Now I’m using a 13-inch MacBook Pro in 2017 with a Touch Bar with a 256 GB drive. However, before that, all my Apple laptops were at 128 GB, and I did not feel any discomfort, using them all 100%. How did I do it?
I collected all the information on this matter in one material and divided it into 10 simple tips. They will help you to use the built-in functions of the system, third-party software and even additional “glands” to remove the extra and expand the repository.
1. Purchase an external hard drive for large files
Every time when it comes to additional hard drives, most people look at me with disbelief. Everyone immediately thinks that I’m an Old Believer and I’m afraid for the safety of my information in the clouds. I can assure you that everything is exactly the opposite.
Indeed, all the most important information I store in iCloud Drive, which not so long ago moved from a bundle of Dropbox and Google Drive. I have never had any problems with all these cloud storage facilities, and I trust them with my important data 100%.
I’m more than sure that the probability of hard disks out of order is much higher than the possibility of problems with clouds.
However, to access the clouds you need the Internet, you do not have to connect to it, and you do not have hard disks.
For example, I have this constantly during crossings between cities by rail. That’s why I have a whole set of movies here that would never fit on the built-in 128 GB.
I have a pair of hard drives : one Toshiba Canvio, and the second Western Digital My Passport. They work adequately, and there are no complaints either to the first or to the second.
2. Disable automatic backups
Time Machine makes backup copies of your MacBook data to an external large volume drive. This can be the most common external hard drive or Apple’s proprietary wireless storage called Time Capsule.
However, a laptop is a mobile device that is not always connected to an external source, in which case the application makes a backup of some data directly to the hard disk of the device itself.
Not always they are really needed, but the space on the disk is occupied.
Prior to macOS High Sierra, it was possible to disable the creation of a local backup by a simple command for the “Terminal”:
sudo tmutil disablelocal
To include it back in this case it will turn out through the reverse command:
sudo tmutil enablelocal
However, in macOS High Sierra and macOS Mojave, this technique does not work anymore. You can only go to the “System Settings”> Time Machine menu and uncheck “Create backup copies automatically”.
If you do this, to create a backup in manual mode, you will need to go to the same menu or make it through the system line. Locally, such data your MacBook with a minimum amount of permanent memory will not be stored.
3. Use cloud storage correctly, there are nuances
To expand the available space on the Mac hard disk, many use cloud storage, and this is a great practice.
Nevertheless, inexperienced users face an unexpected problem. After installing DropBox or Google Drive, all files from them are downloaded to the computer for local access.
In order not to take up space on the hard disk, you can use files in the cloud storage through the web interface from any browser: Safari, Chrome and so on. They offer convenient tools for this kind of work, and this particularly applies to Google Drive.
But it’s much more convenient for me to use clouds as external disks with the help of the ExpanDrive utility ($ 49.95 for a single-user license). It also adds them directly to the Finder, but does not download files to the hard drive.
The benefit of using this approach is obvious. First, such access to files is more common for everyone. Secondly, although not without nuances, but you can fully use the data in the clouds through any software.
The application works with FTP, WebDAV, Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 and many other systems, protocols and services.
Right after the first start, it will settle in the menu bar and suggest adding any number of cloud storage.
4. Transfer the library and backups to an external drive
The first thing that inexperienced users refuse when using a MacBook with a minimum hard drive capacity is automatically saving the Apple Music library for offline listening. You can do this in the iTunes menu> Settings> Downloads.
However, you can transfer the media library to an external hard drive or other medium. To do this, start iTunes with the Option (⌥) key pressed, select the “Create Media Library” option and use an external hard disk for this. The same method works with the “Photo” program.
You can have several media libraries: selected music and photos in the internal storage, as well as everything else on the additional media.
Interesting scenarios can also be realized if you simultaneously take advantage of ExpanDrive. Switch between media libraries can be through the same Option (⌥)
There are backup copies of your devices that iTunes stores in this folder:
~ / Library / Application Support / MobileSync / Backup
Some advise to change the default location via Terminal to an external hard drive, but this is not the best way.
Practice shows that it is much easier to manually move backup copies from the Finder to any convenient place and remove it from the hard disk. And, if necessary, restore the data to return them back and do it with regular means.
If you still want to change the default location, use the command for “Terminal”:
ln -s / Volumes / HardDriveName / MyBackup / Backup / ~ / Library / Application \ Support / MobileSync
Here, change the HardDriveName to the name of your external hard drive, and MyBackup to the directory where you want to store the backups.
5. Remove unnecessary localization of the operating system and software
Virtually all developers make software universal. This primarily applies to the localizations that are used in them by default.
For example, you can get rid of them using the CleanMyMac application ($ 39.95 for a single-user license). It will remove useless languages already during the first automatic cleaning (this is the case with version X).
Sometimes all this takes more than 1 GB, and from such grains today we also collect useful space on the hard disk.
6. Get rid of all the superfluous software
Soberly evaluate the software that is installed on your MacBook, and decide what you need and what is not.
There’s no point in storing all the software that you might need on your hard drive, because with a normal connection to the Internet, you can download it again in minutes.
For example, I very long ago bought the application Waltr 2 ($ 39.95), which is designed for simple transfer of content to mobile devices Apple wirelessly. Videos, music, books and other content automatically converts and distributes the program between standard iOS applications.
The utility is useful, but for a couple of months, I never started it for business. This experience makes you think. Yes, third-party software sometimes adds a lot of useful features to your Mac, but most programs lie on the computer’s hard drive and only take a useful place.
7. Monitor the contents of the Downloads folder regularly
The Downloads folder is used by macOS to store the files that you download from the Internet, by default.
If you do not keep track of its contents, it quickly accumulates a huge number of files that can occupy a decent amount of space on your hard drive. For example, recently I removed about 20 GB of useless junk from here.
I advise you to regularly clean the “Downloads” manually or to think about automating this process.
8. Set auto-transfer files to external disk
In the automatic file transfer, the Hazel application ($ 32 for a single-user license) will help you .
With it, you can configure the automatic transfer of certain types of files to specific foldersor send them directly to the trash. For example, all videos of AVI and MKV formats that fall into the “Downloads” on my computer are automatically transferred to the “Movies” library.
And now imagine the scope for the action that opens before you when you combine the possibilities of Hazel and ExpanDrive. Some files can be immediately transferred to the cloud storage, and this is very cool.
At the same time, unfinished downloads can be sent to the shopping cart after a while, and all large files will be transferred to an external hard drive.
9. Try the built-in Mac tools to clean the disk
The problem of lack of space in the internal memory of Mac is known for a long time. At one time, Apple moved all the laptops to SSD, which are too expensive for a large volume, so the market a huge number of MacBooks at 128 and even 64 GB. This is why macOS provides separate mechanisms for cleaning the site.
You can get acquainted with them in the “About This Mac”> “Vault”> “Manage”. The easiest way to use tips from the “Recommendations”, there are enough of them.
For example, I actively use storage optimization in iCloud . The vast majority of my files are stored on Apple’s corporate cloud. When the hard disk space of my laptop runs out, the original documents are deleted from it and remain in the cloud. They can be loaded back during use.
This is convenient, but with this possibility you need to be extremely careful. The fact is that you can not access many important data offline, and it will play with you a cruel joke.
Also, be sure to use the automatic cleaning of the basket after 30 days. The setting of this feature is in the same menu.
10. Select the normal software to clean the hard drive
DaisyDisk ($ 9.99) – with this simple application that visualizes the amount of space on the hard drive, I determine what it eats.
This is not a specialized utility for deleting files, but it famously helps me manually find exactly those documents that suddenly hide in the wilds of the Finder.
CleanMyMac ($ 39.95 for a single-user license) is the most controversial application for cleaning data, which I love very much.
For some reason, many blame him for the unintended consequences of using it, but I myself have never encountered such a thing.
Moreover, now I use its 4th beta version, and I do not know of any problems. I perform automatic cleaning of data once or twice a month, each time I get + 5-6 GB of free space.
Other applications from this article are not intended specifically for cleaning memory, so I can not stand them at this point. In general, for Mac there are so many different useful software that I recommend that you just try.
That’s all. If you have any questions, welcome in the comments. There, be sure to write about how you cope with work and leisure from the Mac for 128 or even 64 GB.