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10 Easy Hacks to Save Disk Space on Mac OS X

The volumes of disk drives are continually growing, but at the same time, the volumes of content that we keep on our hard drives are also growing fast. It includes music, movies, series, gigabytes of pictures, large programs and other stuff that we upload to our Macs.  Each of us, sooner or later, had a situation when the hard disk ran out of space. It was especially hard for owners of MacBook with a small volume of SSD. How to deal with it? In this post, you will learn ten tricks that will help you clean up disk space.

10 Easy Hacks to Save Disk Space on Mac OS X

Bin

Look at the Recycle Bin icon in your Dock, is it full across the edge? Most likely, you have not cleaned it for a long time. It’s time to do it! Just open the menu by right-clicking on the Bin icon and select Empty Trash. Many will say that this is a platitude, but you will be surprised when you find out how many people do not do it.

Restarting

Many OS X users leave applications running for a long time and almost never close them completely. It’s terrible that most apps (Safari, Chrome, Photoshop and many others) create a temporary cache for the files with which they have in work. This cache continues to grow until you exit the application or restart it. In most cases, this simple procedure will delete the existing cache and create a new one that will be removed the next time the app is launched, respectively. Browsers are very “hungry.”

Cleaning Downloads

Almost all the files you download will remain in the Downloads folder forever. Most OS X users download a file, use it, and then leave it in the folder dead weight. Over time, the number of data stored in Downloads grows, occupying precious disk space. Unfortunately, some files are necessary, but if you do not have time to perform a full revision and delete everything that you no longer need, remove at least the largest files. Open the Downloads folder and sort data by size, delete all the large files that you no longer need. It might be movies and series you have already watched.

No Flash

Even if you did not dare to clean the Downloads folder thoroughly, remove at least all annoying updates ofAdobeFlashPlayerInstaller from it. Flash takes too much space sometimes. In some cases, it’s even better to remove it from the system entirely.

Reloading

Many of us do not reboot your Mac for a few days, or even weeks. It is undoubtedly cool; however, the system creates a large amount of temporary “garbage” while running:

  • system cache
  • applications cache
  • paging files of virtual memory
  • sleep-paging files and so on

All this amount of data continues to grow and take up more and more space on your disk. But if you reboot your Mac, this place will be cleaned. There is nothing complicated about this. So do not forget to restart the system from time to time.

Updates

I do not think I should remind you of the importance of installing system updates. But if you still doubt, here’s another argument in favor of it. Downloaded updates that you keep without installing them take up space on the disk. Yes, they do. Install the update, restart the Mac and you will notice that the free space on the disc will increase.

Identifying large files

You can have folders with large files that you just forgot about or did not know at all. To search for them manually is a thankless task, it’s better to use special utilities, like DaisyDisk or Clean My Mac. DaisyDisk thoroughly scans your disk and shows the size of each app and folder. While in Clean My Mac there is a separate function to search for large files, with which you can scan your entire disk and identify the most extensive data. Another plus of this approach is that you can’t delete the important system file, the utility will not let you do it and will show only the data that are safe to delete. Also, with the help of Clean My Mac, you can find long-unrevealed old files and remove all that junk.

Apps

To have a large number of unnecessary and unused applications with limited disk space is an unacceptable luxury. You can remove them manually from the Programs folder in the Finder, or you can use the same Clean My Mac. The second option is even more preferable since it will remove not only application folders but all associated files and folders that are stored in other directories.

SD-versions of movies

iTunes is not perfect. If you love music and movies, this is the most important application for you, but the app has its shortcomings. First of all, it stores both versions of movies (in SD and HD quality). It’s done for versatility, but most likely, the SD version is completely useless, and you will watch only HD one. But even if it is not like this, you can keep one of them and delete the second one. It’s quite simple. All movies are stored in the ~ /Music /iTunes Media / Movies folder. You just have to open the folder with each film and remove the SD version from it. It will differ in characteristically smaller size.

iTunes usually keep files in MOV format. If your movie has several audio and subtitles tracks, it might be pretty large in size. Besides that, you can’t copy MOV files and play them back on TV, Windows PC or Android device. Thus you’d better convert MOV video to AVI. AVI files without all unnecessary data will have a smaller size, and you will be able to play it on any possible video gadget. Many tools can help you do this job. One of them is Freemake Video Converter. Download and software and add your MOV files into it by drag-n-drop or clicking the “+Video” button. Choose “to AVI” on the formats panel. Then select a quality preset. You can find a weight sign right above the “Convert” button. It serves to limit the size of the output file. You can set the minimum file size to save place on your hard drive. When you are done, click the “Convert” button to start the conversion process from MOV to AVI.

Duplicates

Photos and videos take up a lot of disk space, but if some files have duplicates, then they take up even more space. Manually you will not find them, it’s almost impossible, especially if you have tons of photos. Thus you need the help of special utilities. For example, the Gemini application will help you. It is not free, but there is a demo version that regularly looks for duplicates. It’s enough just to wait until the application scans your disk and displays the results, after that, you just have to open the corresponding folder, findthe files and delete them manually.

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