Are you a lucky owner of MacBook Pro / Air, iMac, or Mac mini? Unfortunately, even Apple products get fed up sooner or later. Most probably, you have already asked yourself something like “How to wipe my hard drive?” at least several times. It is important to understand why you should take out the garbage from your Mac regularly.
Most of the users do not pay any attention to how much disk space is occupied until the “black day” comes. Just imagine: you are relaxing in your chair after a long, hard-working week, wishing to watch a new movie with your favorite actors. Perhaps, you have attended a gorgeous place and want to start editing the great pics taken by your camera. And all of a sudden… Puff! “Your Macintosh HD is full!” the lack of free space on your Mac leads to even harsher problems than the inability to download and open new files or apps.
The worst nightmare is having you Apple device “running” like a snail. When a computer turns sluggish, it simply drives people mad. It seems like it takes an eternity to launch something or watch a video online. Everything slows down! The most common reason is the lack of memory.
This detailed guide aims to provide the answers to the most common questions associated with the process of cleaning Mac.
How to Find Hard Drive on Mac: Start Seeing the Invisible!
First of all, a Mac owner should know where the hard drive is. Otherwise, it would be impossible to scan it for details.
A hard drive is a part of hardware inside your Mac that saves all user’s information. It includes:
It is impossible to imagine a computer without this critical piece. Two types of hard drives are most widely spread nowadays - Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSD). Their principal intended purpose might be the same, but the way these disks function is different.
Probably, you have already noticed that Mac OS X never shows any icons on the desktop by default. It is up to the user to decide which icons to display and in what order. From one side, it is a convenient system. From the other side, not all Mac owners manage to find whatever they need from the first attempt. In case you want to review the internal hard disk parameters, this mini instruction will help.
- Launch the Finder app with the help of Dock.
- In the menu bar, open Finder drop-down menu to get to Preferences.
- The General tab contains External disks as well as iPods, DVDs, and CDs (if anybody still uses those). How about having the internal HD displayed by default as well? Pick the checkbox next to Hard Disks.
- After making your choice, the system applies the modifications automatically. Now, you can view the Macintosh HD – that is its full name. The icon will appear on the desktop.
To hide the icon back again, remove the tick from the checkbox against Hard Disks in the same location.
How to Check Hard Drive Space on Mac: What's Eating Up Your Resources?
Being paranoiac all the time is not the way out. It is better to check an amount of free space at least once per month to be sure that you won’t face a sudden Mac OSX / macOS slow down or other difficulties. Today, the average share of space on the Apple computer’s boot volume is smaller than it was before due to the fact newer Macs possess flash-based storage. This, it is better to stay informed about the amount of space on your disk(s).
If you wonder how much space is enough, ask the experts to hear the answer - at least 10%. Some experts believe that is better to have minimum 15% of free space to let the device operate quickly and download/install all necessary updates. If you have no desire to scan the hard drive for free space, you are doomed to see one of the warnings associated with the lack of space. It’s just a question of time. It is a bad idea to rely on that message and postpone the cleaning process. Read how to check the amount of available space below.
The next thing you might be interested in is what exactly steals so much space from your Apple computer.
Macintosh HD Is Full: What’s the Root of All Evil?
Perhaps, the best and shortest way to find out which items occupy most of the disk space is to download and set up a third-party software that can examine and break down what is ‘eating’ most of the memory.
If you prefer doing such things manually, begin with the Downloads folder. Usually, this location contains most of the junk files. Mac owners often forget to delete the installation file once installed. Download files are not as huge as the media items, but they are not meaningful at all, so why should you keep them? Download files may include dozens of disk images, big graphics items, and other crap. Make a habit of wiping this location on a regular basis.
As for the media files, they include movies, songs, and software. While you may still be using some apps, it makes no sense to keep the movie you have already seen several times. Besides, video files are the largest. Remember that a single HD film can ‘eat’ 4-6GB depending on its length! iOS games may take something like 1-2GB, so it makes sense to get rid of the games you have passed. The good idea is to toss away the physical copies of various iTunes files. Apple’s iCloud service is a place where a Mac owner can keep the files he/she enjoyed the most.
Among other things that can steal a plenty of space on your Mac’s hard drive are duplicates of files, caches, cookies, browsing histories, temporary files, etc.
How to Free up Hard Drive Space on Mac: 10 Different Ways to Clear Your Device
The article has finally brought you to the solution. It is much easier to clear Mac than other computers, but still, the process has its nuances. Besides, there are several methods to wipe a hard drive.
Easy Way Out
While native utilities require a plenty of stages and some time, a third-party software will do everything for you in a couple of clicks. The interfaces of such apps are usually user-friendly, so no user will find it difficult to use.
Once again, an external drive or iCloud are two good options for people who do not wish to remain without the important files. You are the one to decide on the best methods to free up space on your Apple computer!