How to Delete Unnecessary Files on Mac to Free Up Storage

MacBooks excel in multiple areas, but they are not that great when it comes to overall storage. 

It is common to run into space issues on the device, which calls for users to seek potential solutions.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways to manage the storage on your MacBook. If you want to learn how to delete unnecessary files on Mac computers and how to free up storage using other methods, this article will come in quite handy.

Deleting Files

Table of Contents

It is no secret that deleting files is usually the first idea that comes to mind if someone wishes to free up space on their computer. Of course, it is worth noting that one should focus on unnecessary files. You do not want to remove important data.

As a MacBook user, you will likely drag the files into the Trash. Note, though, that putting data in the Trash is not enough. You need to empty the Trash. Or, at the very least, enable the feature that removes files in the Trash automatically after 30 days.

If you do not want to bother with Trash and simply wish to remove a file permanently, use the Option + Command + Delete keyboard shortcut after selecting a file or multiple files you wish to get rid of permanently. After hitting the shortcut, you will see a confirmation prompt asking if you really want to delete the files. Confirm it to remove the files.

Using Cleanup Tools

Removing files manually is not the only option that you have at your disposal. No, you can also make the most out of various cleanup utility tools.

Automating the process is efficient since you can save a lot of time. If you were to look for the tips on dealing with MacBook storage, particularly duplicate files, it becomes clear that finding such files is a challenge that should be left to the software.

A similar thing applies to data like app localization files. Not to mention temporary system storage that accumulates over time.

Investing money in a cleanup utility tool should not be a problem. A decent cleanup app does not cost that much. And since you are going to use it on a regular basis, it makes even more sense to consider getting such an application on your MacBook.

Utilizing External Storage

A data management strategy on a MacBook does not have to revolve just around deleting files permanently. No, there are other approaches that can work just as well, and it is worth talking about them.

The first such suggestion is external storage. Instead of keeping all the files on your MacBook, you can make the most out of a USB flash drive or a hard drive.

Simply transfer files from your MacBook to an external storage accessory. Sure, it means having to keep an extra peripheral at your home, but hard drives and USB flash drives do not take up that much space. 

Similar things apply to cloud storage. Dropbox and Google Drive are great services, but the odds are that most MacBook users will stick to iCloud, the default cloud platform for Apple devices.

iCloud provides a digital alternative to external storage accessories. You can store files and access data on a digital server. Moreover, there is the feature to sync iCloud with other Apple devices, such as iPhones and iPads. 

The default iCloud plan offers 5 GB of free storage, but you can expand the storage on your account by paying a monthly fee. For as little as 10 dollars per month, you can have 2 TB of storage on your iCloud.

One final thing to mention about both cloud services and external storage accessories is that they can also be used as a means to back up data, which is a great benefit when you consider how crucial data backups these days are due to all the cybersecurity threats and other risks for your data.

Cutting Media Files

Another interesting trick that might come in handy is to minimize the number of media files on your computer.

Large media files could be the primary reason why you are struggling so much with the storage on your MacBook. 

These days, it is much better to avoid having media files directly on your computer. Instead, stick to streaming platforms.

Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon, Disney+, and other streaming services should have pretty much everything you need in terms of movies and TV shows. For music, there is Spotify.

Sticking to streaming services provides a convenient way to consume media and solves storage issues on your computer.


All in all, if you own a MacBook and want to avoid storage issues on the device, there is more to just deleting files. Make the most out of the tips mentioned in this article, and you should be okay.

Leave a Comment