Free up space external hard drive mac

It may sound elementary, but we frequently delete files and forget to empty the Trash. The files in the Trash still occupy your disk space, so it is recommended that you empty the Trash folder at least once a week. To delete files from the Trash folder permanently, make a right click on the Trash in the dock panel and select Empty Trash. Another way to complete this task is to open the Trash and click the Empty button in the top right corner.

4 Easy Steps to Delete "Other" Space and Speed Up Your Mac

How many times have you downloaded files from web browsers, messengers, torrents, mail? When you download files from the Internet, by default, they are saved in the Downloads folder, which can easily be found at this location: According to statistic, the average user accumulates 0. All of the files in the Downloads folder usually stay unorganized and may take up several Gigabytes of free space. Also, you probably have needed these files only once, for example, the installation files disk images.

Thus, more than half the files in the Downloads are not needed and should be deleted. Sorting the list of files by size, kind or date will help you to quickly find out what unneeded files you have and remove them. A cache file is a temporary data file created by apps, browsers and many other programs to help your Mac run faster.

Note, when you remove cache files, they will be recreated the next time you run the application. Nevertheless, you may no longer be using some applications, while their leftovers still remain in the Cache folder and occupy tens of gigabytes of your disk memory. Cache files are stored in the Library folders, which you can find in the following locations: As a result, this folder may increase substantially in size. By default, the Library folder is hidden on macOS, as Apple.

To open it, follow these steps: While the Library folder is open, you can also find another type of temporary file — Log files.

How to free up space on an external hard drive

They are stored in the Logs folder. Please make sure, before you remove the logs of the system, apps and mobile devices, that you no longer need them. Language Resources is the data stored by apps for different language localizations. Your system has 26 pre-installed dictionaries of Mb. Localizations are the most misjudged space eaters. You can easily find out which files should be deleted by their name.

All previous steps can be easily done by the ClearDisk application. Simply press the Scan button, and the ClearDisk app will do all the work instead of you. It will find all junk files in just a few seconds: If you often sync your iPhone with iTunes, then the application creates dozens of backup copies on your device, and they often eat off a significant amount of gigabytes of disk space, as they include movies, music, and other large files.

Here you will see a list of all the backups iTunes managed to make while working with your gadget. If you are sure that you do not need them, safely remove them. But make sure they are in iCloud! Another way to find and remove iOS backups is to go to the following location: If you use the standard macOS Mail application, when you view email attachments, the system saves them to a separate folder on your hard drive.

The easiest way to find this folder is to search via Spotlight. Preview the files and save those which you need, or delete all the files at once. Check your Applications folder. The number of all the installed applications may sometimes exceed ; in fact, some may not be used regularly or not used anymore. But please note, moving an app to Trash just by dragging and dropping it to Trash is not enough. Remains are the broken service files left after deleting the apps.

Find and Remove Duplicate Files

Such broken service files are unnecessary and they just take up your disk memory, so you should find and remove them. Searching for them manually seems to be an impracticable task. The application finds and shows these files in the Remains section. If you need to free up gigabytes of data, the best way to do it as quickly as possible is to check out your Movies folder. Video content is the biggest space eater as well as audio and photo files in the Music and Pictures folders.

Check also your disk for other files with large sizes.


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For this, you can use the Disk Expert app, which shows you the disk space usage in a sunburst diagram and allows you to easily operate the biggest files and folders. If you use the Dropbox service, you know that, even in a free version, the service provides 2 gigabytes of space. This means that you can move big files and folders from your hard drive to the cloud storage.

Except for Dropbox, there are dozens of other similar services you can use, such as Google Drive, iDrive, Microsoft SkyDrive and so on.


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  • In many cases this also includes files sent to you through other apps as well. I actually had two additional libraries on my iMac, and I have no idea why. This can be caused by apps that were deleted long ago, or even duplicates. It had come over from several backups and they were already backed up to an external, leaving no need them to take up space.

    You can think of DaisyDisk as a pack of hounds with one job — sniffing out large files on your hard drive and drawing your attention to them. And of course it can help you clean them up as well.

    Clearing space on an hard drive you use as an iTunes library

    Service files and app remnants can eat up terrible amounts of disk space. Sometimes I download apps with every intention of using them, and then I never do. This is where I end up deleting them. If I ever need them again, I can just re-install. AppCleaner also lets you pick and choose what files you delete inside an app. That being said, AppCleaner does an excellent job of helping you clean up unused apps that are hogging unnecessary storage.

    And whenever you add another piece to your workflow, it seems the duplicates always love to come back in droves.

    5 Top Tips: How to Clear Disk Space on Mac

    If you suspect you have duplicate photos floating around in your library, there are tons of apps available to help you clean them up. One of my favorites is PhotoSweeper. Not only can it scan your library for exact matches, you have tons of options for customizing your photo triaging. For example, I can search for only photos of the exact same file type great for photographers who only want to search for RAW files , or only files of the exact same size.

    Instead, you can stream them using iTunes in the Cloud. As you can see in the screenshot above, I have a cloud icon next to all of my movies.

    External Hard Drive showing inaccurate free space

    To delete movies off your actual Mac hard drive, just right click the movie and remove it. It will still stay available for streaming via iTunes in the Cloud. This alone can free up tons of hard drive space. For example, I have lots of old photos and videos from college and high school.


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    • When I want to access them, I can simply log in to Dropbox from anywhere, or use the app on my iPhone or iPad. On the Mac, you can dictate what folders sync from Dropbox and are stored locally on your Mac. By default, anything you put in Dropbox will be stored locally. You can access selective sync settings by choosing Preferences and then hitting the Accounts button.