4 – GarageBand
While this is a fun application to use, how many people are actually using it on a regular basis? And again, why would I need multiple copies of it? iPhone, iPad and Mac, that’s just not necessary. I opted to delete it, which saves a lot of space. Yet, there is an other option.
The GarageBand instruments and lessons can be deleted from the About This Mac > Storage > Manage section. This is a bit of a problem, as it can make your audio tracks sound weird. That’s a problem of missing files. Freeing space on your computer is a delicate operation. Do you really need that file? You might not realize the importance of something until it’s gone. But if you don’t use GarageBand, and have no intention of using GarageBand, that’s a lot of free space to reclaim.
5 – iPhone Backups
While it is a danger to delete important files, there’s an awful amount of redundancy in storage land. A large part of that burden falls on the Mac. There’s a good possibility that if you have a Mac, you own an iPhone. And if you own an iPhone, and a Mac, the iPhone is likely backed up on the Mac. Using the About This Mac > Storage > Manage option, you can see a list of your iOS backups.
You probably only need the latest one. If you’ve been using your Mac for a long time, you might have backups for devices that are long gone. As an example, are you still using that iPhone 4? If not, do you really need the backup? Obviously you want to be careful with backups, as you could lose a lot of important data by messing this up, but saving backups you don’t need can be a huge waste of space on your Mac.
6 – iCloud
iCloud can be used to offload storage. Yet, with the free account capped at 5GB, iCloud can easily become another bill. Fortunately, apps purchases don’t count against the quota. This is critical with the free apps included with Mac. iMovie is a big storage offender. Keynote is another one. At 639 MB, do you really need to make presentations? If not right now, let Apple store that app for you until you need it.
Sure, it’s a hassle to download the app again. This puts pressure on your Internet connection. (That’s especially bad if you have a metered connection, where overages cost money.) But on the flip side, you don’t have to update an app that isn’t there. Additionally, there is a problem with relying on “the cloud”. What happens if Apple suddenly disappears? How would you get your apps back? While Apple suddenly imploding anytime soon seems unlikely, losing an Internet connection might be possible. Are you going to need iBooks Author to fight off the zombie apocalypse? If an app is super important to you, keeping it local might be a good idea. It’s a zany scenario, until you find yourself in the middle of a blackout – with no Internet and nothing to do. Sometimes apps need to stay local.
7 – Pick Lightweight Apps
Some apps are just too big. That’s one of the many reasons I use Pixelmator instead of Photoshop. Pixelmator is freaking tiny compared to Photoshop. As for programming / web development, I’ve been testing BBEdit instead sticking with Atom. Cheap games also fall into this category. I really enjoyed Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic on the XBOX. But since I don’t have an XBOX anymore, I was happy to see the app on the Mac App Store. Back in December 2013, I bought it for $4.99. Yet, realizing the app is a 3.28 GB download, it didn’t stay on my computer for long. Bringing back the 1GB = $1 comparison, that $5 app is more like an $8 app when factoring in storage costs. Big apps can be expensive.
8 – ImageOptim
If you’re working on a lot of web projects, ImageOptim (https://imageoptim.com/mac) is an app that can compress image files. It does so with lossless compression techniques. That means no quality is lost. It has a “Quality: 100%” option. (Lossy compression is an option for even more space savings, but quality is compromised.) Not only does this mean faster downloads, it means the image files take up less storage space.
9 – Disk Diag
This is a paid app, but it’s not too expensive. The price bounces around from 99¢ and up. Back in December 2013, it was a free download. App Shopper (http://appshopper.com/mac/utilities/disk-diag) is a great way to look at the price history. Disk Diag says that it can “Quickly clean up your unneeded files.” This app is another way to get a quick look at storage space offenders. Things like logs, caches, browser data and application leftovers can be cleaned.
10 – Xcode
At +10 GB, this app is humungous. A clean install may help to get the app under control. After years and years of development, Xcode can accumulate a lot of iOS device related files. Check /Library/Developer in your home folder to see the damage. Here’s a useful link… https://stackoverflow.com/questions/31011062/how-to-completely-uninstall-xcode-and-clear-all-settings …if you’re a developer, you’re probably already familiar with that website.