My mac is running out of hard drive space

Please delete some files. This notification indicates a lack of free storage on your Mac hard drive. While writing this piece, I saved a whopping However, I want to dive right into my powerful tips to help you clear space on your Mac without spending hundreds of dollars or wasting your most valuable resource: For basic users, I want to start at the very beginning by providing some insight and defining what the Mac startup disk actually is.

What is Startup Disk Full on Mac OS?

This is usually a hard drive that is physically inside your Mac. Every hard drive is a high-capacity and self-contained storage device containing a read-write mechanism. There are two physical types of hard drives: The physical difference dictates a difference in speed in which the hard drive will read or write. An SSD drive will read and write much faster than a traditional rotating HDD due to the lack of movement and usage of flash storage.

This can be upgraded up to 2 or 3 TB if desired with additional cost, of course. Boot time for your computer took anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes or more depending on your internal hardware. Now, Mac hardware has shifted and leveled out to accommodate a faster piece of hardware SSD with less storage available, bringing boot times down to a staggering average of 12 seconds.

Every computer has at least one internal hard drive to store your data and software. However, you can manage your hard drive in a multitude of ways depending on your end goal. A partition can be used to make it easier to organize your data, create separate work environments with different operating systems, or create faster disk access. Boot Camp is built into the macOS and can be set up to partition the hard drive for your desired use, such as needing to run PC programs. If you have another startup disk with a compatible operating system, your Mac can start up from that disk instead of your current startup disk.

By default, your Mac will start up from the built-in hard drive. However, you can select any hard drive that contains an operating system that is compatible with your Mac. For example, if you install macOS or Windows on an external drive, your Mac can recognize that drive as a startup disk. If you followed the steps above, your computer should now immediately restart with the desired startup disk. You can view your storage details by selecting:.

However, this comes at a cost of your time. Manually searching and deleting space-hogging items from your drive can take hours. Here are the juicy tips on how to easily clear up space on your precious Mac. For example, my Downloads folder was last cleared out only three months ago.


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I already have 4. Follow this pathway to get to your Download folder: After deleting my entire Downloads folder, it now reflects only 1 MB of usage. This also seems like a simple trick, but it can also save precious disk space if you rarely empty your Trash. Currently, I have 4. This is very easy to do! You see that cute little Trash icon on your macOS dock? Yep, this one: Deciding which apps to delete or keep is kind of like deciding which clothes to keep or donate.

Go through your applications folder and get rid of all the apps you rarely use. To completely remove any application, just launch CleanMyMac 3, click Uninstaller, select your application, and then click Uninstall. Photos, photos, photos. Talk about tons of space! First and foremost, select only what you can get rid of, like image copies and maybe some photos that were mistakenly taken.

You know, ones of the ground or something? Photos cache includes iCloud local copies created when you view pics from your iCloud photo library on a Mac , Faces cache generated when you use Faces , and other app-related cache. You should now see a lot more folders in your Finder window. It only removes files that are safe to delete, never a critical file or important image. To do that, repeat steps 1 and 2, described above. Then go through the Master, Modified, Original, and Preview folders to check which photos have original copies that have been altered.

Where it stores them and which photos are copies is completely up to you, your memory, and your eyes. This section is advice on how to go about it for people who need more space. And again, this entire step is faster and safer with CleanMyMac X , because it knows which files are service copies and can be deleted. Have a closer look at these three folders. Personally, I never want to get rid of Top Gun.

How To Free Up Space on Your MacOS Hard Disk By Delete Purgeable Memory, Other and Optimize Storage,

I watched it 3 times in a row last weekend. But alas, sometimes you need to make sacrifices for your the health of your Mac. Though, what you can do with movies you want to keep is to archive them.

10 Ways To Free Up Disk Space on Your Mac Hard Drive

So, archive what you wish to keep and remove the rest. By archiving a file, you shave off some memory.


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To archive a file, just:. The last place to sweep through is the Music folder. Find and remove duplicate music files first, and then clean up all the songs you downloaded on a weird Sunday afternoon cleaning the house. It may sound incredibly basic, but it could free up a surprising amount of space. I forget to do it all the time. So get rid of all that junk by emptying the Trash:. How to Secure Empty Trash on Mac? Many of these tasks are uploading and downloading files in the background.

You could run out of space on your Mac and think you'll just use your iPad until you get a chance to clean it up. But using your iPad will create new files and upload them in the cloud. Your Mac will then download them and run out of disk space. Jan 10, It's probably Filevault—Apple's encryption system. Encrypting data on your computer uses additional storage, and it can go down rapidly in minutes, as you experienced.


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This is because each and every system file, cache, log, etc. On my MacBook Pro , I had this enabled without my knowledge, and my storage was also rapidly decreasing. I didn't know what to do. I discovered the problem when I plugged in power, which is required for Filevault to encrypt data. I wanted to turn it off, but decryption was required—a process that takes hours to complete.

Understanding What “Your Startup Disk is Full” Means

In the end, I reset my Mac to factory settings with a backup of my drive, meaning I could disable this in the setup next time. If this is the problem, try decrypting your drive, and hopefully, you will gain easy storage. All Filevault does is encrypt the contents of your disk and make one administrator password required to access your files if unaccessible.

So if your computer glitches and your password can't log you in, or you forget that password, you cannot access your files at all. Alternatively, to protect my files, I back up to an external hard drive either manually or through Time Machine. It works great. Apple's Filevault doesn't suit me since I don't have a large hard drive GB and I am not in a business, so my files do not need to protected in this manner. I will write a follow up to this if you have any questions. But this should help you. If Filevault isn't enabled, I advise you book an appointment at the Genius Bar to run their diagnostics, because this should not be happening!

Communities Contact Support. Sign in. Browse Search. Ask a question. User profile for user: Problems started today: At that time all applications where turned off. I already looked up a few forums but I couldn't find the answer to my problem. Ran the apple diagnostic after restart but there were no problems found. Storage Info: More Less.

Find and Remove Duplicate Files

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