How do I free up disk space on my Mac?

If your Mac is telling you that it's almost full, you should try to free up disk space. All computers require a small amount of disk space available to function correctly. If your computer is consistently out of space, you'll likely run into problems installing software updates or even starting up the computer.

Deleting data

Of course, the first thing you can do is delete data that you no longer need. The Downloads folder is a common place where files accumulate that you didn't intend to save.

If you have any questions about what data is safe to delete, please contact the Technology Service Center for assistance.

Moving data somewhere else

If you've deleted all of the data that you don't need to keep, another option is to offload the remaining data to somewhere else. OIT recommends using your Google Drive to store all SJU-related data, Please see this knowledge base section for more information on how to use Google Drive.

If you're very low on disk space, you might not be able to install the Google Drive app through Managed Software Center to offload data. In that case, your best option would be to visit Google Drive on the web and upload data to My Drive or a shared drive, as appropriate.

Determining where all of the space is going

We have a couple of free applications in Managed Software Center that can help determine what's taking up all of the space on your computer. Please note, if you have any pending updates in Managed Software Center, you'll need to install those first.

It is strongly recommended that you only delete items in your home folder (located at /Users/yourusername). Deleting anything outside of your home folder can prevent your computer from running properly, requiring service.


OmniDiskSweeper displays a list, sorted by size, of all of the folders on your Mac. You can browse through each folder and easily select files to be deleted.


GrandPerspective takes a different approach from OmniDiskSweeper. Instead of a list, sorted by size, you're shown a visualization of the largest files. You can hover over each box to see which file is represented, and right-click the box to show the file in a new Finder window.

Unsure about what's safe to delete?

Please contact the Technology Service Center for assistance with freeing up disk space.


Article ID: 133543
Fri 6/4/21 1:36 PM
Wed 6/23/21 10:36 AM