Cleaning up the Mac hard drive – How to get more space and boost performance

People usually spend time cleaning up their homes but don’t pay enough attention to the content on their computer hard drives.  Regardless of the age of a computer or Mac, spending some time to clean up the hard drive is a good idea as it will not only free up space but also allow it to work faster.

How to clean up a Mac:

  1. Backing up files: On the Mac, the program called Time Machine will carry out the required tasks.
  2. Login routine: If a Mac’s boot up routine is really slow, the issue may be that it has to open a lot of applications.  This can be fixed by going into System Preferences under Users & Groups and open the Login Items tab.  This will list all the applications that are set to open when the Mac is booted up. Uncheck the ones that are not needed at startup.
  3. Identifying and removing offending apps: If a Mac starts to slow down in the middle of a major job, one way to find out which of the applications is slowing down the process is to check on the Activity Monitor.  Numbers will keep fluctuating but users can check which app is using the most resources of the CPU and Memory.  The next step is to delete that program – especially if it is a web browser.    Another approach is to install the free utility Disk Inventory X – it can be run to scan the drive and show which application is taking up the most space.
  4. Cleaning up the hard drive: The biggest job is now to reclaim space on the hard drive.  There are quite a few applications on the Mac which can help in the cleanup process. To start, open the Disk Utility program and click on the hard drive.  The First Aid tab should be visible with a Repair Disk option.  Click on this option and wait till the scan is finished and necessary repairs made.

To clear up the cache of different applications and processes which get downloaded onto the hard drive, the free utility OnyX can help.   It will help to thoroughly scrub the hard drive and free up much needed space.  Unused applications and downloads can be deleted to free up much needed space.  The AppZapper is a good uninstaller tool available for Macs.

  1. Another way to increase disk space is to add more memory.  It is not exactly easy to do but there are instructions on how this can be done on a Mac.  Check for methods on the Internet and increase the functional capacity of your laptop.


Most users forget that music and photo files take up a lot of space on the hard drive.  These can be moved to an external hard drive to free up much needed space.  Some of the music and photos can be deleted in case a person feels that they are not needed.  There are tools to find out if there are duplicate music tracks on the Mac – these can be deleted before moving files on to the external hard drive. For more information visit us : how to clean up a mac.

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