Free Up Space On Your Mac

If you have been using a Mac for a long time, you are aware of different ways to make your machine run better. One thing people often overlook is maintaining a certain amount of free space on their Mac hard drive. The adage which is still true is you need at least 10% free space on our Mac hard drive, but 20% is much better. Here is how to check your free space.

Mac Free Space

You can check the free storage space on your Mac in the About This Mac window.

About This Mac

Once in this window, just click the Storage Tab.


The next window displays how storage is used on your Mac.

Manage Storage

If you roll your mouse over the bar graph, a popup for each color will display.

If you have a low amount of free space on your Mac, you need to remove some stuff. A helpful way to discover what is taking up all the space is to click on the Manage button.

Review Files

You have to be careful in here! Selecting some of these options like Optimize Storage can change how your Mac is structured.1 I think your best bet is to use the “Reduce Clutter” option to see what is taking up all the space. To do that click on the Review Files button.

Select Files

It automatically lists all the large files from the largest to the smallest. If you click on a file, a path to the file is displayed.

Delete Files

If you wish to remove that file to free up some space, just select it and click the Delete button. Don’t forget to empty your Trash.


The bare minimum of free space for your Mac to operate properly is 10%. If you could get your free space up to 20% or more, your Mac will run even better. It will not be so sluggish, and you will have fewer issues.

  1. By the way, this page from Apple explains all of the options in this area.