Free up storage space on your Mac

Learn what to do if your Mac startup disk is almost full, or you don't have enough storage space to download, install, or copy.

Find out how much storage space is available

Your Mac can show you how much storage space is being used by various categories of files, and how much space is available for additional files. As you take the steps in this article to free up storage space, this storage information updates automatically. 

Optimize storage space

Your Mac can optimize storage by using iCloud to automatically make more storage space available when needed.*

Let your Mac free up storage space for you, and use its built-in utilities to quickly find files, apps, books, movies, and other items that are taking up space, then delete items you no longer need.

Move or delete files

If you have another storage device, such as an external drive connected to your Mac, you can move files to that device. Media files such as photos and videos can use a lot of storage space, so you can take steps such as these:

You can also delete files that you no longer need. For example:

  • Delete musicmoviespodcasts, or other media, especially if it's media that you can stream or download again as needed.
  • Delete files in your Downloads folder. Open this folder from the Dock, or by choosing Go > Downloads from the menu bar in the Finder.
  • If you use the Mail app for your email, choose Mailbox > Erase Junk Mail from the menu bar in Mail. Also choose Mailbox > Erase Deleted Items.
  • If you use your Mac to back up your iPhone or iPad, you can delete old backups.
  • Uninstall apps that you no longer use.
  • If your Mac is set up for multiple users, delete users that no longer need access to your Mac. Or ask them to follow the steps in this article after logging in to their user account. Also check the Users folder on Macintosh HD for any undeleted data belonging to deleted users. 
  • Check the Users folder on Macintosh HD for any shared files that you no longer need to share.

If you don't want to delete certain files, you might be able to save space by compressing them. Then expand them when you need to use them again.

Did you empty the Trash? When you move a file to the Trash, its storage space doesn't become available until you empty the Trash.

* Storing files in iCloud uses storage space in your iCloud storage plan. If you reach your iCloud storage limit, you can buy more iCloud storage, or you can make more iCloud storage available. iCloud storage starts at 50GB for $0.99 (USD) a month. You can purchase additional storage directly from your Apple device. Learn more about prices in your region.

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