optimize Mac Startup Disk

Before we get to the matter of our article – how to optimize startup disk storage in Mac OS X – let's see how you can discover how much space is available on your startup disk.

Choose Finder

Pick startup disk’s icon (Mac HD).

Use the Command-I keyboard combination

See the Get Info window appearing

In the General pane, move on to detect the Capacity, Available, and space Used on the startup disk

Fortunately, Apple developers did an excellent job by adding the special feature called “Optimize Disk Storage.” Even though some users do not find the way Apple implemented this idea perfectly, it is still useful. Check whether the option is enabled in System Preferences under iCloud/iCloud Drive settings. You will notice a couple of various values of how much storage is available. The first one is “real,” meaning the accurate estimation of the free disk space. The second one is a so-called Purgeable share, which contains applications that can be uninstalled.

To delete the Purgeable part, it might be insufficient to use the standard manual techniques alone. In general, here are the proven methods to free up startup disk space on Mac:

Empty the Trash (including separate iPhoto/Photo and Mail Trash bins)

Archive Files

Clear system logs and temporary files

Get rid of the localization files

Uninstall software

Remove outdated iTunes Library file backups

Move some amount of files to iCloud

Take advantage of special cleaning software

As you can see, to use these 8 simple techniques one doesn't have to be a programming guru. Just remember that many applications come with a whole bunch of files you cannot see with the naked eye. And usually, they stay in the system even after you delete the main folder of the app you are uninstalling. To take care of the issue, you can take advantage of the specially developed Mac cleaning software and use it to thoroughly delete all items associated with the certain app.

Free up 'Other' Space on Mac and Delete Files on Mac with the Help of Special Cleaner Apps

There are many independent Mac OS developers out there who innovate useful apps aimed to improve your general impression from Mac. How to choose the good and safe one? First, google the developer's name and make sure it is a trustworthy vendor. Then, read user reviews to discover advantages and drawbacks real people found in the selected app during day-to-day usage.

Generally, it should not be a problem to pick a good cleaning tool out of the pool of such apps. Most of the Mac maintenance applications designed during the last few years help to find and erase the useless files on Sierra and High Sierra, the latest macOS versions. Unlike the manual methods, cleaning applications make it possible to delete the junk very quickly. Besides the purgeable data on the startup disk, they also are quite effective dealing with many items that relate to the 'Other' type, which usually takes the biggest part of the Storage bar in About this Mac information window.

Almost every application created to free up space on Mac requires three steps from the user:

Download the tool of your choice or purchase it (paid cleaning apps usually offer more functions than simply detecting and erasing files)

Activate the scanning procedure by following the developer’s instructions

Review the results and confirm the elimination of files you deem useless.

Doesn’t it sound simple enough to try? Do not worry – such apps do not delete all files without your final confirmation/permission. The user can always review the details after the scanning is over. Focus on removing huge, old files that you don’t need any longer along with the language files. Some tools also clear the browsing history, caches, temporary files, etc. It can be considered a special treat for your system’s hygiene.

Anyway, it is important to take at least half of the steps mentioned above to let your disk gain some free space when it is filled. Remember: your Mac won’t be fast enough without at least 10-15% of the free hard drive space.