Free additional storage space on the Mac you own

Nowadays, having enough free storage space is becoming more and more of an issue. Not only are all the applications, media files and games larger, but also most new Macs and MacBooks come with SSDs instead of regular hard-disks and a large SSD costs quite a lot, so not many people afford it. If you're looking for ways to deal with this problem without spending any additional money, here are several solutions for getting more free storage space on your Mac.

Let's begin with the simplest solution available as it requires very little effort from your part: the Optimized Storage feature introduced in MacOS Sierra. We've already talked a bit about this new capability in "The most interesting features of macOS Sierra" article, but now I'm going to give you more details about it. In order to access this option, you will need to click on the Apple logo from the upper-left corner of your screen, select the About this Mac, then go to Storage and press the Manage button. A new window will pop-up and you will see four main features on the right-side pane:

  • Store in iCloud - helps you automatically move your photos and videos to your iCloud account, but you will have to pay if you need to store more than 5 GB worth of data.
  • Optimize Storage - automatically deletes files that you no longer need such as TV shows that you've downloaded from iTunes and that you've already seen, opened email attachments, etc.
  • Empty Trash Automatically - everything that you delete will be permanently gone.
  • Reduce Clutter - searches through your files and offers to remove older documents and files that you haven't opened in a long while, then compiles a list of these entries and lets you select which ones you want to remove.

Depending on the usage of your Mac, the left-side pane of the Manage window will contain a series of tabs showing you how much space other things such as your Applications, Documents, Mail, etc. occupy. You can get more details about each category simply by clicking on it, then decide which files should be deleted.

In case you don't trust automatic systems to solve your storage problems you can manually comb through your files and delete the ones you don't need. However, in order to be effective, you should first see which of your files occupy the most space. I generally use a free tool called Grand Perspective, but you can also try OmniDiskSweeper (free) or configure the Finder to display all your files from largest to smallest. Any of these options will help you make an informed decision about the files that you want or you need to delete to free additional storage space on your Mac.

Now that you've seen how to free additional storage space on the Mac you own, you may also want to check out some of our other interesting articles such as: "10 +1 Useful Mac keyboard shortcuts that you should know", "Free Alternatives to Acrobat Reader for Mac" or "How to find your WiFi's blind spots on a Mac".