How To

How To Ensure Your Mac Has Enough Free Storage

Not having enough free drive space on your MacBook will result in performance problems. As a rule of thumb, a computer’s disk should have at least 10 percent of its total storage free. Otherwise, it will take longer for the software and the computer itself to load. Not to mention that you are likely to encounter random crashes and freezes.

MacBooks are not the best when it comes to available storage, so the problem is more common than you might think. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to free up the storage space. If you have been struggling with a hard drive or solid-state drive space on your Mac, the following tips should be quite useful.

How To Ensure Your Mac Has Enough Free Storage

  1. Analyze Disk Space
  2. Remember to Delete Files Permanently
  3. Take Care of Temporary Storage
  4. Use External Storage
  5. Cloud storage
  6. External hard drive
  7. Subscribe to Streaming Sites
  8. Reinstall the Operating System

1. Analyze Disk Space

Start by analyzing disk space and determine which file types are consuming the most storage. Knowing which files are consuming the most storage will make it the next step easier.

For example, if there are more applications than you use, you should not hesitate and remove them from the system. The downloads folder may also have more files than you expect, especially if you have a habit of forgetting about your downloads.

2. Remember to Delete Files Permanently

Keep in mind that deleting files from the MacBook is not as simple as dragging and putting them in the Trash Bin. No, that is only the first step. You also need to empty the Trash Bin every time you put a file in it. Or, at the very least, enable the Trash Bin feature that deletes files in the Bin automatically after 30 days.

There is also another way to remove Mac files permanently. Hitting the Option + Command + Delete keyboard shortcut after selecting a file will result in a pop-up. Confirming this pop-up will delete the files from your MacBook for good.

3. Take Care of Temporary Storage

Temporary storage may not be on your priority list, but it is still something you need to take care of regularly. Unfortunately, removing temporary data manually would be too much of a hassle because of how much time it requires. Instead, you should get a cleanup utility tool. Read some of the available reviews for such software and get one for yourself.

Even if it costs money, a cleanup tool is a good investment because you will need to take care of temporary files like app cache, plugins, extensions, and system backups regularly.

In addition to freeing up the MacBook’s drive space, the laptop will have fewer files to process after the cleanup, meaning that it should have a better overall performance.

4. Use External Storage

The file management strategy does not have to be about deleting files from the MacBook. You could take a different approach and use external storage instead or combine it with removing unnecessary data from your Mac.

There are two external storage methods to consider. The first is cloud storage; the second is an external hard drive.

5. Cloud Storage

For MacBook users, iCloud should be the go-to option. While there are services like Dropbox, iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage, and it is more compatible with Macs and other Apple devices. You could create a mini-ecosystem by syncing your iCloud account with the MacBook, iPad, and iPhone.

The default iCloud plan offers five gigabytes of storage. However, you can pay a monthly fee and get as much as 2TB of total storage for 10 dollars a month.

6. External Hard Drive

External hard drives are similar to clouds. However, they do not require a monthly payment. A decent hard drive should cost somewhere between $50 to $100 dollars and provide more than enough storage.

You can also use the hard drive to create data backups by combining it with Time Machine. Even if MacBooks are quite reliable, you should still copy important files to have a backup in case something happens to the laptop’s hardware.

7. Subscribe to Streaming Sites

If you hoard large media files on the MacBook, you can stop that by subscribing to streaming services. Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon have a plethora of TV series and movies you can watch. For music, there is Spotify and YouTube.

Sure, the streaming services cost money, but they are relatively cheap and offer more than enough entertainment. Besides, if your goal is to free up the MacBook’s drive space, and large media files are one of the primary causes behind the issue, streaming platforms are worth investing in.

8. Reinstall Operating System

When you still find that there is not enough free drive space on your Mac, remember that you have one other option – reinstalling the OS.

The process will wipe the data and give the MacBook a fresh start. Therefore, make sure you back up files you do not wish to lose.

Tags: AppleHow To
Nikhil Agrawal

An IT Professional by qualification, now he works as the editor-in-chief, Webmaster, & Managing Director at Gadgets Beat. He runs a number of other technology websites as well. Got a scoop? Get in touch with me at

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