Reduce Clutter On Your Mac

We are always looking for ways to clean up our Mac’s. Either because we are just fastidious people or we want to recapture more disk space for all our “stuff”. There are several Apps that help with this cleanup process, but Apple has some cleaning features built right into macOS.

Reduce Clutter

I discovered the “Reduce Clutter” feature the other day while reading another article on cleaning up the Mac. It really does help you remove junk from your Mac. Here is how it works.

To get into “Reduce Clutter” go to the Apple Menu (upper left corner of your Desktop Screen) and choose About This Mac. In the About Window click on the Storage Tab:

When you click on the “Manage” button upper-right corner you will be taken to this screen:

Now look at this window carefully! Several file areas are listed in the left sidebar. They are Recommendations only. The macOS is listing stuff it thinks you should consider for cleaning up your system.

The next step is to click on the “Review Files” button which produces this window:

You select an item in the sidebar (in this case Documents) and a list of possible files to delete appears in the adjacent window area. The path to where the file is located appears on the bottom of the window, just an added bit of information to aid your decision process.

You click on files to select them. When you role your mouse over a file the “x” button appears along with the “find” button:

To remove a file just click on the “x” button and it gives you this warning:

I want to emphasize to be careful here. I went through this list and found old backups, old movie files and other stuff that I removed. But, I also found several other files that I wanted to keep. So, proceed with caution as you scroll through the list.

Speaking of scrolling through the list, you can select several items by Shift⇧-Clicking or Command⌘-Clicking. Then, if you right-click on those items it offers a “Delete” command:

When you click “Delete”, ALL those items are deleted at once. This feature saves you a lot of time.

By the way, be sure and go down the sidebar list and check for “Clutter” in different areas of your Mac. Here is what shows up in my iOS Files area:

I removed one of those backups. You may find several old iOS backups in there.

When I got down to the System Junk area the “Reduce Clutter” window displayed “Run CleanMyMac” in the window. That totally surprised me. I think the CleanMyMac people must have worked with Apple to get their App linked to the macOS like that. At any rate, since it was there, I did open CleanMyMac and clean out some System Junk.

Using the “Reduce Clutter” feature is not the kind of thing you do every week. I think I will setup a quarterly reminder or perhaps even every six months.

Conclusion

All in all the “Reduce Clutter” function is pretty handy. I removed about 10 GB of junk using it, YMMV of course. Just be careful about deleting files. Most of the ones that can be deleted are pretty obvious. If you are not sure about a file, leave it alone.