Not every file that eats up large space of your system is resting in front of your eyes; most of such files are stored in deep folders of which you do not think in the first instance. These space-hungry files not only lessen the storage capacity of your system, but also slow it down, which is in fact more exasperating than any other thing. Today, we will have a deep look into some ways by which we can decontaminate our Mac from such files as above mentioned, step by step, and steadily. Let us begin with the task!
The foremost step in cleansing your Mac is gathering the required info about your system, and the stored data therein. If you want to have a look at sizes of files, Get Info window will serve you best. To check the size of an item, select it, and push [Apple] = [I], which will open the properties window where you can see the size. In OS X 10.5, an item’s size can be viewed by pressing spacebar. You can also choose to arrange the items by size by choosing List View and clicking the Size column. Before doing this, push the OS X to show the folder sizes by clicking View > View Options > Calculate All Sizes. This way, you will be able to see the fullest and largest folders; necessary to know in order to clean up your Mac.
You might not know that some applications and folders cover huge spaces. One such suspect is Apple Mail. Go to Home folder > Library > Mail, and get the info about its size through Get Info. Attachments that you chose to save also eat up immense room. If you want to delete them right away, drag them to the trash folder and empty it afterwards. You may choose to burn them onto a CD if you aren’t sure about whether you want to have them or delete them.
You love iLife, don’t you? But you might not know that every application of iLife has a separate trash bin. Whatever files you delete from the programs remain in the respective trash bins, no matter you are in a habit of emptying the iLife’s major trash bin regularly. One method is to go to the trash bins of iLife’s programs like iPhoto and iMovie, and delete the files present therein manually. In some programs, there won’t be a visible trash bin as in iDVD; here, select Advanced > Delete Encoded Assets.
ITunes is horribly huge folder that takes up immense space. If the preference is set to copy the tracks, you must reset it. You might delete a track from playlist, but remember; it doesn’t remove it from the library. Unnecessary and not wanted videos, music and podcasts will have to be removed manually from the respective folders. You might want to backup your music, videos and podcasts; so burn them to a CD before you permanently delete them for emptying larger space on your Mac.
WhatSize will allow you to find large files easily. Install the program where the licensed version gives unlimited measuring option and trail version allows measurements up to 20 GB. At the top left side, physical volumes are displayed, and underneath them are the major folders. Choose any drive to let the software measure its size.
A notable feature of this program is that it exhibits the folders in order of size. It is important for notebook users to note that in private > var > vm, a large sleepimage file is shown; never try to delete it. It is an important file showing the amount of RAM that is consumed for storing the data when battery runs out.
Congratulations! You are done with the finding out process. Now, it’s time to free your system of the unwanted roomy files. You might have found out data with no more usage, or data that you might need for safety of future purposes. First one has to go straight to the trash bin; backup the second one. This step was all about deciding what to delete and what to backup.
There are many ways in which you can create backups of needed data. One means is the Time Machine, which will create back up of the selected files. Another way is to burn the data on to CDs or DVDs. It is advised that the users burn the data at lower rate plus use high quality disks instead of cheap ones in order to minimize the risks of losing the archived record. You might want to store the data on to an external hard drive, too. You can get a 1 terabyte external hard drive for a mere £100.
Now, it is time to get help of a third party application in order to delete temporary file, caches and such other items. OnyX is one such tool, free too.
Use the cleaning section of this application for exposing all the built up system stuff. It has an internet tab that allows access scoring through browser history, caches and form values. Corrupted cache files can be accessed through Caches. After emptying stuff from Misc tab and crossing out the main Trash; restart the system.
Finally, you have this clean and spacious Mac in front of you. Let a sigh of relief, and shut your system down to get a siesta after this arduous and exhausting job.