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desiree333's avatar

How do I free up my MacBook's Drive Space?

Asked by desiree333 (3190 points ) October 18th, 2011

For the first time while trying to import a CD onto iTunes, I got a popup about how “my start-up disc” is almost full, or something like that. In my Macintosh HD I have 59.81 GB capacity and only have 3.18 GB left, that kind of worries me. I’ve only had this laptop for about two months. I am not sure what used up all of my space so quickly, I don’t have many picture and I only have 2 extra applications (uTorrent and VLC). Do you think the fact that I downloaded 2 movies and 1 TV season (which was 10.8 GB) is what took up all of this space?

What simple things can I do to free up some space? I have heard about something like sudo periodic daily, weekly, monthly. If it is possible, please explain how to do whatever you suggest if it is complicated and what it will delete on my laptop.

Here’s an bonus question: If I convert this TV season onto my iTunes, then move the download to my trash, will it still be taking up the 10 GB on my laptop? Is there any way, other than putting it on a CD that I can free up the space and still be able to view it? If I import music/movies/pictures onto my iTunes, then delete the file on my downloads folder, will it delete on my iTunes?

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9 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

Copy files onto an external hard drive, and then delete them from the computer, just use the computer for watching/listening to the files.

If you move soemthing to trash then it gets deleted, as in removed, its gone.

You can buy a one terabyte external drive for less that $100, and 500 gig for $50.

desiree333's avatar

@XOIIO If I import all my music and video onto my iTunes, can I send all the files on my computer to the trash, and empty it? Or do I have to keep the files on my computer for them to work on iTunes? That seems to be the bulk of the bloat on my drive space.

XOIIO's avatar

Copy everything onto the external, and delete it off the computer, then you can just watch it from the external.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

I highly recommend the program CleanMyMac

It probably wont free up as much HDD space as you would like, but it does an amazing job at cleaning out the clutter. It will probably find a couple GB worth of files to remove. Everything from old caches, language files you don’t use, & depending on your computer it will remove the universal binaries of apps.

I scan my Mac with this program about once a month. It removes a couple GB each time. Definitely check it out.

Something else you can do: Set aside an afternoon to do a sort of spring cleaning of your apps & files. I know you said you only have 2 extra apps, but open up the folder containing all your apps & see if you can find some that you don’t use.

As for one of your ‘bonus questions’. “If I import music/movies/pictures onto my iTunes, then delete the file on my downloads folder, will it delete on my iTunes?” that depends on the settings you have for iTunes. Open iTunes & then go into the preferences panel. Then click on ‘Advanced’. There is a tick box for the option to, “Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library.” Having that box checked off means that when you drag anything into iTunes, it copies the file from it’s original location & pastes a duplicate in iTunes folder. So if you drag a song from the desktop into iTunes, you can delete the song from the desktop & the song will still be in iTunes.

njnyjobs's avatar

Check to see if you have Time Machine active and how much space is allocated for its use. Make adjustments as needed. But the simple fact is that a 60GB HDD these days is on the small side, as suggested, use an external hard drive to store data files, including Time Machine back-ups

jrpowell's avatar

GrandPerspective will give you an idea of where your space has gone.

sliceswiththings's avatar

Disk Inventory is another program that shows you your harddrive in a neat color-coded thing. You can really see how much room videos and photos take up. Once I finish an imovie project, for example, i move it onto my external.

creative1's avatar

I highly suggest putting the movies and anything else on iCloud, its free if you have Lion OS, so why the heck not keep your HD clean and keep your files and movies safe from crashes. You can also access them from any computer.

ratboy's avatar

Maclife offers some pointers. DaisyDisk is another tool for finding out what’s taking up space on your disk. Another alternative is to store iTunes on iCloud.

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