Maxing out on storage can really slow your Mac’s performance down. Whilst it’s easy to head into the Downloads folder and delete some media, it’s not quite that simple when your System Storage is the culprit.
System Storage refers to the temporary files and backups that have been stored on the Mac; to either help load up apps quicker or for backing up purposes. The issue is though, many of these backups are outdated, and logs and cache can quickly become more of a hindrance than they are helpful. Before working on reducing your System Storage, it’s wise to learn more about the topic so that you can mitigate these issues before they arise.
Furthermore, it’s also worth checking how much of an impact the System Storage is actually having by heading to your storage settings for an overview.
Remove Time Machine backs
Time Machine is a feature within Macs that will help save a snapshot throughout the day – so if your Mac randomly turns off or you delete a file by accident, you still have a copy. However, these Time Machine backups are often stored locally and can take up a lot of space – this is particularly an issue when there are multiple outdated backups that are no longer necessary.
So, you can turn off your Time Machine feature, or simply delete the backups. This can be done in the terminal, which can be tricky, or through third-party software.
Clear logs and cache
Next up is clearing those temporary files that aren’t wholly necessary to operating your Mac. To do this, head to Finder, Go Menu, and then Go To Folder. Heading to ~/Library/Application Support and begin deleting temporary files within the folders. You can do the same with ~/Library/Caches and ~/Library/Logs too.
It’s also worth clearing the Trash too, which is full of files and media that you have already decided you do not want but are still lingering around taking up resources.
When you’re viewing the storage availability figures in the settings, on the right there will be a button titled “Manage”. Going on this will present to you four options: Store in iCloud, Optimise Storage, Empty Trash Automatically, and Reduce Clutter. All four of these options can help deal with System Storage issues, so work your way through each one.
The first option will help reclaim GBs on your Mac by storing some files in the cloud, so nothing will be lost. This can have a huge impact on the overall storage on the Mac.
Third-party storage cleaning software
Finally, you can make use of third-party software that helps perform most of the above functions with a click of a button. Clearing RAM, Cache, Logs, and Time Machine backups are usually handled automatically.
Whether you use software or clear the System Storage yourself, it’s important to make it a regular habit. Regular maintenance can help prevent these issues pre-emptively, particularly in other areas such as keeping the Downloads folder tidy.