Our Macs tend to be pretty self sufficient when it comes to maintenance and clearing out old support files, but sometimes our hard drive or SSD seems mysteriously too full. Luckily there are some useful tools out there to help get rid of the old stuff you don’t want any more, be it apps, support files, caches, logs, or any other document taking up space. Read on to see some of our favorites.
Files seem to breed like rabbits on our Macs and over time stuff we don’t really need any more can consume all of our available storage space. OmniDiskSweeper lets you see what’s taking up all your hard drive or SSD space by size in descending order, so you’ll know right away where most of your storage space is going. You can choose what you want to delete in the app, but be careful because it’ll dutifully delete whatever you want even if it’s a critical file. OmniDiskSweeper is a free download at the Omni website. If you’re running macOS 10.12 or higher you’ll need to use the test builds.
Deleting apps from your Mac is as simple as dragging them to the trash. Well, usually. Apps can leave behind support, log, and settings files you won’t ever see if you don’t know where to look—and the space they use adds up over time. AppTrap fixes that by keeping track of the hidden support files you apps make. It runs in the background and when you toss an app into the trash it asks if you want to get rid of its support files, too. If you say yes, it moves all of those extra pieces into the trash for you. AppTrap is a free download.
Cocktail is like an all-in-one package for helping your Mac run smoothly, and it can clean out old cache files users, the internet, applications, the system. If you want to get rid of old log files it’ll do that, too, plus it can handle clearing out all of that old stuff on a schedule for you—handy if you know you want to periodically do some digital house cleaning. It also handles other taskes like checking hard rive S.M.A.R.T. status, enabling and disabling journaling, force-ejecting drives, and more. Cocktail has a 10-use demo mode, and costs $19 for the unlocked version. It’s available for download at the Maintain website.
Apple’s Built-in Clean Up Tool
Apple built a clean-it-up tool into macOS Sierra and High Sierra, but it isn’t obvious where to find it. Here’s what to do go to About this Mac, click the Storage tab, then click Manage next to your start up disk. From there you can see how much space different types of content take up, and you can delete files and apps from here, too. If you purchase your apps from the Mac App Store, deleteting them from here clears out their support files, too.