MacBooks and iMacs are great for getting things done since they are designed for consumers but storage always becomes an issue on variants that are lower than 256 GB SSD which slows down your computer.
First, it is important to understand why Macs use SSD and why the 128 GB version is not sufficient.
Apple uses SSD instead of HDD because SSDs (solid-state drives) are faster and more efficient compared to HDD (hard disk drives) but the only problem is that SSD is quite expensive so the laptops with higher storage become inaccessible unless you are ready to make a huge investment.
Now you might think that the 128 GB should be more than enough to store all your files. It would be if all of the 128 GB were available to the user. A good portion of it is used up with all the necessary system files and preinstalled apps so you do not have a lot of room to play with.
This leaves you with three options – clean up your computer, upgrade your hard disk or purchase a new computer.
Cleaning up your Mac
Get rid of software you don’t use
If there are apps that you don’t use regularly or at all, consider deleting them. In some cases, there are certain apps that leave traces of themselves all over your computer. Anaconda, an ‘open source distribution for Python and R’ is one such example. If you try to delete it, it will leave breadcrumbs on your system if you are not careful. But you can learn how to uninstall anaconda on mac either through cleaning software or manually through the Terminal.
Other apps are not as difficult to remove but make sure you get rid of the installation files as well.
Empty the trash
Whenever you delete a bunch of files, make sure you empty the Trash after to make sure that those files are actually booted off your computer and you get to reclaim that storage space. You can set the Trash to empty itself automatically every 30 days as well.
Get rid of desktop icons
All screenshots you take make their way to the desktop. Aside from the visual clutter, this can also slow down your Mac. All these icons that have to be displayed take up unnecessary space in your RAM. You can either get rid of these screenshots altogether or use the ‘Use Stacks’ option and arrange these files in neat folders to minimize the number of total icons.
Sync your data to iCloud
One of Apple’s recommendations when it comes to decluttering your Mac is to optimize your storage by syncing your data to iCloud so that you save files directly to the cloud. You can turn this option on by going into ‘About this Mac’ -> Storage -> Manage Storage.
The only drawback is that iCloud is not free beyond 2 GB of data. While it is easily accessible since it syncs across all your Apple devices, you may want to consider other cloud storage options like Drive or Dropbox.
Delete duplicate and temporary files
Duplicate and temporary files can safely be deleted from your computer without affecting its overall performance. You can find these through Finder and prioritize the files that are larger in size first. But, if you would rather automate the process, you can use cleaning software designed for this purpose.
Empty your cache
Your browser and apps create temporary data called cache that is used to help you quickly navigate from one tab to the other or from one app to the other without missing a beat. Over time, your cache can overflow causing your computer to slow down and take up space in your hard disk. You can empty your cache on Mac pretty easily by going into the browser and clicking on this option or choosing each app and clearing the cache individually. Cleaning your browser’s cache will help speed up your browsing.
Upgrade your hard disk
If you have an older model of the MacBook, you can possibly upgrade your hard disk and have more storage space. With newer models, you cannot expand your SSD so it is crucial that you choose a laptop that meets your needs. Since it is an investment, plan ahead.
Purchase a new computer
The last option you have when it comes to improved performance is to ditch the old MacBook and purchase a brand new one. Since it is not cluttered with unnecessary files, it will be much faster and less laggy. This is not an option for everyone so make sure you try cleaning up the Mac or upgrading the hard disk.
Cleaning up clutter should be a part of your schedule if you don’t have cleaning software. This will improve your performance issues and prevent annoying error messages about your storage being full. Back up your data to an external drive and to the cloud to have a copy of your data in case you need to reinstall your OS in case it freezes due to a performance issue. The other options are to purchase a new computer or to try and upgrade the storage.