macOS High Sierra

Optimize storage on your Mac

macOS can help make more room on your Mac by optimizing its storage. When space is needed, it keeps files, photos and videos, iTunes movies and TV shows, and email attachments in the cloud and makes them available on demand. Files won’t take up space on your Mac, and you can download the original files when you need them. Recent files and optimized versions of your photos are always on your Mac.

Optimize storage recommendations in the Storage pane.
  • To view recommendations and decide how to optimize storage on your Mac, choose Apple menu > About This Mac, click Storage at the top of the window, then click Manage.

    Recommendation

    Description

    Store in iCloud

    Helps you store files from your Desktop and Documents folders in iCloud Drive, store photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library, store Messages and attachments in iCloud, and optimize storage by keeping only recently opened files when space is needed.

    For more information, see Store your desktop and documents in iCloud Drive, Keep your photos and videos up to date everywhere with iCloud Photo Library, and Sync messages in iCloud.

    You can modify these settings later in iCloud System Preferences and Photos preferences.

    Optimize Storage

    Helps you optimize iTunes and Mail attachment storage. When space is needed on your Mac, watched movies and email attachments are automatically removed from your Mac.

    For more information, see Optimize your storage space and Mail Account Information preferences.

    You can modify these settings later in iTunes and Mail preferences.

    Empty Trash Automatically

    Automatically erase items that have been in the Trash for more than 30 days. You can modify this setting later in Finder preferences; see Delete files and folders for information.

    Reduce Clutter

    Quickly find files, apps, books, movies, and other items that are taking up space, then manually delete items you no longer need. For instructions, see Find and delete files.

When space is needed on your Mac, macOS also clears caches and logs that are safe to delete, including temporary database files, interrupted downloads, staged macOS and app updates, Safari website data, and more.

Note: If your disk is partitioned, recommendations apply to only the partition that contains your home directory.

To see an overview of used and free disk space, choose Apple menu > About This Mac, then click Storage. For more information, see See used and available storage space.