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How can I Clear Space on my Mac?


macOS Sierra and later versions automatically take a number of steps which assist in saving storage space.

  • Detects duplicate downloads in Safari, keeping only the most recent versions of downloads.
  • Prompts reminders to delete unneeded app installers.
  • Removes old languages, fonts, and dictionaries which are not being utilized.
  • Clears logs, unnecessary data, and caches when space is needed.

How to manually free storage space:

1. Delete unneeded files by moving them to trash, and emptying the trash. Typically, the Downloads directory is the best starting point.

2. Move files to an external drive that are not regularly used.

3. Compress files. (Ctrl+Click or tap the file using two fingers, then choose Compress.)

4. Delete unneeded emails. (In the Mail app: Open “Mailbox” — Erase Junk Mail. If the emails in the Trash mailbox are no longer needed: open “Mailbox” — Erase Deleted Items.)

Optimize Storage

Click the “Optimize” button, then choose from these options.

1. Automatically remove watched iTunes movies and TV shows. When storage space is needed, iTunes movies or TV shows that you already watched are removed from your Mac. Click the download icon next to a movie or TV show to download it again.

2. Download only recent attachments. Mail automatically downloads only the attachments that you recently received. You can manually download any attachments at any time by opening the email or attachment, or saving the attachment to your Mac.

3. Don’t automatically download attachments. Mail downloads an attachment only when you open the email or attachment, or save the attachment to your Mac.

Store in iCloud

1. Desktop and Documents. Store all files in these two locations in iCloud Drive. When storage space is needed, only the files you recently opened are kept on your Mac, so that you can easily work offline. Files that are stored only in the cloud show a download icon, which you can double-click to download the original file.

2. Photos. All original, full-resolution photos and videos are stored in iCloud Photo Library. When storage space is needed, only space-saving (optimized) versions of photos are kept on your Mac. To download the original photo or video, just open it.


Storing files in iCloud uses the storage space in your iCloud storage plan. If you need more iCloud storage, you can buy more starting at 50GB for $0.99 (USD) a month directly from your Apple device. Learn more about prices in your region.

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