The warm sunny season is gone by, and it’s getting colder outside day by day. When the weather is gloomy, we especially miss spring and the feeling of new beginning it gives. Even though we can’t bring this season back, spring cleaning (which is usually associated with it) can be a great idea all year round. Your home is not the only place that needs a thorough clean-up – so does your Mac computer.
Read our full guide to cleaning Mac top to bottom and get rid of all unwanted clutter it stores. The round-up of obligatory and optional actions is here to help you. Some tips are easier to perform while others need a little more time. However, we are sure that all of them are worth trying to tidy up and speed up your Mac.
Privileges for Sierra Users
If you are using macOS Sierra or High Sierra, you are lucky to enjoy its latest extended feature Optimize Storage. With its help, a user can store all files but recently used in iCloud, find and delete big files that are of no use anymore (e.g., installers of software), automatically remove videos in iTunes (that were already watched), and set emptying trash to automatic. Sierra helps users to save their time while keeping Mac clean and fast.
Sweep your Desktop
A lot of us are used to storing files on Mac’s desktop. However, after a while, the desktop may become all cluttered and slow down the work of Mac in general. Besides, with too many files kept there, it may become difficult to find the exact one you need.
Many users don’t realize that desktop is also a folder. One can find it through the Finder or by command Go – Desktop. Once the Desktop folder opens, you will be able to view all the files stored in it, listed by date or size. This will help to sort them out and delete the ones you don’t need. Removing bigger ones will help you to save a considerable amount of disk space.
To make the process even faster, you can download one of the apps that are designed specifically for cleaning various clutter on a desktop. (An example of a good one would be Mac Washing Machine by Intego).
Clear out the Downloads folder
Just like Desktop, the Downloads folder has a high chance of also being clogged. It often stores files that you only need once or temporarily: PDFs, software installation files, disk images for installed software, email attachments, etc.
It won’t take you too long to clean the Downloads. Once you open the folder, view its contents as a List and next sort it out by date. Make sure to check the files before you delete them, and get rid of the oldest ones. Among all others, disk image files, which names end with “.dmg,” are something you most definitely won’t need again.
Get rid of e-mail attachments
Like any other user who has e-mail, you are likely to get quite a few attachments along with the messages: documents, photos, purchasing recipes, etc. You may view these materials only once, but each time after you open an e-mail with an attachment, it is also saved in the Mail Downloads folder on your Mac. With time, all these files start taking up quite a bit of disk space.
What you should know is that you can clean out the Mail Downloads folder without the risk to lose anything, because any files attached to the original e-mail do not disappear. Thus, you’ll be able to access the attachments if you need them once again.
To open the folder, in the Finder press Go – Go to Folder, then type in or paste this: ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail Downloads. Once there, don't hold yourself back – erase everything!
Cache is some amount of space on your Mac’s hard drive, which stores temporary files (most often – media files or logging data) downloaded from websites or applications. Originally, the cache is created to speed up the work of Mac each time you visit the same site on the Web. However, with time cache builds up and may take much disk space.
Clearing cache is somewhat an arguable point: don’t expect to regain too much of the hard drive space by this action. However, it will definitely help if your Mac is clogged up to the gills.
You can delete cache manually through the Finder or use one of the comprehensive free or paid Mac cleaners to instantly perform this process in your place.
Dealing with duplicates may be an annoying and time-consuming task. The trick is that the doubles of the same original file may be stored in different folders, and thus, increase the wasted disk space even more. Besides, duplicate files may slow down backups, if you do them regularly. They may also confuse your work, as it’s not easy to quickly tell which file is the original and which is its copy.
Deleting duplicates is an essential task during your Mac’s thorough clean up. Keep in mind though that you may have to deal with erasing dupes in your Photos app, delete duplicate songs in iTunes as well as in other folders.
You may take time to locate all the duplicate files through the Finder, or again – use one of the cleaner apps to save your time.
And the final stroke:
Cleaning up your Mac, literally
After all of the scrupulous work you’ve done, and while you are still in the mood for tidying up, a good thing to do would be to clean your Mac physically. Sweep out all dust off the keyboard and attached devices, clean them with Apple-approved alcohol-free wipers. Take a special care about your Mac’s screen: knowing basic rules while doing this is very important.
The round-up cleaning of your Mac may take quite a bit of time, but we are sure that you’ll be more than pleased with the results.