How to Clean Mac (macOS Sonoma Updated)

🗓️ November 21, 2023 By ✍️ Jaysukh patel

When your Mac runs out of storage, you can make the best of your device. There is no free space to download productive software, unable to store memorable photos & videos. In the worst case, it makes your Mac freezing and lagging. But worry not, in this guide, I will show multiple effective ways to clean your Mac. So. let’s get started!

Note: Before going for a clean MacOS, Please keep backup With Time Machine.

Checking Storage on Mac and How to Clean it – A Comprehensive Guide

Here are different ways to free up space on your Mac running the latest macOS, but before, learn how to check storage on your Mac.

Steps to check storage on Mac

Step 1: Click on the Apple Logo from the left top corner of Mac screen. Select System Settings… from the menu.

Step 2: Click on your Apple ID[Your Name] at the top. Go to iCloud on the right side. 

Step 3: On the next screen, you’ll see the iCloud Storage Bar. 

After knowing the information regarding the storage status on Mac, you can make further decisions on what you need to delete and how much space you require. Let’s look at how to clear Mac storage running the latest macOS.

Solution #1. Uninstall apps you’re not using

The applications you installed on your Mac computer will acquire specific storage. After installing multiple apps, the Mac storage will become full, and eventually, it will lead to Mac running slowly. The first and foremost tip for cleaning a Mac is to uninstall unused applications. To do so, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Click on the Finder Icon present in the dock. Go to the Applications from the left pane.

Step 2: On the next screen, you’ll see the list of applications installed on your Mac. Go through and right-click on the app you no longer find useful. 

Step 3: From the pop-up menu, select Move Trash.

Alternatively,

Step 1: Click on the Launchpad Icon present in the Mac dock. Search for the app you want to delete.

Step 2: Click on the App Icon until it shakes.

Step 3: Next, select X Icon at the left corner of the App Icon.

Step 4: The Are you sure you want to delete the application “Name’? Pop, select Delete Button.

Solution #2. Empty the Trash 

Remember, even after deleting the files, it may acquire storage in Trash on Mac. In this case, all you need to do is remove them from Trash as well. To do so, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Click on the Trash Icon in the Mac dock until the pop-up appears.

Step 2: From the pop-up, select Empty Trash.

Step 3: In the Are you sure you want to permanently erase items in the Trash? pop-up, select Empty Trash

Solution #3. Clean-up downloader folder

Unlike the Trash folder, the download folder is another place to find and delete the files you no longer want. Besides storing the miscellaneous files, it also saves the files you unintentionally downloaded on your Mac. To do so, follow the steps below.

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Step 1: Click on the Finder Icon present in the Mac dock. Select Download from the left pane.

Step 2: Next, go through all your downloads and control-click to select the files you want clear. Find Large File in Downloaded Folder by Right click (Control + Click), Group By > Size.

Step 3: From the pop menu, select Move To Trash.

Solution #4. Delete old Backups

Backing up the old data on your Mac is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, your Mac becomes overloaded with the previous backup that acquires gigabytes of storage on your Mac running the latest macOS. That’s why we suggest deleting old backups by following the steps below.

Step 1: Go to the Apple Menu located at the top left corner of Mac. Select System Settings… from the menu.

Step 2: Click on General from left pane. On the right side, select Storage.

Step 3: Click on the i Icon next to the iOS files.

Step 5: From the list of backups, select the backup you want to delete.

Step 6: Click on Delete… Button.

Step 7: Choose Done

That’s It!

Solution #5. Remove Users

If you have configured the Mac for multiple users, then we recommend removing the users that you’re no longer using. Ensure to check the User folder on your Macintosh HD and verify if there are any undeleted files from the previous users.

Step 1: Click on the Finder Icon present in the Mac dock.

Step 2: Choose Users from the left pane. 

Step 3: Select Macintosh HD > Users, then delete the user that you no longer want. 

Solution #6. Delete unwanted Emails

If you store mail messages for a longer time, there are chances that your Mail is acquiring your Mac storage space. Remember, the email doesn’t slot the storage but attachments do. Once you access them, attachments stay on your Mac unless you remove it. To do so, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Press Command + Space to access Spotlight search. Enter Mail and click on it to open.

Step 2: Click on Mail from the Mac Menubar. Choose Settings…from the menu.

Step 3: Navigate to the General Tab and, click on the dropdown next to Remove Unedited Downloads, and configure it to After Message is Deleted.

To clear junk mail, 

Step 1: Press Command + Space to access Spotlight search. Enter Mail and click on it to open.

Step 2: Click on Mail from the Mac Menubar. Choose Settings…from the menu. 

Step 3: Go to the Account Tab. From there, select the Mailbox Behavior dropdown.

Step 3: Next to the Erase Junk Message, configure the time to clear the junk automatically. 

If you want to delete Mail that is already sent to Trash, access Mail App > right-click on Inbox from left pane > Erase Deleted Items. 

Solution #7. Delete old .dmg files

.dmg files also acquire lots of valuable storage on Mac. Therefore, clearing old .dmg files is one of the effective ways to clean the Mac. To do so, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Click on the Finder Icon from your Mac Dock.

Step 2: Search for .dmg in the search bar at the left top corner.

Step 3: After this, delete all files that include .dmg extensions. Remember to drag them to a Trash. Or Select Multiple Files by (Command + Click) > Right click (Control + Click) > Move to Trash.

Solution #8. Delete unused language files

Step 1: Access the Finder App on your Mac.

Step 2: Select Applications from the left pane > Control-click on the desired app.

Step 3: From the contextual menu, select Show Package Contents.

Step 4: Access the Content Folder > Resource Folder.

Step 5: Vanish out all subfolders with .lproj format except for those that are needed. 

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Step 6: Empty Trash.

Solution #9. Clean your desktop

If your Mac desktop is filled with folders, screenshots, email reports, documents, and more, it’s time for you to start cleaning up to free up storage space on your Mac. To do so, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Access Finder on your Mac.

Step 2: Go to Desktop from the left pane. Select the Sort Icon from menu.

Step 3: Select Size from the menu to see the largest files and delete them if you don’t want them. 

Solution #10. Delete System Junk

Note that system junk is one of the prominent reasons why your Mac is running slow. Thus, deleting junk files is the best solution. To do so, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Access the Finder on your Mac.

Step 2: Select Go from Mac menu bar. Click on Go To Folder… 

Step 3: Enter ~/Library/Logs. Press Return to access folder.

Step 4: Choose Log Files you want to delete and move it to Trash

Step 5: After this, navigate back to Go To Folder… and type /Library/Logs to access unnecessary system application logs.

Step 6: Enter /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports to find system report. You can delete these as well.

Step 7: Clear your Trash, and after this, restart your Mac. 

Solution #11. Remove Login Items 

Login items are applications that run when you switch the Mac. As of now, every app on your Mac focuses on becoming as prominent as feasible and get configured into login items. In this scenario, most users don’t know which app they are as all of them appear in the Mac dock. On the other hand, such apps acquire extra space, and thus, we suggest removing the apps from log-in items. 

Step 1: Go to the Apple Menu located at the top left corner of Mac. Select System Settings… from menu.

Step 2: Choose General in the left pane. Click on Login Items on the right side.

Step 3: Next, select the App you want to remove and click on – Minus Icon to remove from login items. 

Solution #12. Compress files you infrequently use

If there is short storage, zipping or compressing files allows you to save a little space even without deleting them. To compress the files on your Mac computer, Control-click the file or files you are willing to compress. After this, choose Compress on the prompted menu.

Solution #13. Clean out caches  

As we all know that Mac is a great tool to enhance productivity. It has a lot of things under the hood, likewise, a cache files that are stored to improve your efficiency. However, the only drawback of cache is that it creates a lot of clutter over time and acquires lots of Mac storage. Thus, we suggest removing cache from Mac. To do so, follow the steps below. 

Step 1: Click on the Finder Icon from Mac Dock.

Step 2: Select Go from the Mac menu bar. Next, choose Go To Folders… from the contextual menu.

Step 3: Enter ~/Library/Caches and then clean the content of the folders that you find there. 

Step 4: Empty the Trash. 

Solution #14. Delete Browser Cache

The more you surf online, the larger cache will be stored. However, each browser has its own method of clearing the cache. In this article, we have covered the steps for Safari and Chrome.  

For Safari users 

Step 1: Press Command + Space to access Spotlight search. Enter Safari and click on it to open.

Step 2: Click on Safari from Mac menu bar. Select Settings… from contextual menus.

Step 3: Now, go to Advanced Tab and then check the box next to Show Features for Web Developers. 

Step 4: Next, click on Develop from the Mac Menubar. In the menu, select Empty Cache

For Chrome users

Step 1: Press Command + Space to access Spotlight search. Enter Chrome and click on it to open.

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Step 2: Click on More Icon (Three Vertical Dots) at the top right corner. Select Settings… or press Command + ,.

Step 3: Go to Privacy And Security > Clear Browsing Data > Cached Images and Files. 

Solution #15. Find and delete duplicate files

Duplicates are unacceptable. We repeatedly keep downloading photos and photos, make multiple copies of the same documents and files, and them everywhere on our Macs. However, having duplicate files requires lots of space and clutter your backup. To find duplicate folders, you can use Smart Folders; follow the steps below. 

You already know what folders are. In Finder, press Command + Shift + N to create a new folder, and then you can store files inside it. 

On the other hand, a smart folder allows you to have whose content type is based on the parameters you select—for instance, a folder with PDFs whose name consumes the word. For a better understanding, you can follow the steps below.

Step 1: Click on the Finder Icon to access it. Select Files from Mac menu bar.

Step 2: From the contextual menu, select New Smart Folder.

Step 3: Next, click on the + Icon at the top right corner. 

Step 4: Use the dropdown menus to configure the parameters. For instance, If you want to search for PDFs whose file name begins with XYZ. So, in the Kind dropdown, select PDF. Doing so will list all PDFs stored in Mac. 

Step 5: Click on the Plus Icon again, located at the top right corner.

Step 6: Choose a Name from the contextual menu. From the following contextual menu, select Contains. Within the adjacent text box, jot down the PDF name to see all duplicate PDFs. 

Step 7: From the result, you can drag-drop files in the Trash. 

Remove duplicate Photos from macOS Photos App 

Apple’s Photos app is an outstanding editing tool; although you have option to reverse edit, but some users press Command + D to duplicate photos and then edit the copy. This eventually leads to acquiring extra storage space. So here is how to find and delete them. 

Note:  Remember that duplicate photos are saved with the same name with a version number. To delete them, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Press Command + Space to access Spotlight search. Enter Photos and click on it to open.

Step 2: Go to the All Photos Tab. Enter the photo name in the search bar. 

Step 3: Control-Click on the duplicate image, and from the contextual menu, select Delete option.

Solution #16. Delete unused media

Ensure to clear media you no longer want. For instance, earlier, you might have downloaded a podcast, and now you no longer need it. To do so, follow the steps below. 

Step 1: Press Command + Space to access Spotlight Search. Enter Podcasts and click on it to open.

Step 2: Select Downloaded from the left pane.

Step 3: Choose the Podcast and click on More(…) next to it.

Step 4: From the contextual menu, select Remove Download. 

Solution #17. Use External Storage

You can use an external storage solution, such as a hard drive or USB drive, to store all your Mac-heavy data that you can’t delete. For that, you read our article on the Best SSD for Mac & Best USB-C flash drive for Mac.

Solution #18. Clean My Mac X

This third-party software is always active in the background, So you don’t need to waste your Time and Your Mac’s Performance. In just two clicks, you can clean GBs of unused data, which will also improve your system’s performance and space.

MacPaw’s smart developer made these tools with perfection and no data loss guarantee. So you can try this for Professional and Business use always.

What can you manage manually?

I noticed that Millions of users are unhappy with unwanted apps, Plugins, and Extensions that were unexpectedly installed on Mac. So using CleanMyMac X, You can see all the setups plugins, and extensions found under a single roof and remove all completely in a single click.

Get Full Reviews and Features of CleanMyMac X in Pictures,

The report and Users’ review found up to 54GB of potential junk files on the Mac.

Clean My Mac X scans junk files from iTunes, Mail, Photos, Trash Bins, and Old folders that will never be accessed.

Note: if you preparing your Mac for sale, reset Mac to Factory Settings to delete everything on your Mac completely.

Free Space: 40 MB

Get CleanMyMac X

Give a review on CleanMyMac X for Clean Mac Especially. Any suggestions are also welcome.

Final Verdict!

That’s It! This is how you can clear your Mac. Further, if you find any solution not mentioned in this article, please let me know by dropping in the comment box below.

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Jaysukh Patel
Jaysukh Patel

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: jaysukh.pharma@gmail.com [OR] admin@howtoisolve.com

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