Free up storage space on your Mac

If you need to make more storage space available on your Mac, use its built-in tools to optimize storage space, or free up space in other ways.

Optimize storage space

  1. From the Apple menu  in the corner of your screen, choose About This Mac.
  2. Click Storage. At first the storage bar estimates the amount of used and available storage space. When it finishes calculating, it shows segments representing several categories of files.About this Mac Storage tab
  3. Click the Manage button to open the storage management window:
    Storage Management window
  4. To begin optimizing storage space, choose from features such as Store in iCloud,* Optimize Storage, and Reduce Clutter. Learn more about these features.
  5. To measure progress as you make changes, refer to the amount of “available” space shown at the top of this window, or in About This Mac.

Free up storage space in other ways

  • Delete unneeded media, such as music or movies or podcasts, which can use a lot of storage space.
  • Delete unneeded files in the Downloads folder. You can open the Downloads folder from the Dock or by choosing Go > Downloads from the menu bar in the Finder.
  • Delete unneeded email in the Mail app. To delete junk mail, open Mail and choose Mailbox > Erase Junk Mail. To delete mail that you've moved to the Trash, choose Mailbox > Erase Deleted Items.
  • If your Mac is set up for multiple users, remove users that you no longer want to have 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 previously removed users.
  • Check the Users folder on Macintosh HD for any shared files that you no longer need to share.
  • Move some of your files to external storage, such as iCloud Drive* or an external drive connected to your Mac.
  • Uninstall apps that you no longer use. 
  • Compress files that you use infrequently.

Remember that 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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