How to Clean Up Mac? — 10 Steps to Clean MacBook
So you’ve had your Mac for a while and things don’t feel as fresh and clean as they used to? Like a car, phone, or watch, anything regularly taken care of will greatly extend the lifetime of it by years. Don’t worry; there are many things you can do to make your Mac run like new again. Once you clear out all the junk your computer contains, you’ll get a faster, healthy and more productive Mac. And here’s how to do that!
How to Clean Your Mac: An Easy Way
Here’s a simple diagram to explain the most common types of computer junk, sorted by size. Some of these, like Trash bin files are easily reachable, while others are stored away in hidden system folders. Sadly, there’s no easy way to clear them up without special skills.
If you don’t feel like spending the next several hours cleaning your Mac manually, you can use a powerful cleaning tool CleanMyMac X to find and remove all the clutter your Mac contains. It knows which files are useless, how to find them and remove completely. CleanMyMac has everything to finish the 3-hour task of a Mac cleanup in under 5 minutes. It will even clean up the junk you didn’t know about and give your computer a speed boost.
How to clean your Mac with CleanMyMac X:
- Download CleanMyMac X for free here.
- Run the app and click Scan.
- Then click Clean.
Done! Now your Mac looks much better!
How to Clean Mac Hard Drive Manually
If you never performed an automatic or manual system cleaning — it means that your Mac has been collecting unnecessary files and clutter for years. You can quickly clean up your Mac with these easy steps.
1. Clean up cache
You’ve probably heard “Remove your cache” as a web browser troubleshooting tip. In fact, your Mac stores a lot of information in files called caches, allowing the fast access to that data and reducing the need to get it from the original source again. Unfortunately, those files take a lot of space on your Mac, and instead of speeding the things up, they slow your computer down. Therefore, if you want to give your system a boost, clean your Mac from the cache files.
There are two ways to do that: you can delete them manually or use a MacBook cleaner like CleanMyMac X to do the job for you. Of course, the second way is an easy and fast one. However, if you decide to clean up cache manually, check out a comprehensive guide on “How to Clear Cache on a Mac.”
2. Uninstall apps you don’t use
The applications you’ve installed on your Mac take up space, of course. And over time when your Mac becomes full of different apps, it may start running slowly. How to clean MacBook? In the first place, you need to remove the apps you no longer use or need.
You may be surprised to find out that sending an app to the Trash will not uninstall it completely because the app leftovers still remain on your Mac taking up a lot of storage. So, if you want to be a responsible Mac user, you need to uninstall applications the right way. Here’s a step-by-step guide on “How to Uninstall Apps on a Mac.”
Extra step: Trim down your login items
Login items are applications that run automatically upon startup. In 2019 every second app tries to become as prominent as possible and get into your Login Items. First of all, you may not even know what they are (not all of them appear in the Dock). Secondly, such apps consume memory. That's enough reasons to get rid of extra login items you don't need.
- Open System Preferences.
- Go to Users & Groups.
- Choose your nickname on the right.
- Choose Login items tab.
- Check startup programs you want to remove.
- Press the “–” sign below.
3. Remove old Mail Attachments
You get different attachments via email — PDFs, Word Documents, images, etc. Sometimes we all make a mistake of double-clicking the file. When you do that, the file saves itself to your Mail Downloads folder. Double click enough files and that folder can blow up like a balloon. That’s why you need to remove old Mail Downloads.
How to do that? How to clean my Mac? The easiest way is to use Spotlight. Press Command+Space to make the search field appear and type Mail Downloads. In the Folders section, you’ll see the Mail Downloads folder. Once you get to the folder, you can select the files and delete them. Make sure to check and empty it every year or so.
4. Empty the trash
Even though you’ve deleted the files, they reside in your Trash bin taking up a lot of storage on your Mac. They are just waiting to be removed completely. If you want your precious hard drive space back, you need to empty the Trash.
Here’s how to clean your MacBook from the trash:
- Click and hold on the Trash can icon in the Dock.
- Select Empty Trash from a popup that appears.
The process is quite simple, right?
5. Delete large and old files
It has always been a rule of thumb among computer geeks, that you should keep minimum 15-20% of free space on your main hard drive. This is just a rough estimation, but the more free space you have, the faster your Mac works. A computer magazine once performed a test on this, which concluded that the difference in speed can reach as much as 35%. If you work with heavy graphics or video rendering, even more free space is recommended.
How to have more free space? Delete large and old files.
The first way is totally manual and requires you to find them one by one, while for the second way, you just need to make two clicks and CleanMyMac X will do the job for you.
How to clean up Mac with CleanMyMac X:
- Download CleanMyMac X (a link to a free edition of the app)
- Launch the program.
- Go to the Large and Old Files section on the menu.
- Click Scan.
- Review the details, select what to clean and then click Clean.
6. Remove old iOS backups
Having your files backed up is a wonderful thing. But over time your Mac becomes overloaded with old backups that take gigabytes of storage on your hard drive. That’s why you should consider removing the old iOS backups you no longer need.
Each backup remains stored on your computer and is accessible via iTunes. To delete the old backups, you need to do the following:
- Launch iTunes.
- In the Menu bar, go to iTunes>Preferences.
- Click the Devices tab to find the backup list.
- Choose backups you want to delete and click Delete Backup.
That’s it! The backup files are gone from your Mac forever.
7. Wipe out Language files
Unused language localizations take up about 1 GB of storage space. Mac applications come with language files for every language they support. It allows to start using the app in that language immediately. Cool, right? Not always. Just consider: when was the last time you used the app in Bengali or Korean? Since you don’t speak that languages, such files just waste space on your Mac. You need to remove the unnecessary language files and clean MacBook from that clutter.
How to delete the language files? Go to Finder >Applications, then right-click the app which language files you want to remove and choose Show Package Contents. Open the Resources folder and then find folders ending with “.lproj.” Every folder contains language files for one particular language. Note that for every app you should manually find and select the files to remove. But there is an automatic way to delete the language files that will save you tons of time — CleanMyMac X. Just download the application (for free) and it will do the job for you.
8. Delete old DMGs and IPSW
Disk images (DMGs) and iPhone software bundles (IPSW) are often unnecessary and take up valuable space on your Mac. Get rid of them and do a Mac cleanup.
Deleting DMGs: Once you’ve mounted your disc image and installed an app, you are free to eject and trash your DMG. To do that, simply drag the mounted volume to the trash.
Deleting IPSW: Go to Library>iTunes>iPhone Software Updates and locate any unused bundles.
Keep in mind that you can save yourself from all of that by using a cleaning tool like CleanMyMac X. You won’t even need to bother how to get to Library Folder on your Mac. CleanMyMac has iTunes Junk module to help you get rid of such files quickly and easily.
9. Remove duplicates
Useless copies of your documents, files, and photos eat up your Mac’s precious space. Therefore, if you wonder how to clean up a Mac and boost its performance, try to delete the duplicates. Note that the process of finding and removing the duplicates requires either a lot of patience and time (if you decide to delete them manually) or a duplicate finder app. Whatever method you choose, make sure to check out this article on “How to Find Duplicates on Mac.”
10. Tidy up your desktop
Many people use Desktop as their primary destination for files. But this could be tricky because your OS treats every file on a desktop as an active window. When items on your desktop are too many, Finder gets substantially slower. This leads us to the most compelling advice in this article — cleaning up desktop does miracles!
Rather than just leaving every file on your desktop, organize them into folders. The latest macOS does that automatically thanks to the Stacks feature. You can also use Google Drive, Dropbox or any external storage device to save your files and keep your desktop tidy.
As always, be careful. Don’t let anything melt or screwed up. If you are not completely sure that you can manage the task by yourself, better use a smart utility like CleanMyMac X to get a fresh and clean Mac in just two clicks.
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