Locating space wasters

The most efficient way to free up disk space is to delete some large files and folders you no longer need.

Look at the disk map and try to locate unusually large folders. Then drill down and find out what actually takes so much disk space.

iTunes and media files

iTunes library often takes tens or hundreds of gigabytes on users’ disks. Here’re a few suggestions on cleaning it:

  • Check for duplicates. Removing a single film’s copy can save you up to 5 gigabytes.
  • Remove old backups of your iOS devices. These are normally located within ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup.
  • Delete old purchased content. You don’t have to keep a local copy of every movie, song or app you’ve purchased on iTunes as they can be redownloaded anytime (unless taken down from the store).
  • Remove some large movies, apps or podcasts. While DaisyDisk can be a great tool for finding the largest ones, use iTunes’ own UI to delete any content from its library to avoid broken links.

Check movie (~/Movies) or music (~/Music) folders for large films, podcasts or music collections you may not need anymore.

Downloads

Download (~/Downloads) folders are often filled with lots of large files you don’t even know about. It’s usually a good idea to move everything valuable out of this folder and just empty it from time to time. Do you really need to keep all the stuff you download from the network?

Games

Modern games successfully compete with HD movies for taking most of the disk space. Mac App Store and Steam gamers are lucky: they can delete their games and download them later saving tens of gigabytes on their disks.

Mac App Store games are normally located in your Applications (/Applications) folder and Steam game folder can be found in ~/Library/Application Support/Steam. Just don’t delete Steam games from DaisyDisk, use Steam’s own UI instead.

Hidden and purgeable space

Sometimes you may notice that a significant part of your disk is taken by so called “hidden space”. You can scan as administrator to reveal the restricted folders.

Purgeable space” is one of the possible hidden consumers of disk space. macOS will automatically reclaim it when applications require more disk space. Alternatively, you can forcedly reclaim by dragging the “purgeable space” item to the Collector.

Application libraries and leftovers

Some applications leave huge cache files or libraries in ~/Library/Application Support, but be careful when deleting anything from this folder and know what you’re doing. If you need to remove an application with all of its settings and data, use special tools like AppDelete.