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How to Manage Disk Space on Your Mac

Free disk space on a Mac

No matter whether you use your Mac at home or for business, the time will come when you will start running out of disk space. Some people use their computer for years before that happens, whereas some experience this problem on a regular basis. When most people find out that they are low on disk space, they panic and start frantically deleting files, uninstalling programs and so on. As a result they end up deleting something they need. But there are better ways to manage disk space on your Mac. Here are a couple of tips that will help.

1. Delete duplicate files

Do you store a lot of music on your Mac or upload a lot of photos? Most likely, the answer is “Yes”. We all love listening to music and taking photos. Music files and images are pretty large files. So the more you have, the more disk space they take up. When you start running out of space, you have three options: you can start deleting files, you can move your songs and photos to an external hard drive, or you can simply delete duplicate files.

There are duplicate files on any system. Some have only a few of them, but some have hundreds. Usually they are mp3 files and images. When you download songs, quite often you download the same song in different quality. As a result you have two versions of the song, one in higher quality and one in lower quality. It makes sense to keep the high quality version and get rid of the low quality one. Same with photos. Only too often we crop, edit and resize our photos. So why keep all versions? Keeping only the best one is enough.

Duplicate files are easily created, but they are not so easy to find and remove. In fact, it’s next to impossible to find all of your duplicate files manually. That’s why your best bet is to use a duplicate finder for Mac and automate the process. Look for a duplicate finder that can match files using multiple parameters, including by content, and has a preview function. Easy Duplicate Finder is a good choice.

2. Delete system clutter

Macs are pretty efficient systems, but you still get system clutter that accumulates over time. Things like your browser cache and other system debris like log files hog your system. These files, especially the cache, can take up a significant amount of space that you could use for storing your files. You can delete temporary Internet files straight from your browser. Here is how:

1. Open Safari and click on the Gear icon in the right toolbar
2. Select Reset Safari from the drop-down menu
3. Choose what you want to delete (history, cache, cookies, etc.) and click on the Reset button
4. Exit and re-launch the browser

You can also go to the browser menu and select “Remove all website data”. This will clear the cache and delete cookies.

Clearing Safari cache can free up quite a bit of disk space. But if you want to recover even more space, then run a utility like OnyX (free) to delete log files and other system clutter.

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