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How to Free Up Space on macOS Catalina

Written by John

When we were first introduced to the macOS Mojave during 2018's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), no one could have imagined that its successor would have any bells and jingles to outclass it. On June 3, 2019, the inevitable happened, and Apple's Mac lovers finally saw the newly-rolled out MacOS Catalina.

With the macOS Catalina, you'll find everything you love about the Mac, but will some outstanding upgrades. iTunes revolutionized the means through which users experienced music, videos, TV shows, and podcast. However, the macOS Catalina brings you all that in three dedicated apps – Apple Podcast, Apple TV, and Music. Additionally, you can run both your mac apps and iPad apps simultaneously, allowing you to drag and drop content between them. Other upgraded features are the photo search engines that have made it easier and quicker to find notes and images, fast browsing and a revamped and reorganized reminder.

But with so much to do with the macOS 10.15 Catalina, it may not take long before you fill up the 15GB space capacity. This article gives you in-depth coverage on how to free up space on macOS Catalina and some tips of performing that quickly and effortlessly.

How to Free Up Space on macOS Catalina

1. Remove App Junk

App junk are those programs that tend to remain hidden on your macOS even after dropping them on Trash. However, it is worth understanding that deleting unwanted app manually increases your chances of completely removing some critical programs. Therefore, carefully check the filename before deleting it to ensure that it's for the intended app.

If you want to ensure that you delete all the program junk from your macOS Catalina, follow the following steps:

Step 1. Take note of the apps you've sent to Trash and jot them down. Afterward, find the app junk and the files they are related to.

Step 2. Visit the app location to find the associated programs. Open Finder, Select "Go" and choose "Go to Folder".
Type "/Library/Application Support" and click "Go".

Go to the folder in macOS Catalina

If you want to locate a particular program for a specific app, follow the following commands:

  • Library apps - /Library/Application Support/
  • File Support Cache - /Library/Caches/
  • Launch Agents - /Library/Launch Agents/
  • Preference Files - /Library/Preferences/
  • Application Support Files - /Library/ Application/
  • Binary and Dock Items - /Application/
  • Start-Up Items - /Library/Startup Items/
  • Saved App States - ~/Library/Saved Application State/

2. Clean Your Download Folder

Are you still puzzled on how to get rid of all those PDF files you obtained from the internet or the images you opened after reception from friends or relative? All these files end up in the Downloads folder on your macOS. Without wiping them off, they end up taking up a considerable chunk of your hard drive space. To get rid of file junk from your downloads, follow the following steps:

Clean Download Folder

Visit the Downloads folder near the Trash Can icon to reveal downloaded items.
Click the "Open In Finder" button to find the "Downloads" folder, which contains all your downloads. Once here, you can either press Command + A to select all files or choose each file one at a time. Once you're done highlighting the intended files for deletion, drag and drop them in the Trash Can.

3. Use Storage Optimization Tool on macOS Catalina

The new macOS Catalina has a new storage optimization tool that ensures the device has an optimized storage usage at all times by avoiding space wastage. Also referred to as the "Storage Tool", this feature offers additional space in your hard drive for you to store other programs and files.

To activate the storage optimization tool in your macOS Catalina, follow the following procedure: Visit the "Apple Menu" located on the top-left of your screen.
Click on About This Mac > Storage > Manage

Use New Storage Optimization Tool on macOS Catalina

You'll see a pop-up message with several options. Click on the "Optimize Storage" button. Once activated, the optimizer will automatically arrange your files, removing any program junk to free up space. The reason why the storage optimization feature excels in the macOS Catalina is that the device has an enhanced space for additional storage.

4. Clean Cache on your Mac

In simple terms, a cache is a type of temporary files that enable the macOS Catalina to operate efficiently. There are various types of cache files. They include Browser cache, System cache; and User cache. Although these caches are helpful, they are temporary and can usurp a large space on your macOS disk.

Clearing Browser Cache on Your macOS
If you are a heavy internet user, you may end up clearing megabytes of cache files on your macOS Catalina. The official MacBook browser is Safari, and you can remove the cache by following the following steps:

Show Develop Menu in Safari

  • Click the Safari icon to open the browser.
  • Go to the menu and click on "Preferences".
  • Go to the "Advanced" feature and tick the "Show Develop" in the menu bar.
  • Click the "Develop" button in the menu bar and choose the "Empty Caches."
  • Close the Safari browser for cache clearance to be complete.

Clear System Cache and User Cache

The system and user caches are the temporary files that let you use your macOS on daily operations. For example, when you listen to music or view a video on your MacBook, the information is stored in the system cache file. The device can, therefore, locate the file quicker and easier on a subsequent command. With time, these caches can occupy a large space on your macOS Catalina. If you'd like to clear all cache from your macOS or delete a cache belonging to a particular application, here's the procedure:

Go to Caches Folder

Terminate the operations of all applications.Launch "Finder".
Select "Go" on the Finder menu and choose "Go to Folder".
Type ~/Library/Caches/ and click "Go".
Find the cache file related to a specific app and choose the items you need deleted and drag them to the Trash Can.

5. Use Cloud Drives

Is your MacBook filled up because of storing a lot of programs and apps? Additionally, you may lose your personal data by frequent misplacement of your USB flash drive. That's why software developers have created cloud-based storage apps to help you to free up space on your macOS. There are several cloud drives you may consider, but each operates differently with different operating systems. Below are some of the best cloud drives for you macOS Catalina.

Google Drive. Albeit Google Drive was initially intended for storage purposes, it expanded its featured tools by incorporating an office suite that comprises Google Docs too. Fr merely having a Google Drive, users get 15GB free storage space. However, for additional space, you'll have to incur monthly subscription fees.

iCloud Drive. This Apple cloud-based storage software works best with Apple's latest gear on the macOS Catalina. When you use it on any macOS device or an iDevice, you get an extra 5GB of free space. It comes with an integrated office suite, although it only contains basic features like Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. iCloud supports Windows but is still not supportive of Android.

Dropbox. Dropbox free storage is 2GB. The advantage of this cloud storage app is that it's compatible with different platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Kindle, Android, and Fire mobile application programs. Dropbox also provides different promotional offerings such as an extra 250MB for just getting started with the tutorial or 3GB extra space for uploading images through the mobile app.

6. Find and Remove Duplicate Files

The daily utility of your macOS may mean having duplicate files. The most common reason why you may have duplicate files is because of program installations. When an essential program feels under threat from other applications, it may duplicate itself to minimize the risk of malfunctioning.

Find and Remove Duplicate Files

But if you find an unimportant program with it duplicate, you can install the Gemini 2 App for macOS. Gemini helps you identify, locate, and get rid of duplicate content in whichever corner they lay concealed. Regardless of the capacity of your hard Drive, Gemini can scan it at a lightning-fast speed. Furthermore, the software also locates and removes similar files to ensure you have free space on your MacBook.

7. Use Third-Party Apps

Instead of using the manual method of clearing space, you can use automated software that performs all that work in a fraction of the time. The Clean My Mac app automatically rids your macOS system of junk file and other remnant programs that eat up space in the device. By using the Clean My Mac software, you can clear up space to revamp the speed and operations of your MacBook.

Clean up both your System and App Junk

You can download the clean-up app and get started with a free version that clears a massive space at no cost. Afterward, you may opt to upgrade it to a paid version that gives you macOS a junk-proof clean-up.

Bottom line

Your startup disk full shouldn't hinder you from performing various tasks with your macOS device. As you've understood, there are several ways or a different mix of ways that you can use to ensure your MacBook is running with excellent speed. Adhere to the tips on this piece and see your macOS Catalina offer you unrivaled computer performance.

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