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OS X Mavericks: Increase disk space

Increase disk space

There are several ways to increase available disk space. To find out how much disk space you have, open Disk Utility, click your disk (usually named Macintosh HD), then click Info.

Delete items you don’t need

  • Move items you don’t need to the Trash. Then press and hold the Trash icon in the Dock and choose Empty Trash.
  • In Mail, choose Mailbox > Erase Deleted Items > In All Accounts, and Mailbox > Erase Junk Mail.
  • In iPhoto, choose iPhoto > Empty iPhoto Trash.
  • In iMovie, choose File > Move to Trash or File > Move Rejected Clips to Trash to delete unwanted items. Or, choose File > Space Saver to delete all excess video from an Event.

Check the other apps you use for ways to remove or compress items.

Delete downloaded items

Items you download from the Internet are stored in the Downloads stack in the Dock. Over time, unneeded items may accumulate.

  1. Press and hold the Downloads icon in the Dock, then choose Open in Finder.
  2. Drag any unneeded items from Downloads to the Trash, then choose Finder > Empty Trash.

If you don’t see the Downloads icon in the Dock, click the Finder icon in the Dock, then choose Go > Downloads.

Locate large files

You can find your largest files and then compress them or move them to another disk.

  1. Click the Finder icon in the Dock.
  2. Choose Go > Home or press Shift-Command (⌘)–H.
  3. Choose File > Find or press Command (⌘)–F.
  4. Open the Kind pop-up menu, then choose Other.
  5. Under “Select a search attribute” select the checkbox for File Size. Make sure no other checkboxes are selected, then click OK.
  6. Change the “equals” pop-up menu to “is greater than,” then change the “KB” pop-up menu to “MB.”
  7. Enter a minimum file size. 100 MB is a good starting point. You can change the value to see more or fewer results.

    Searching begins as soon as you type a file size. It may take a moment for all the search results to appear.

Compress files and folders

You can compress files and folders into an archive that takes up less space.

  • To compress a file or folder, Control-click it or tap it using two fingers, then choose Compress from the shortcut menu.

    If you compress a single item, the compressed file has the name of the original item with the .zip extension. If you compress multiple items at once, the compressed file is called Archive.zip.

  • To uncompress (expand) an item, double-click the .zip file.

Move files to another disk

  • Move files and folders you don’t often use to an external disk, such as a USB or FireWire disk, or to a disk connected to your AirPort or other network.
  • Burn files and folders to a CD or DVD.

    Burn a CD or DVD

After the files are copied, you can delete the copies on your Mac.

Last Modified: May 8, 2014
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  • Last Modified: May 8, 2014
  • Article: PH13806
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