Free up space on your Mac

You may not know it but there’s a lot of places on your shiny lovely Mac that can store lots of rubbish that you don’t actually need. We’ll explain a few places you can look to see if there’s a mass of files that you can safely delete and free up a few valuable gigs of space.

There’s a few places on your Mac which can soon build up a lot of gigabytes of stuff that you probably don’t need. So…

1. Downloads folder

This is usually the place that anything you download from the web ends up (unless you’ve specified an alternative folder).

Go to ~/Downloads.

2. Mail Downloads folder

As the name suggests this is where Apple Mail stores your email attachment downloads i.e. when you click on an attachment in Mail then it will download it to this folder. As this folder is not obviously accesible then the size of this can soon build up. As long as you still have the email that the attachment was attached to, then it’s safe to delete all contents of this folder.

Go to ~/Library/Containers/ Downloads

If you can’t see the Library folder then go to the Terminal Application (Applications/Utilities/Terminal) and type the following (in Mountain Lion)

chflags nohidden ~/Library/

3. Desktop

If you end up just throwing any old file and folder on your desktop then it’s worth a) tidying it up and b) checking whether you actually need it all. Also, worth noting that you should really keep your Desktop free from clutter. To do this create a single folder called “My Desktop” (or whatever you like) and throw all of your desktop clutter in there (to sort out later, of course!)

Useful tip

Add shortcuts to your Favourites Sidebar for the Downloads and Mail Downloads folders. You’re then more likely to remember to clear them out from time to time.

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