After several months of enjoying the lightning-fast speed of Mac, it may break your heart to notice the computer is lagging.
If your device has suddenly slowed down, check the storage by clicking System Settings > General > Storage. You will see that your device is bloated with huge data, and that’s the reason behind this sudden slowdown. Luckily, you can easily fix this issue without running to the nearest service center.
Try Optimizing Storage Using Apple’s Suggestions
Based on your macOS version, if you click the Apple menu > About This Mac > More Info > Storage, you will find some helpful suggestions to optimize your Mac’s storage.
- Click the Optimize Storage option, and this will automatically remove the TV shows and movies that you have already viewed on your device.
- You can upload documents, files, videos, and pictures to your iCloud storage.
- You can set the Trash to automatically empty itself if files have been there for more than thirty days. This will save you from manually cleaning the Trash.
While in the Storage settings, click on the ‘i’ icon next to the individual file types and review the content. You may find some redundant, irrelevant files that you can remove to free up storage space on your device.
Clean the Downloads Folder
Check the Downloads folder and find out if there are irrelevant files you can remove. This folder is often overlooked and forgotten. It may contain several downloaded files, such as email attachments, movies, music, pictures, etc. Delete them to clear space.
Delete Old Time Machine Backups
Backing up your device is an essential practice that will prevent the loss of data if your system is stolen, lost, or encountered firmware issues.
Time Machine is one of the best ways to back up your Mac. Typically, when you use this tool, you back up files on an external drive. But macOS may store snapshots of the backup locally on your device’s hard drive.
Old Time Machine backups must be automatically removed by your system when storage is full. But there might be times when you need to free the storage space sooner. So reclaim the space by removing these old backups.
Do you not know how to delete Time Machine backups on Mac? First, open the Terminal application on your Mac > type mutil list local snapshots / > press Return > wait until you see the list of snapshots > enter tmutil delete local snapshots xxxxxxx (xxxxxx being name of one of the backups, usually in the form of a date followed by a text string) > repeat the first two steps and delete other backups.
Once you are done, head to System Settings > General > Storage and see if you have reclaimed the storage space.
Remove System Data
On your Mac, you will find a tab in Storage Settings called System Data. This tab was previously called Other Storage.
In the System Data tab, you will find temp files, Application leftovers, disk images, caches, extensions, plug-ins, archives, etc. You can remove the files you don’t need from this tab to free space.
Empty the Trash Cans
The Trash on your Mac stores all the deleted files. This means the files you delete are not permanently removed from your computer. Instead, they are sent to the Trash, and they remain there until you get rid of them. In some situations, it is helpful to find files in the Trash. For example, suppose you have accidentally deleted files and need to retrieve them. You can look for them in the Trash and recover them.
But if you want to permanently remove the files from the Trash to clear storage space, you must empty the Trash.
Please note that Mac systems have several trash cans, and that’s why you must empty all of them.
You can empty the user account’s primary trash can by right-clicking the Trash icon on the desktop and selecting Empty Trash. Unfortunately, all the files will be deleted permanently, and you won’t be able to recover them.
Mail, iMovie, and iPhoto have their individual trash cans, and you must empty those as well. If you have deleted media files from these applications, the files are sent to their respective trash cans. For instance, if you have deleted photos from iPhoto, you must go to the iPhoto trash can and permanently delete the files.
Here are some more tips to clear storage space on your Mac:
- Uninstall all the applications you don’t need anymore.
- Remove iTunes backups of your iPad and iPhone stored on your Mac.
- Clear browser cookies and cache files.
- Find and remove all the duplicate files that might take up significant space on your Mac’s hard drive.
The Bottom Line
If your Mac is bloated with huge data, you must take immediate steps to clear space. Macs slow down and encounter performance issues if there’s insufficient space to function.