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How to Save Space on Your Mac

How to Save Space on Your Mac

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December 26, 2012
Apple, Technology
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For people who have their whole lives revolving around computer usage, great value is placed on hard drive space. This digital real estate is ever-growing, as more and more models of computers and laptops are made capable of handling more and more data capacities. Even external forms of storage (external hard drives, USB thumb drives, MicroSD cards) have become more effective – not to mention ubiquitous. In the nineties, we had to content ourselves with stacks and stacks of unreliable floppy disks that could barely even hold a single high-quality MP3 that we have these days. Nowadays, entire archives of music could be kept in a single iPod classic.

More space, but bigger files

Of course, the reason why these data drives are getting larger capacities with every incarnation is because they are holding larger files. Whereas we used to be content with small gif files of maybe 100×150 pixels in size, current animated gifs in blogging platforms easily surpass the 1MB mark. And this is not even bringing up the size of juggernaut graphics files, flash animation files, presentations, and even PDF files that many businessmen (especially those who operate via virtual office) rely on to get their daily jobs running along smoothly. And let’s not even get into jobs that  require people to use multiple programs (programmers, designers, animators, and music and video editors) in order to produce output.

How do we keep everything from going critical mass?

If you’re using an iMac, then you probably know its flaw—unlike the PCs, it doesn’t allow you to just swap out its hard drives easily. You’ll want to keep your Mac clutter-free and capable of storing the stuff that really needs to be there. This is why, to prevent hassle, you need to remember these space-saving tips:

Back up Everything Elsewhere First – (BEEF is your handy anagram) If you have an external drive, get it and back everything up there. In the process, you might even realize that there are a lot of files you don’t really use as much, and you might as well keep them stagnant in a separate drive instead of leaving them in your active drive.

Use a program to completely wipe out apps – It happens even with PCs. You delete a program, but the memory remains through various associated system files that you no longer need; and that takes up space. An appropriate program can prompt you during deletions to make sure everything is nuked out of your system.

Eliminate the contents of your caches – Macs have cache files that make things run faster. While this is alright and pretty beneficial for speed, these files stock up more and more and bulk up your system as time passes. Empty your cache, or find a program that does so for you.

Try to use more online hosting services – Can you save it on the iCloud? Keep it there—the new Macs can do this now. Keeping things stored in the cloud keeps your computer from being cluttered.

Nancy Perkins

Nancy Perkins found her love for writing when she was 12. She still carries the passion she had then and is looking forward to writing for different high profile websites.

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