Free up storage space on your Mac

Use the storage-management features of your Mac, or free up space in other ways.

Optimize storage space

To make more storage space available, use the storage-management features of macOS Sierra or later.

  1. From the Apple menu  in the corner of your screen, choose About This Mac. Then click Storage to see the amount of storage space available for your data.
    About this Mac Storage tab
  2. Click the Manage button.
  3. Choose from the recommendations shown, such as Store in iCloud,* Optimize Storage, and Reduce Clutter. Learn more about how to use these features to optimize storage space.
    Storage Management window


Free up storage space in other ways

  • Manually delete unneeded files by moving them to the Trash, then emptying the Trash. Deleting unneeded music, movies, and other media can free up a lot of space, as can deleting files in the Downloads folder. 
  • Delete unneeded email in the Mail app. To delete junk email, open Mail and choose Mailbox > Erase Junk Mail. To delete email you've moved to the Trash mailbox, choose Mailbox > Erase Deleted Items.
  • Connect an external storage device to your Mac, then move files to that device.
  • Compress files so that they use less storage space.
  • Make sure that your Mac is using macOS Sierra or later, which includes space-saving features like detecting duplicate downloads in Safari; reminding you to delete used app installers; removing old and unused fonts, languages, and dictionaries; and clearing caches, logs, and other unnecessary data when storage space is needed.


Check your progress

To check your progress as you free up storage space, rely on the amount of storage space shown as “available” in About This Mac or at the top of the storage-management window pictured above.

Other measurements, including measurements in other tools, might calculate storage space differently or show storage categories such as Other, Purgeable, Free, Other Volumes, Not Mounted, VM, Recovery, or System Data. Don't rely on those measurements to understand how much space is available for your data, or how to make more space available.


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

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