How to Clean My Mac Hard Drive

By Lois Green, Friday, March 17, 2017

Lack of storage on hard drive is the culprit of a slow Mac. Therefore, to optimize your Mac's performance, it is essential for you to develop the habit of cleaning up Mac hard drive regularly, especially for those who have a smaller HDD Mac. In this post, we’ll show you how to see what’s taking up space on your Mac hard drive and how to clean Mac more effectively and easily. The tips are applicable to Mac OS Sierra, Mac OS X El Capitan, OS X Yosemite, Mountain Lion and another old version of Mac OS X.

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What's Taking Up Space on Mac Hard Drive

Before the clean-up, let's see what's taking up space of your Mac's hard drive so that you will know what to clean to get a faster Mac. Here is how you can check your hard drive storage on Mac:

  • Click the Apple icon at the top-left corner of your screen.

  • Choose "About This Mac."

  • Select Storage.

Mac Hard Drive Storage

You’ll see that there are six kinds of data that are eating up your storage: photos, movies, apps, audios, backups and other. You probably have no doubt about the first five kinds of data but get confused about what this "Other" storage category is. And sometimes it is the "Other" data that takes up most of the space on your hard drive.

In fact, this mysterious "Other" category includes all data that can't be identified as photos, movies, apps, audios, backups. They could be:

  • Documents such as PDF, doc, PSD;

  • Archives and disk images, including zips, dmg, iso, etc;

  • Various types of personal and user data;

  • System and applications files, such as user library items, user caches and system caches;

  • Fonts, app accessories, application plugins, and app extensions;

Now that we have know what's taking up the space of the Mac hard drive, we can search for the unwanted files and delete them to clean up space. However, this is much more troublesome than it sounds. It means that we have to go through folder by folder to find the unwanted files. Moreover, for system/application/users files in "Other" catagory, we don't even know the exact locations of these files.

That's why developers create different Mac cleaners to make cleaning easier and more effective for Mac users. Dr. Cleaner, the program that will be introduced below, is top-ranked among its kind.

Use Free Tool to Clean Your Mac Hard Drive Effectively

Dr. Cleaner is a free cleaner for Mac that you can download from iTunes Store.

Download Cleaner

You can use the program to:

  • Identify system files that can be safely removed from hard drive;

  • Scan out duplicate files and delete the copies;

  • Sort out big files by kind, size, date at once, making it easier for you the identify useless files;

  • Uninstall apps completely, including not only the app itself, but the related app files.

Tip: To delete duplicate files and uninstall apps in Dr. Cleaner, you'll need to purchase and upgrade to Dr. Cleaner Pro. Other features, such as scan out duplicate files, app files, are free to use. Now take a closer look at how Dr. Cleaner gives a a complete cleanup to your Mac. 

Step 1. Clean System Files

On the main window of Dr.Cleaner, you'll see "Junk Files" option in the left column. Click the option and give it a few seconds to scan out all removeable system files on your Mac, such as application caches, application logs, mail caches, browser caches, iTunes temporary files, which are all categorized as Other storage.

Tick the files and click "Next". The program will then ask you to confirm your selections, click "Remove" and it will begin to delete system files from hard drive. You can also empty Mac's trash bin from here.

Clean Junk App Cache

Step 2. Get Rid of Unwanted Big Files

Then you can click "Big Files" to scan out and delete the files that you need no more, including photos, movies, apps, audios, documents (PDF/DOC/PDS, etc) that are 10 MB and larger so that you don't have to look through every single files on your Mac. And instead of sorting out the files by only size, date, or kind, the program allows you to organize the files by the combination of size/date/kind, which will help you identify the unwanted files more quickly.

Clean Big Files on Mac

Step 3. Delete Duplicate Files

This feature will display all the duplicate files and their locations. Therefore, even though you don't upgrade to Dr. Cleaner Pro, you can simply click the located folder of the copies, then the folder will pop up so that you can delete the copies manually.

Clean Big Duplicate Files on Mac

Step 4. Remove Apps and App Data

Comparing to uninstalling apps manually, Dr.Cleaner will clean up the app thoroughly with all its app data deleted. Just click "App Manager" and choose the app you want to uninstall. Please notice that you only uninstall the apps in pro version. Otherwise, you'll need to go to the located folder that is displayed on Dr.Cleaner and delete app and app data manually.

App Manager on Mac

As you can see, Dr. Clean can help you clean all things that are eating up the space of your Mac hard drive, including not only apps and media files, but also data in Other catagory. Most of its features are free to use. Why not get it from App Store and try it yourself?

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