7 Tips for How to Clean Out Hard Drive on Mac in 2022

Updated to Mac Disk Clean Tips by Amy on June 11, 2022 | Approved by Jennifer Allen

Storage space is a vital component of any computer and if you are a Mac user, the chances are that you have found yourself in need of more storage space because your Mac has eaten up your current hard drive completely. While many people know exactly what is hogging their storage space, there are countless who are surprised to see their storage run out. As it happens, Macs have a habit of eating up space in several ways that go undetected. In this article, we will be telling you why your Macintosh HD is out of space and what you can do to solve that problem.

Part 1. Top Reasons Why Your Macintosh HD is Out of Space

Before you can learn how to clean out the hard drive on Mac, you need to know the underlying problem. Each problem requires a different solution, at least in most cases, and you should know how to identify them so you can go for the right solution. Here are the most common reasons why you are seeing Macintosh HD out of space.

  1. Cache Buildup
  2. If you do not know what a cache is, it is basically a collection of temporary files that applications create so that they can load data for you quickly by making access to key components faster. While most of these files start off as MBs or even KBs in some cases, they can grow to gigantic sizes and consume gigabytes of data per app. That can lead to a serious space-hogging issue on your hard drive which can eventually leave your Macintosh HD out of space.

  3. System and Application Logs
  4. Applications, both systems-based and third-party ones tend to create logs of all the activity that is happening in them and record data constantly. This information can pile up quite quickly and before you even know it, your hard disk is carrying gigabytes of data dedicated only to application logs. These files are useful for you and for the application developer in many ways but are not necessary for the application to provide its core functionality.

  5. Support Files for Apps
  6. These files are usually critical to making applications run properly and should not be deleted to avoid causing issues with applications. However, the unusual thing about these is that in many cases, once you delete the application, the support files tend to stay in your Mac. If left unchecked, they can lead to your drive storage getting full and you are forced to clean out your hard drive Mac just because you did not know they were taking up space.

  7. Backups for iOS Devices
  8. Creating local backups for your iPhone, iPod, or iPad is a very common practice. However, these backups can take up a lot of space and if you keep on creating backups, you will run out of space before you even know it. This is especially true if you are saving large files like movies or high-quality audio/music. Apple does provide the option of saving your backups on iCloud but not everyone wants to pay for that, so the result is full storage, forcing you to clean out hard drive Mac every so often.

  9. Sleep Image File
  10. Do you ever wonder how your Mac still manages to get you back to where it left off even after you left it on sleep for too long? This is where the Sleep Image comes in as this file saves the current view on your Mac in its entirely for later use. However, saving that much information can take up a serious amount of space and in almost every case, this is several GBs worth of data. While this feature is crucial for most users, if you are seriously tight on space and do not mind starting your Mac from scratch every time then you can opt to not use a Sleep Image file at all.

  11. Language Files
  12. Localization is a great feature for most users who want to experience applications in their native languages. Apple promotes this and many applications on Mac come with language packs for a localized experience. However, since apps do not know which language you speak, they tend to offer you a bunch of languages to choose from. However, that also means more information to store on your Mac. While language files do not exactly consume GBs of data, they do accumulate quite quickly. Imagine having about 10-15 languages per app and when you add them up for all your apps, the overall quantity can be surprisingly huge. Since you are only going to use one or two languages, all others are completely wasted and hog space on your hard drive.

  13. Different Types of Hidden Files
  14. These files are extremely common, not only because your system and third-party apps create hidden files on their own but also because you may hide files yourself and then forget about them. These can also accumulate at an incredible speed and run out the space on your hard drive. The chances are that most of the files hidden on your system are unneeded, especially the ones that you hid and then forgot about.

Part 2. How to Clean Out Hard Drive on Mac

Now that you know the many ways in which your Mac’s drive can get full without you noticing, it is time to learn how to clean that space safely. There are quite a few things you can do to clean your HDD and we will show you how to clean out disc space on Mac in easy steps. Read through each option shared below so you can find the one that suits your needs the best.

  1. Use Built-in Optimization Tools from Apple
  2. Macs come with a variety of options that you can choose from to make your system cleaner. One method on how to find out hard drive space on Mac is to go to the About This Mac menu and click on the Storage option. There, you can click on the Manage button, where you will find a bunch of options to choose from. Typically, these include storing data on iCloud, optimizing storage for TV, automatically emptying Trash, and Reviewing your files to remove things you do not need.

  3. Deleting Unused Apps and Files
  4. An easy way of creating free space is to remove what you do not need. If you are wondering how to clean out disc space on Mac quickly, then this method is surely worth exploring. All you need to do is open the Applications menu and then look through all the apps you have installed. If you have not used any app in a while, simply drag it to the Trash can to delete it. Also, make sure to empty the trash can to remove them completely.

  5. Removing Duplicate Files
  6. Duplication is a very common thing that most people overlook when using Macs. You can either download a file multiple times by mistake, have the same thing saved in multiple softs, or have other files creating copies for multiple reasons. Now that you know how to find out hard drive space on Mac, you can also use that route to look at all your files and then delete any duplicates on Mac that you come across. This can also be done using tools which we will discuss ahead.

  7. Clearing Your Browser Cache
  8. While this is not something we recommend doing, it is worth considering if you are wondering how to clean out your hard drive Mac. Caches on internet browsers are a great way to make your browsing experience faster and more personalized. Removing caches will make your browsing experience less smooth than what you are used to. However, it is certainly doable if you need disk space.

  9. Delete Language Files
  10. Many applications provide language packs these days to create a more localized user experience. While this is a great thing to have, many of the language packs never get used and simply hog storage on your drive. These can be removed as well and if you are wondering how to clean out your hard drive Mac language packs, then the process is quite simple. All you need to do is right-click on any app, select the "Show Package Contents" option from the menu, and then navigate to the Contents > Resources folder, where you can find the language files and delete the ones you do not need.

  11. Remove Unwanted Large Files
  12. This is also an easy solution if you are wondering how to clean out Macintosh HD easily. all you need to do with this one is open the Finder app and then choose List under the View tab. Now you can sort your files according to size and then delete all the large files that you are not using. This might also include old iOS backups and even installation files for applications that you have added yourself. You can also use a free duplicate file finder for Mac to quickly clean up duplicate options.

  13. Use a Cleaning Software
  14. If you want to know how to clean out Macintosh HD in a way that is both easy and thorough, then using third-party software is your best option. Specifically, we recommend that you opt for iBeesoft iCleaner for Mac as that tool is specifically built for this job. In a few simple steps, you can get rid of a wide range of junk and unused files from your Mac and free up gigabytes of space. To use this tool, all you need to do is follow these steps:

    1. Download and install iBeesoft iCleaner for Mac
    2. Click on the large "Start Analyze" button on the bottom to start the scanning process.
    3. Once the scan is complete, the software will show you all the things that you can delete in eight different categories.
    4. Select and unselect the items showing on the screen to decide which ones you want to delete. Click on the "Clean Junk" button on the bottom to start the cleaning process.

    The software also lets you see individual files under each of the eight heads so you can decide which files to keep and which ones to delete.

There are just as many ways to clean your Mac’s HDD as there are ways for the system to fill it up. Staying vigilant and keeping an eye on things can help you save your HDD from ever getting full. However, even if it does, all you need to do is follow the process defined above for iBeesoft iCleaner for Mac to get a swift and thorough to free up space on the startup disk.

Frequently Asked Questions for Macintosh HD is Out of Space

  1. Why is my Macintosh HD so full?
  2. In most cases, this happens because of an accumulation of junk files in your system or duplicates, both of which can be easily removed.

  3. Why does my Mac keep saying out of space?
  4. Your hard disk is likely full and cannot take in any more data which is why you are seeing this error. This could be because of the way you have managed storage or through other sources that can creep up on you like caches and cookies.

  5. How do I free up space on my Mac hard drive with this simple trick?
  6. Go to Finder, sort all files by size, and delete any large file you can trust.

  7. How do I clean up my Macintosh HD data?
  8. There are several ways to clean up your Macintosh HD data including cache cleaning, deleting unwanted apps, and more. However, the best way to do it is by using a utility software like iBeesoft iCleaner for Mac.

  9. What should I do when I accidentally deleted important files while cleaning up Macintosh HD space?
  10. Don't worry, you can use iBeesoft free Mac data recovery software to help you get back accidentally removed files. It supports all macOS and can preview found data, you can try it.