Is there anything in life less expensive than the cost of a gigabyte of storage on a Mac’s hard disk drive?
Is there anything more frustrating than running out of disk space when you thought the Mac’s hard drive was way too big to fill up? That happened to me. While waiting for a new hard drive to arrive I decided to clean house and remove all those unnecessary files from my Mac. Whoa. What a surprise.
What Price Storage?
My MacBook came with a 320 gigabyte disk drive, which I thought would last a long time. The MacBook is doing fine. The hard disk filled up. So, what to do?
Sweep out all those old, unnecessary files? Or, buy a larger hard disk? I did both.
Hard disk drives are amazingly large and inexpensive. I checked on MacSales for 3.5-inch iMac drives. One terabyte drives are as low as $76. That’s about 8-cents per gigabyte. Cheap.
Not so cheap are disk drives for my MacBook. 500 gigabyte drives were less than $80, or about 16-cents per gigabyte. Alright. That’s still cheap. While waiting for my hard disk drive to arrive from MacSales, I decided to clean out those old files.
How To Get Rid Of Unnecessary Files
The way I see it, there are three basic ways to clean out old, unnecessary files from your Mac. Two are free. One costs money, but not much, and gives you more for the nominal price.
The first way is a no brainer. Scour your Mac using the Finder, find files you may not need, delete them. That process is time consuming, tedious, and it will free up some space on an overcrowded Mac disk drive. But it’s also fraught with danger. What if you delete a file you shouldn’t?
The second way is free and easy. Download Omni’s OmniDiskSweeper. It’ll scour your Mac for files, and show you all your Mac’s files by size and location.
This is an easy process to get rid of clutter, but right away you’ll see the problem with a free app. Limited features. OmniDiskSweeper lists all the files on your Mac by size so you can find the larger files or folders, and dig through them to throw out what’s not necessary?
What’s Necessary And What’s Not?
Your Mac will have hundreds of thousands of files. Duplicate files. Unnecessary files. Fat files. Language files. How do you know which files to send to the Trash? That’s where an inexpensive app like WhatSize is worth it’s weight in gigabytes saved.
WhatSize does more than just list your Mac’s files so you can sort through them and discard what you think is OK to discard. The DeLocalizer feature deletes all those language files on your Mac beyond the languages you know, need, and understand.
You can save gigabytes of storage with that feature alone.
Nib’o Suction finds and removes what are called nib files which usually are no longer necessary but still take up disk space. Lipo Suction digs through you Mac’s binary files and removes those that are not needed; for example, Intel Mac apps may not need all the PPC leftover code.
Find Duplicates does what you think it finds by listing duplicate files and locations so you can safely delete files that take up extra space. In my case, for my MacBook, I was able to delete about seven gigabytes of unneeded files, which gave me enough room to keep the Mac running OK until the larger hard disk drive arrived from MacSales (a highly recommended source for Mac disks and memory).
At pennies per gigabyte it’s hard not to justify as much hard disk drive as you can afford, but when you run out of disk space on older Macs with smaller disks, it’s nice to know there’s a quick and easy way to trim down those hundreds of thousands of files that clutter up your storage.