How to Reclaim Free Space on Mac

mac storage usage

Have you ever thought about the opportunity to save data in the cloud to release some space on macOS Sierra or High Sierra? Recently released instruments allow detecting and deleting huge or useless items even simpler than before!

macOS Sierra and High Sierra versions will all possess a special feature called Optimized Storage. It is one of the best new features on the Apple computer. What does it stand for? Well, it is the quickest and easiest way to regain space on your device.

One of the principles here is the automatic transfer of the content from Documents, Desktop, and Photos to the cloud. A user will be able to access it at any time later. Each time the machine is running out free space without your awareness, the Optimized Storage feature will detect the files you have not used for a while and move them to the cloud. Those files include videos, images, audios, e-mails, and more. It is possible to download the selected data from the cloud at any moment later on.

  1. To start working with this option, select About This Mac in the Apple menu.
  2. Choose Storage. Now you can explore a summary of the free storage taken by the various groups of files depending on their formats, missions, and sizes.
  3. Push the Manage button. It contains valuable tips for optimizing Mac’s storage.

Save Data in iCloud

Pick the Store in the iCloud feature. Select one of these alternatives:

Documents & Desktop. Save all items in these 2 locations in iCloud Drive. Only the items you launch regularly remain on the target computer. A download icon next to the removed files means a user can get those at any time.

Photos. Do not worry – all original, high-resolution images and video files are saved in iCloud Photo Library. Each time you require some space, just space-storing versions of images are stored on the Apple computer. Launch the file of your interest to access it.

Mind that this activity ‘eats a certain amount of available free space in iCloud. It means that you will have to switch to another storage plan. The only way out is to purchase extra iCloud storage. The cheapest option is getting 50GB for just $0.99.

Optimize Mac Storage

manage storage on mac

Pick the Optimize button. After that, select from the following alternatives.

Automatically replace watched iTunes videos and television shows. If you require more space, the system will transfer the video and shows you have already watched to Trash.

Try to download only the latest attachments. Thanks to the option, a mail automatically gets just the attachments that a person currently obtained. It allows manually downloading any attachments when a user wishes by launching the e-mail or attachment.

Do not automatically download attachments. Mail retrieves an attachment just when the user launches it or stores the item on a computer.

Keep in mind that optimizing storage for films, television shows, and e-mails does not need iCloud storage space.

Empty Trash Automatically

It is now possible to get rid of all items placed in a Trash automatically, without having to do it manually each time. Empty Trash Automatically removes the files that remained there for more than one month. They are gone forever then.

Decrease Clutter

Minimize Clutter to detect huge items that simply waste space. Pick the Review Files option. Select any of the offered groups of files (e.g., Applications, iOS Files, iTunes, etc.)

Several categories make it possible to remove the items directly. Place the pointer over the file name and push X button. This step will eliminate the file. In case you bought the file from the App Store or some other official Apple-related stores, you will have access to it being able to download in the future.

Other categories display the total amount of space used by the items in every application. Launch the app to decide if you want to remove the files from it.

Where can I get settings for every feature?

Save in iCloud:

Select Apple menu → System Preferences. Pick iCloud and choose the Options feature. Save in iCloud and Optimize Mac Storage settings. In order to switch off iCloud Drive completely, deselect iCloud Drive.

Go to Photos. Select Photos and find Preferences over there. Choose iCloud. Save in iCloud selects iCloud Photo Library and Optimize Mac Storage.

Optimize Storage:

Go to iTunes. Select iTunes and find Preferences. Pick Advanced. Optimize Storage has “Automatically delete watched movies and TV shows” selected.

Move to Mail. Select Mail and then Preferences. Choose Accounts. There is a section named Account Information. There, Optimize Storage will set the Download Attachments menu to either None or Recent.

Extra methods to automatically save space on macOS

The latest version of Mac operating systems offer more steps to save space:

  • Define duplicate files in Safari. Get rid of the outdated downloads.
  • Remove the used application installers.
  • Delete outdated fonts, language files, and vocabularies.
  • Clear cache, cookies, login items. And other useless data.