How to clean your precious MacBook
Junk is often invisible, but it can take an enormous amount of space. Cleaning a Mac by yourself is a tiresome and laborious task.
So you’ve had your Mac for a while, and things don’t feel as fresh and clean as they used to? Although Macs don’t require a lot of maintenance for cleaning, those temporary files, app leftovers, and system cache do accumulate. These files may slow down your machine and take up a lot of valuable space. In this article, you can find quick and easy ways to clean up your MacBook. Let’s get started!
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 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 MacBook cleaners to do the job for you. Of course, the second way is an easy and fast one. However, if you decide to clean up the 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. To do this, right-click on the app you want to remove and choose Move to Bin.
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”
*Trim down your login items
Login items are applications that run automatically upon startup. Nowadays, 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 the Login Items tab.
- Check startup programs you want to remove.
- Press the “–” sign below.
You’re good to go!
#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? 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.
- Click Empty and then Empty Bin.
#5. Reduce clutter
Apple has already thought about the clutter that can be generated on the Macs and provided a possible solution. Here’s how to reduce clutter on your Mac:
- Go to the Apple menu.
- Choose About This Mac and then Storage. Here you can see how much free space is left on your computer.
- Then click Manage.
Here’re some recommendations for saving space on your Mac. You can choose Review Files to examine apps, documents, and other files that are stored on your Mac.
You can choose any file in every category (Applications, Bin, Documents, etc.) and click Delete to remove it and optimize space. Look through other recommendations and make the necessary changes to use your Mac’s space more efficiently.
#6. Delete large and old files
It has always been a rule of thumb among computer geeks, that you should keep a minimum of 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.
For totally manual cleaning it requires you to find them one by one, which is always better as for me. If you are looking for saving some time and you are not scared to lose something really important you may use automatic cleaners which are a lot on market nowadays.
#7. 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:
- Choose the Apple menu and then select About This Mac.
- Go to the Storage tab and click Manage.
- Here, choose iOS Files.
- Select the backup you want to remove and click Delete.
- Confirm and you’re done!
That’s it! The backup files are gone from your Mac forever.
#8. Wipeout 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 starting using the app in that language immediately. Cool, right? Not really. Just consider: when was the last time you used the app in Bengali or Korean? Since you don’t speak those 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.
#9. Delete old DMGs
Disk images (DMGs) often take up valuable space on your Mac. Here’s how to perform a Mac clean-up and get rid of those files:
- Open Finder and type “disk image” in the search bar.
- Then delete all files that have .dmg extensions. Don’t forget to remove them from Trash as well.
#10. 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”
#11. 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.
#12. Clean your Mac’s keyboard
Our last but not least advice is to wipe your Mac’s keyboard. As you use your keyboard daily, it quickly gets dirty. Moreover, all those crumbs may live under the keys forever! :)
If you were wondering how to clean Mac’s keyboard, there are no special rules here. You can try blowing the dust and other particles out of your keyboard once in a while. Disinfecting wipes and alcohol-based sprays may also prove useful. Just choose the piece of fabric and wipe the keys gently to make them clean and shiny!
Happy cleaning! ;)