How to Clean up Mac Hard Drive

The lack of free space on your MacBook’s hard drive does not allow you to install new applications and may slow down the operation of your device. That is why we are happy to share the most effective and simple tips on how to clear the memory on your MacBook’s hard drive.

If you notice that your MacBook has started to lag and its performance has deteriorated significantly, it is possible that your computer’s hard drive is full of unnecessary files. In particular, it applies to the cache of your MacBook and applications which you seldom use or do not use at all. It causes a great problem, especially when you urgently have to install a new important application or at least download a new TV show. Such situations are far from being nice, aren’t they?

There are many ways to quickly and efficiently clean up your MacBook’s disk space. Fortunately, not all of them involve the total removal of all files and information from your device. We will share with our readers the most effective ways to safely clean your MacBook hard drive.

Remove Unnecessary Files and Documents from the Desktop

Some users prefer cluttering the desktop with various applications, archives, shortcuts and pictures, especially if they usually need to have all those files and programs for quick access.

In fact, this principle of organizing space not only clogs up the desktop, but also affects the decrease in performance and system response speed. Do not be too lazy to check the icons on the desktop again and delete the useless programs, as well as sort out the other files and data.

Delete Unnecessary Apps

If the system lacks free space on your hard drive, then it’s time to remove the programs and which you do not use for a long time.

You can look through the list of all the applications on your MacBook and manually delete those programs, which have not been used for a long time. If necessary, you can always download them again from the App Store. There is a nice method to do it:

  1. Open the “Programs” folder.
  2. Sort the programs by the date of the last opening.
  3. Find programs that have not been opened for a long time and delete them.

Also, there are many programs and utilities which help you sort out rarely used applications and junk files cluttering your hard drive. For example, MacKeeper helps to analyze the disk space and safely remove all unnecessary files, applications, without harming important information and personal data.

Transfer Large Files to External Storage

Everyone has a folder on their MacBook of old videos, photos, and other unnecessary applications have been gathering dust for years. Transferring them to an external storage (external drive or USB flash drive) will unload your computer, free up a lot of memory and you will save the important files on the external drive.

Alternatively, you can upload files to iCloud or various online storage, but do not forget to protect them from hackers with a strong password.

Delete mail attachments

If the autosave option for attachments is enabled in your email account, then all the attached files are automatically downloaded to your MacBook. Subsequently, they take up much free space, though you do not use them. That is why, you need to delete them and disable this option by following these easy steps:

  1. Open the Finder on your MacBook.
  2. Select the option “Go” and then “Go to folder”.
  3. Find Mail Downloads there.
  4. Uncheck the option “Download Attachments”, so that later on attachments will not autosave on your computer.

Delete Old iPad and iPhone Backups from your MacBook

iPhone and iPad backups take a lot of free memory, if you store them on your MacBook. Deleting old and useless backups would be a good solution if you urgently need to free up much space. We offer two easy methods to find delete them:

  1. You need to choose the “About This Mac” section, then open the “Storage” tab and select “iOS Files.” You will find a folder backup there, which you can delete.
  2. There is another easy way to delete the backups using Finder. You need to select “Go to Folder” and enter the setting ~ / Library / Application Support / MobileSync / Backup.

Clearing up Cache Files

Cache files help to speed up your MacBook, when working with various applications, browsing websites, etc. But you probably have a lot of applications that you do not use anymore or have deleted long ago. In this case, the remaining cache files are still stored in your MacBook. Therefore, it is very important to clear the cache from time to time. Follow these steps to clear cache:

  1. Open Finder window.
  2. Then select Go and Go to the folder.
  3. Enter ~ / Library in the dialog box and click Go. There you will find the Caches folder and can delete its content.

Also, it will be useful to delete unnecessary files from the Downloads folder, because it can store gigabytes of useless files. You can find this folder following this directory: Macintosh HD / Users / Current user / Downloads


If none of the above methods helps to free up enough memory, in extreme cases, you can resort to formatting the hard drive. This can be done through recovery mode, but you should use this method as a last resort, but we hope that you will not have a need to use it.

You can easily delete up to 20 GB of unnecessary data from the hard drive by following our tips. If you do not want to face the problem of lacking free memory in the future, you should turn off the option of auto-saving files, do not store unnecessary applications and regularly clear the cache of your device.

About author:

Naomi Stone is a cybersecurity enthusiast and Mac aficionado. She’s passionate about covering topics like Mac cybersecurity, Mac tips & hacks, Mac’s how-to guides. She is a contributor to Cyber Experts and Cybers Guards.