9 Ways To Free Up Space And Clean Macs

Here are some suggestions on how to clean Macs hard drive and get some more free space on your mac running OS X.

A full hard drive can be one of many reasons your mac is running slow. Knowing how to find files that take up unneeded space isn’t always easy but there are tools available to help out with this. Both free and paid ones.

However before we get to that lets do some easy and simple tasks first, shall we?

1. Empty the trashcan

When you delete a file on your Mac, it gets placed in the trashcan. This is a security feature if you accidentally delete a file. To really get the file deleted and reclaim the space it took, you need to empty the trashcan. Do so by right-clicking or holding cmd while clicking on the trash can icon. Select “empty trashcan” from the menu that pops up.

empty trash mac

2. Photos have a trashcan as well

If you delete images from Photos they will be placed in an internal trash can in Photos and deleted automatically after a month or so. To delete the files now you need to find “Recently Deleted” in Photos.

If you dont see “Recently Deleted”, you probably have the side-bar turned off. Turn it on by having the Photos application open and press the following keys at the same time: alt cmd S

Find “Recently Deleted” in the sidebar, and click the Delete All button at the top right corner in the Photos app. Easy! Oh, and if you accidentally deleted an image, here is where you can restore it. Consider it a bonus tips.

recently deleted

3. Check the Applications folder

Do you really use all applications? Take a look in your Applications folder and see if you have something that you dont use anymore. Installation image files like “Install OS X El Capitan” often take over 5GB of storage and can be safely removed. Or put the file on an external hard drive if you need it at a later date. They are only used to install your system and isn’t needed when your system is up and running.


Also, do not forget to empty the trashcan when you have deleted something. 😉

4. Check the Downloads folder

Everything you download with Safari will by default be stored in the Download folder. Make sure you clean it up once in a while and delete files you dont need anymore. For example installation files for Applications. Not needed after the Application is installed on your system and you can always download it again if you have to.

5. Free Cleaning Tools

Here are some free cleaning tools for your Mac you can try out. They all work pretty good and are able to remove a lot of un-needed files.

EtreCheck – Simple and respected diagnostic tool developed for Macs with adware detection and removal capabilities. Currently over 500,000 users and a worldwide following.

CCleaner – This can clean your Internet Cache from Safari, Firefox or Chrome (among other things). You can reclaim a few MB to a few GBs. I got 1,4 GB removed and most of that was Internet cache, not bad.

Onyx – Onyx have been around for a long time but always gets updated when new OS X releases ship. This is a good and safe tool to run. Dont be afraid of all the options, just use the default settings and run through them. It shouldn’t hurt your OS X installation.

Monolingual – Useful tool for removing unnecessary language resources from OS X. You can get a few hundred MB back if you use this.

6. Clean My Mac

This is a tool you have to pay for but it is very good. I consider myself an advanced user and are able to remove most files by myself, but this tool really gets deep in there and remove things even I didn’t think about. If you dont want to do all this yourself and just want an extremely easy and convenient way of getting more space this is the tool you should buy.

After running Onyx, CCleaner and doing the things mentioned above I did a run of Clean My Mac and this was the result:

clean my mac

Over 10GB more of data to remove. Interesting. So what does it remove? Here is a short breakdown of it.

System Junk

  • Outdated cache files
  • Old logs
  • Extra application binaries
  • Broken app data

Photo Junk

  • Photo cache files
  • Faces cache

Mail Attachments

  • Locally stored attachments
  • Recoverable mail downloads

(Any of the removed files can be restored by accessing Mail again.)

iTunes Junk

  • Old iOS device backups
  • Used iOS software update files
  • Copies of iOS apps stored on your Mac
  • Broken iTunes downloads

Trash Bins

  • Contents of your main trash bin
  • Mail and photo library trash

This amounted to 10+ GB for me and that is pretty significant.

Not only that, it can also uninstall applications for you and show you things you maybe forgot, like I did.

clean my mac

17GB of firmware files lying around from work. I dont need old firmware files.

Get Clean My Mac now, and by doing so you are directly supporting me and this website. The free version will scan your system just as the paid version and it will show you everything you can remove, but it has a 500MB limit.

7. Move Your Photos Library to External Hard Drive

If you have a lot of photos it can take up a significant chunk of your available storage. Depending on how many photos you have and what camera you use of course. To reduce this you have a few options. The most obvious one is to delete images you dont need or want and the most easy one. Just remember to delete the trash as well!

Buy an external hard drive and copy your Photos library over to that hard drive. When you have copied the file over to the new hard drive. Hold the alt key down while you click on the Photos icon. You should now be able to choose a new library. Navigate to the library on the external drive and bang, there you go. You should be able to delete the library on your main drive now. But be sure its really there! And backup everything before you make big changes.

change photo library

Having to use an external drive could be an hassle, especially if you use one of the laptops Apple makes. If you upgrade your iCloud storage plan you could have all your images stored there. Then go into the photos settings and turn on “Optimize Mac Storage”. It will store the full resolution images in iCloud and locally on your Mac if you have room for it. It is a pretty neat feature actually but it needs some time to adjust itself to your system. And you have to pay for iCloud storage. It does its magic work in the background though.

I have tried it, and it works. But I would like to adjust how much available space it should target for. We have no option for that yet, and I dont believe Apple will add it.

8. Move Your iTunes Library to External Hard Drive

You can move the iTunes library as well in the same manner as I mentioned above. Copy the entire iTunes folder to another place. Then hold the alt key down while clicking the iTunes icon and navigate to the new library. Easy.

9. Disable Time Machine local snapshots

If you use Time Machine as a backup solution thats good, but it also stores some of its backups to your startup drive called snapshots.

If you have your backup drive occasionally disconnected and move around a lot time machine snapshots may start to fill up your drive. With that said though, they will automatically be removed if your storage gets low so think of this as an last resort. Backup is important.

If you still want to disable this you have to start terminal from Applications/Utilities/Terminal

Type this is in the terminal: sudo tmutil disablelocal and hit enter. Then enter your password and your are done.


So there you have it. I hope some of these suggestions helps you reclaim some space on your Apple device. Its not always easy to know where to look. The last option is to wipe your hard drive and do a clean re-install of your system and selectively put the data back. A tedious and time consuming job but sometimes it just the best thing to do.

Do you have any suggestions on how to free up space that I didn’t think about? Please leave a comment below. Also if this helped you I appreciate some feedback as well.

CleanMyMac 2 Hard Drive Diet


Good to Know Before Buying a Mac

Some things you should know before you buy a Mac. Computers are changing, and how we did things 10 years ago is not necessarily how we do things today.

Is Mac Studio Good for Music Production?

The Mac Studio can absolutely be used for music production. So long as the software and plugins you use are updated to take advantage of the M-based CPUs. Ma...

Rumor: New M2-based Macs on its way

According to several articles and rumors Apple is in the process of updating their M1 chip. It will likely be called M2 although its not confirmed. And be us...

Back to Top ↑


Back to Top ↑


How to Fix Issues with macOS Big Sur

So you installed the macOS Big Sur update hoping to enjoy the new features…but now you’re frustrated because all you seem to have are issues and problems – t...

Look out for new Macs on November 10 Event

Apple announced a new event this month. November 10 we will be gettings news about new Apple products. The event will probably be like we have seen the last ...

Look What Happens with the iPhone 12 Pro

People are reporting several quality focused issues with the new iPhone 12 Pro. It looks like the quality of the materials isnt really up to the Apple standa...

No 14-Inch MacBook Pro Yet, This is Why

I just want to clarify that this information doesn’t come from me, and I do not take any credit from it. I found the information in this podcast with Jon Pro...

13-inch MacBook Pro Gets an Update Today

As rumored Apple released an update to the 13-Inch MacBook Pro. In November 2019 Apple released the 16 Inch MacBook Pro where they went back to the scissor k...

Test Front Page

## [14 Easy Ways To Speed Up a Painfully Slow Mac](https://all-about-apple.com/slow-mac-performance-this-article-solves-it/)

7 Ways to Fix MacBook Pro Overheating

MacBook overheating is often caused by software that stops responding. Its easy to check and fix by yourself. Also make sure to use the right Thunderbolt por...

Macs running Apple CPU in the future?

Update 29 Apr, 2020: So here we are again, I originally posted the article about Apple CPU in Macs on Oct 30, 2016. Sharing my thoughts on why Apple is going...

Spotlight for Windows? Try Wox

Apple doesn’t make spotlight for Windows, but the open source alternative Wox is a really good alternative.

16 Inch MacBook Pro Review: I Am Returning It

<span data-tt=”{“paragraphStyle”:{“alignment”:4,”writingDirection”:1},”font”:{“name”:””,”pointSize”:13}}”>This will probably be the last article I make...

Opening 12 Inch Retina MacBook Pro

In this video, I am opening the 12 Inch Retina Macbook Pro using the excellent iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit (affiliate link to Amazon). In this case, I had to rep...

Back to Top ↑


16-Inch MacBook Pro Is Here

As rumoured, Apple released the 16-Inch MacBook Pro set to replace the 15-Inch model. Here are the most important new changes and features to this new laptop...

16-Inch MacBook Pro Could Appear Soon

According to images uncovered in a macOS catalina beta, it seems like Apple is working on a 16-Inch MacBook Pro. This was first uncovered by the blog: MacGen...

The $6000+ Mac Pro 2019 – My Thoughts

A 2019 Mac Pro is not on my shopping list mostly because of the price, but that doesnt mean I dont want it. Here are some of my thoughts about this computer ...

Install macOS on Older Unsupported Macs

With the free tool macOS Patcher from dosdude1.com its possible to install a version of macOS that your Mac officially doesn’t support. This is a video that ...

Flexgate – a new MacBook Pro Problem?

I don’t like to use that word, but since people are searching for it I guess I have to … flexgate. Apple may have a new big problem on their hands. That said...

AirPower may Release Soon

It has been a while now since Apple teased their charging mat for devices such as iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. The release was anticipated in 2018 but du...

Back to Top ↑


Install macOS Cleanly Can Solve Problems

Occasionally a clean install of macOS is the only thing that can solve problems with your Mac. This because it is difficult to pinpoint exactly whats causing...

iPad Pro 2018 may Come with A Slight Bend

If you notice a slight bend in your iPad Pro you should embrace it. The little bend adds to the character of the device and is an result of Apples highly adv...

Qualcomm and Apple isn’t exactly friends

Qualcomm was recently granted an injunction on iPhone 6s through iPhone X in China. The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court have decided that Apple violates t...

My favourite apps for macOS

My absolute favourite app for macOS has to be Magnet. Its a window manager for macOS that works in a lot of similar ways to the native Windows manager. Drag ...

2019 iPhone X Models Allegedly Uncovered

In a video we see the 2019 models of iPhone X Apple is planning to release at the end of this summer. Apple usually refresh their iPhones each year around th...

Nice Collection of 5k wallpaper

A user on the online community reddit shared some 5k wallpapers that Apple use on their iPad Pros as demo photos. Apple doesn’t include these photos with new...

2018 MacBook Pro Benchmark

John Poole the founder of primate labs that makes the benchmarking app Geekbench is getting more and more information about the performance of the new 2018 M...

2018 MacBook Pro Max Specs and Pricing

Apple just released their updated lineup of MacBook Pros for 2018. The design is the same compared to the earlier 2017 models with specs bumps as you would e...

Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery

Many of us store our digital lives on our devices. What should you do if something happens with your data? Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery can help you ret...

macOS now has official support for eGPUs

With macOS 10.13.4 Apple introduced official support for eGPUs. A eGPU is a box that contains an graphics card, making it possible to do graphic intensive ta...

Back to Top ↑


Preparing for macOS High Sierra Update

Apple will soon release their new version of macOS called High Sierra. This update will mostly focus on under the hood improvements and new / updated technol...

Setapp Educational Pricing Tier

Setapp have now released a new pricing tier for educational customers. An annual plan which equals to $4.99/mo. All you’ll need is a working EDU email.

Save Space On Your Mac: Try CloudMounter

I recently got the opportunity to try CloudMounter. Its a great little tool for users that have low space on their devices because it allows to mount Dropbox...

iPhone 7 Special Edition (PRODUCT RED)

iPhone 7 special edition (product red) was released by Apple today. If you buy a product in this category you support the fight against AIDS. A percentage of...

Unable to Type in Spotlight Search Bar

I am unable to type in the spotlight search bar occasionally. I can bring it up using the command + space shortcut. The input field appears as it should be d...

Windows Alternative to Mac Apps

What if you wanted to move away from the Mac ecosystem and go back to Windows? The applications you used in macOS, do they have good alternatives on Windows?

Back to Top ↑


Super Mario Run for iPhone and iPad Out Now!

Are you ready to play the beloved Mario character on your iPad or iPhone? Super Mario Run was just released by Nintendo and is available from the App Store. ...

Remove Duplicate Files on Your Mac

I like keeping things tidy, both in my home and on my computers. A cluttered and unorganised life is undesirable. Even though I have good control of most asp...

Add Spacer To Your Macs Dock

To add a spacer to your Macs dock so that you can organise the icons a little better you just have to right click the dock and select add…. nope, sorry. Did ...

Restore 2016 MacBook Pro Startup Chime

With the release of the MacBook Pro in 2016 Apple also decided that the classic startup chime from 1999 had to go. If you are dealing with grief due to this ...

MacBook Pro Docking and USB-C Dongles

With Apples move to USB-C only on their laptops you may need some adapters until manufacturers hop on the far superior USB-C standard. The most basic adapter...

Print To PDF From Your Mac

You dont need third party software to create a PDF file from something you want to print. This functionality is built into macOS. If you have a document, web...

Lowest Mac Volume Still Too Loud?

Did you know you can lower the volume on your Mac even more? Without making it completely silent? If you hold the shift and alt key while pressing the volume...

Quickly Resize macOS Window Edge

Move the cursor (mouse pointer) to the edge of the window you want to maximize and make sure the pointer shows two arrows, then double click.

DFU Restore Mode on iPhone 7

If your restoration attempts using iTunes or apple configurator have failed you may have some luck trying a DFU Restore. This can also be helpful if your iPh...

iPhone 7 Plus Photos Edited From RAW

Photography is one of my hobbies and with the new 12 MP camera in the iPhone 7 Plus I was eager to try it out. Usually I haul my Nikon D810 full frame DSLR b...

macOS Upgrade Preparations

Usually doing a macOS upgrade is pretty much straightforward. With that said: it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

2TB iCloud Storage Now Available for $19.99

Apple have silently upgraded their available iCloud storage tiers, adding 2TB storage as an option. 2TB is a lot of storage but with future high resolution v...

Seriously, Why Buy a Mac Computer?

Why buy a mac computer, a hotly debated topic where no one agrees, ever. I am going to dispel some myths that hopefully will help guide you on the right path.

When to Buy Mac? Not now!

When to buy a Mac is subjective. If you need a computer right now and can’t wait then now is the time you should buy it. With that said if you have some pati...

iPhone GPS Apps I Use

When the iPhone and App Store was new, the iPhone GPS apps available at that time felt somewhat bulky and expensive. Now I used Google Maps during our vacati...

How To Develop iPhone Apps Using Swift

Developing for the iPhone is fun and rewarding. Apple gives you the complete package you need to be successful for free. The only thing you need to bring is ...

Problems Installing Older OS X Versions?

I had to load an older OS X system onto one of our Macs at work but I couldn’t for the life of me get it to install. In this case it was OS X Mavericks but t...

Apple Recalls Duckhead Adapters

Apple recalls duckhead adapters sold with MacBook laptops and iPads. A design flaw that could potentially lead to electrical shock is the reason for this rec...

Back to Top ↑


Mac Mini Server – Host Your Own Blog

Using a Mac Mini Server is a nice way to set up your very own home web server. You can for example set up and host your own free wordpress blog or make a gal...

Apple Repair Programs

Apple sometimes have repair programs for different products. Meaning they repair your product free of charge if it is covered.

How To Activate TRIM in OS X

If you have a third party SSD in your Mac it is now possible to activate TRIM support for that drive. It is built into the OS natively from Apple (from 10.10...

Hackintosh – Viable Long Term?

You may have heard about the Hackintosh community. A place where tech interested people come together to get their home built computer rigs running the lates...

Back to Top ↑


Magic Mouse With Multi-Touch (Mini-Review)

Apple always want to redefine things and the way we use computers so they have the Magic Mouse with Multi-Touch capabilities. Instead of using mechanical but...

Yosemite fixes SMB problems?

I have had some issues with Windows file sharing between a desktop Windows 8.1 based PC and a Mavericks equipped Mac. I even wrote an article about it on ano...

Windows 10 or OS X? Both Please!

People discuss all the time whether they should use Windows or OS X. A lot of people have their own opinion about which OS is “the best” and discussions can ...

OS X Yosemite goes flat

Apple today revealed some information about their next big update to OS X. As the title says it will be named OS X Yosemite after the national park with the ...

Run Any Windows Game on your Mac

Now we have a good way to play almost any Windows game on your Mac. You don’t even need a dedicated GPU on your Mac because you are going to use other hardwa...

Back to Top ↑


Setting Up iCloud Calendar for Family Use

I haven’t given up my dropbox account yet. Sometimes I just want to store some damn files without having to rely on some application. iCloud doesn’t work tha...

Free Mac Wallpaper for Retina Macs

Its not hard to find a free mac wallpaper today. Many websites gather a lot of them and offers them for download. You should also know that many of the image...

Give Your Mac the SSD Speed Boost

If you haven’t heard already giving your mac SSD may add a few more years to its lifetime. For regular use like surfing the web and doing some light photo wo...

Good Games for Macs, Yes They Exist

Sure! Games for Macs is not something non existent. In fact the Mac is gaining more and more support from game developers. As more people use products from A...

Considering Apple Computer Financing?

Use Apple Computer Financing if you don’t have the cash you need to pay for a new Apple product upfront. Remember that you often pay a lot more for the produ...

A Brief History of OSX

Here you have a little short history of OS X and the different releases during the years. This is a brief history where you learn about the major milestones ...

Back to Top ↑


Playing Diablo 3 On Mac

Blizzard announced Diablo 3 in June 2008 although the development of this game first started in 2001. It was first released in 2012 and at the same time sett...

Readying Your Apple Mac Computer

Your apple mac computer is usually good to go after you have completed the initial setup and entered your details. Tweaking and adjusting things is not reall...

Back to Top ↑


Age of Mythology For Mac

Age of Mythology is a RTS (Real Time Strategy) game available for Macs. If you are interested in mythology and like a good strategy game this is a safe bet g...

Finding The Best Mac Software Is Not Hard

A lot of the built in software is useful. It is nothing new that operating systems come with pre – installed applications, almost all of them do. With OS X i...

Mac Mini Mediacenter, Small & Easy HTPC

Using a mac mini mediacenter is one of the smartest move I have made. I have tried many different home theater solutions without being completely satisfied. ...

Problem Ejecting Your Macs DVD or CD?

Get that stuck DVD CD out Some are struggling with the fact that they have a CD that refuses to eject itself when you press the eject-button. This can be rat...

Use Mac Backup Software, Mac Backups

Let us find Mac Backup Software but remember that a Mac is just like a regular PC in so many ways. It has a hard drive, a motherboard, memory, CPU and so on....

Back to Top ↑


Change The Timemachine Backup Interval

Apple doesn’t want us to change all settings in our os and the time machine backup interval is one of them. By default this backups your computer every singl...

Back to Top ↑