12 Steps to Optimize Data on a Mac

As MacBook users, we all know that managing storage can be a hassle, and keeping the device running efficiently is key to getting the best performance out of it.

Whether you’re running into full disk warnings or just trying to maximize the available space on your Mac, there are some simple steps you can take to help manage your storage and keep your computer running smoothly.

Here are 12 tips to help you become more efficient at managing the MacBook’s storage.

  1. Cleaning up Desktop Clutter

File clutter can quickly add up and take up valuable space on the hard drive. Keeping your desktop organized and only saving essential files will help reduce clutter and free up space.

  1. Deleting Unneeded Applications

It’s easy to accumulate apps on computers that we never use or don’t need anymore.

Uninstalling unwanted applications is one of the easiest ways to save space on a Mac.

  1. Emptying Trash Bin

The Trash bin holds deleted files that have not yet been permanently erased from our computers.

Going through the Trash bin every once in a while to erase these leftover files helps us free up extra space quickly.

  1. Using iCloud Storage

iCloud is an online storage system designed specifically for Apple products like our MacBooks that allow us to back up data and photos in the cloud instead of storing them directly onto a computer’s hard drive, which can clog up memory quickly over time if not managed properly.

  1. Moving Photos & Videos To External Storage

Photos and videos tend to occupy large chunks of space very rapidly, so relocating those saved pictures on external HDDs/SDDs, cloud services, or even social networks gives us freedom from worrying about finding extra room when needed in the future.

External hard drives also help with reading certain file formats. Can Mac read NTFS on its own, for example? No, which is why third-party peripherals are necessary.

  1. Optimizing Storage Space Settings

Our MacOS devices come with an optimization feature built-in that allows us to adjust how much storage each application takes up on our device, giving us more control over the memory each program uses in total by freeing unused temporary caches and web browsing data.

  1. Removing Duplicates 

Duplicate documents or folders often appear without us noticing while transferring data between different locations or unintentionally downloading the same file multiple times, resulting in unnecessary amounts of space in some cases.

Getting rid of these duplicates helps clear out unnecessary copies and prevent them from taking up extra room by being stored multiple times in different places within our HDDs/SDDs/Flash Drives, etc.

  1. Monitoring OS Updates

New OS updates can consume a large amount of storage, so checking their size before installing them is critical for keeping our laptop’s performance optimal and preserving precious resources for other operations when needed.

  1. Backing Up Your Files Regularly 

Regularly backing up important documents, photos, music, and other files off of our computer helps us stay organized and prevents any unexpected loss due to hardware failure or accidental deletion of files from consuming too much memory at once with no way of recovering them easily afterward (unless backed up).

  1. Using Compression Software

Many compression software programs exist, such as WinRAR or Zip programs, that let us significantly minimize document file sizes, especially when containing large multimedia content with high-resolution images and videos, resulting in almost half of the initial size being occupied while still preserving all its original data intact.

  1. Disabling Time Machine Backups

By disabling TM backups, we can prevent macOS from automatically creating duplicate versions of saved files occasionally, which may result in wasting disk quota if not properly managed over longer periods without being initially realized.

  1. Cleaning Up System Caches 

Cached data are temporary folders created by applications upon their usage, containing certain instructions and settings needed for those apps’ proper functioning.

However, they are dumped afterward, leaving behind empty spaces which add unnecessary weight onto otherwise existing documents and folders occupying valuable real estate on HDDs/SDDs, etc.

This can be addressed by using cleaning utilities such as Disk Utility or OnyX Framework.

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