Have you noticed that your Mac has started to slow down a bit lately? Is it taking longer to open or close apps? If so, this probably means that your hard drive space is rapidly depleting on your Mac. When you have many duplicate files, music files and other large files or applications, your hard drive is going to fill up, fast. No matter what you do, your Mac is not going to be perfect like day one when it came out of the box, but you can help restore space to its hard drive, which in turn will help it speed up.

Losing Hard Drive Space Is Something That Needs Your Attention Immediately

The first thing to understand is that your hard drive space is not memory. Disk space is measured in gigabytes. The more GB you have on your Mac, the more space you have to store your files and applications. The more files you have on your computer, no matter if they are word documents or movies, they are taking up space and slowing your Mac down drastically if not taken care of.

Reason #1: “Your Startup Disc Is Full”

Before you get the dreadful message, “Your startup disc is full”, you will want to make sure you take a few steps to start cleaning out your system. If you have already gotten this message then it means there are too many files on your hard drive and your Mac is having trouble finding space for temporary files. This can lead to your Mac crashing soon.

  • The first thing you should do is check how much free space is available on your startup disk. To check you free space, follow the steps below.Go to the “Finder” menu and select your startup disks icon. For most Mac users this is called Macintosh HD.
  • Press “Command I” keyboard combination
  • The “Get Info” window for the startup disk will open. In the general window, the capacity, used and available settings will display.

To help clean up your startup disc, it is important to empty your trash bin. Many times we forget that we that we have placed items in the trash bin. You should try to make it a habit to empty your trash and not let these unwanted files to just linger in the file.

Reason #2: Unused Applications

How about all those applications you have on your Mac? Do you have some that you no longer use? These unused applications are taking up a lot of room on your hard drive that could be used for other purposes.

To remove applications, you will want to first take inventory of the applications you have installed. Then follow these simple steps to uninstalling applications you no longer need on your Mac OS X.

  • First you will want to make sure you are not currently using the application. To find out if you are using the application, launch Activity Monitor and change “My Process” to “All Processes”.
  • Launch Finder and search for the application. You can narrow the search by placing the application name in the search box.
  • Right click on the application and press “Move To Trash”
  • Make sure if there is other folders and files to the certain application you are deleting, that you delete them, as well.
  • You will want to empty your Trash Bin.
  • Some applications will require you to reboot your Mac before they are completely removed.

Reason #3: Not Running Periodic Cleanups

Many Mac users will not let their Mac run 24/7. They believe it is important to turn off their computer and let it rest. They are right; you should turn off your Mac. But, when your Mac is turned off it is also not catching up on routine maintenance. Routine maintenance is a process that cleans out the logging system and does all the under the hood maintenance.

Not to worry if you are a user that turns off your Mac regularly. You can launch Terminal.app and then copy and paste one of the following codes below to still run routine maintenance. To launch Terminal.app, you will need to locate it in your Utilities Folder. These codes will tell your computer to automatically do the maintenance no matter if your Mac is turned off or not. You will need the administrator password to complete this process.

  • sudo /usr/sbin/periodic weekly
  • sudo /usr/sbin/periodic monthly
  • sudo /usr/sbin/periodic daily

Losing hard drive space can be easily fixed. After following these suggestions above, you should have a better understanding on how to increase your hard drive space and have a better and more smooth running Mac. To keep it running this way, just remember to keep your Mac up to date with the latest software updates, and unnecessary files and applications cleared out.

50 Melisse Deering


Melisse Deering is a trained Mac expert as well as a passionate Mac user. She quickly realized the significance of Mac’s user friendliness and advanced features, motivating her to become an avid user and sequentially an expert.