How to Clean Up My MacBook Hard Drive? 5 Suggestions

Considering how popular and reliable MacBooks are, it should not come as a surprise that Apple is putting even more effort into improving their computers and making the user experience better.

Having said that, MacBooks are still behind MS Windows computers in terms of the sheer number of users. 

You can find faults with Apple computers, and one of the most noticeable drawbacks is that you end up with relatively limited storage.

Not having enough free space on the computer’s drive is a problem that leads to notable drops in overall Mac performance. 

If you are asking yourself how to clean up my MacBook hard drive to free up the space on the device, this article have you covered.

Eliminate Unnecessary Apps

Let’s start with deleting old applications. Open the list of the apps you have installed on your MacBook over the years and consider which of them you can remove. 

If you are on the fence about deleting a specific app, remember that you can always download and reinstall it later. The goal is to free up the storage for now, so apps that you do not really need can be removed.

As a side note, you can also check which of the apps are consuming a lot of resources. It should make your decision more straightforward as well. Ctrl Alt Del on MacBook as a keyboard shortcut is not really a thing, so you will need to use a different approach to launch Activity Monitor and check which of the background apps are consuming the most resources.

Take Care of Temporary Storage

Continuing with the point about deleting apps, you also need to be mindful of the fact that apps and other types of data leave temporary storage, such as cache, extensions, and plugins.

You want to take care of those as well. While temporary storage might not consume that much space, it still adds up. Not to mention the fact that the sheer number of files also affects the MacBook’s performance.

It is recommended to use a dedicated cleanup utility tool that deletes cache and other system junk for you.

Delete Unnecessary Files Permanently

Whether it is email attachments, media files, work documents, or other types of data, so long as you have no further need for them, remember to remove the unnecessary files permanently. 

Dragging and dropping a file in the Trash Bin is not the same as removing it from the MacBook permanently. You also have to empty the Trash Bin. Or, at the very least, enable the option so that the Trash gets deleted automatically after a file has been in the Bin for 30 days.

Finally, there is the Option + Command + Delete keyboard shortcut that removes files permanently. Be careful, though, as you might delete an important file accidentally. Double-check before you commit.

Use Antivirus Software

Using antivirus software might not seem like an option if you want to clear space on a computer’s drive, right? Well, the thing is, there are viruses that can infect the device and impact its storage a lot.

Certain types of malware manifest and slowly consume the disk’s space over time. And the chance each day is small enough that you do not even notice it. However, over time, the impact is quite significant, and you end up scratching your head and figuring out what happened.

Just to be sure, scan the computer with antivirus software and confirm that there are no corrupted files on it. 

Invest in External Storage

External storage can be a great answer to your potential problems. Instead of figuring out which files you need to delete permanently to free up disk space, you can take a different approach and transfer some data to external storage.

Cloud services like iCloud or Dropbox offer a few free gigabytes with an option to expand the total available storage by paying a monthly or yearly fee. Managing files digitally is quite common.

If you want, you can also get an external hard drive or a USB flash stick and transfer files there.

Other than helping you with storage problems on a MacBook, both of these external storage options also offer an opportunity to back up data if you want.


All in all, if you run into storage problems on your MacBook’s drive, do not fret. There are plenty of available options to overcome the lack of disk space. You simply need to create a strategy and build some habits that you can stick to.

Ultimately, it is about keeping a close eye on the files you have on the device. As soon as the file becomes useless, you should remove it, regardless of how small or large it is. Everything else can be considered a bonus.

Luqman Safay, founder of, is a tech enthusiast and a trusted source of information in the tech world. With a passion for simplifying complex tech concepts, he empowers readers to make informed choices about laptops and technology. Stay up to date with the latest tech trends at

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