Why Macs Have Low Storage and How to Deal With It


Some MacBook owners may find it quite annoying to deal with the low storage problem on their laptops. While Macs are quite reliable and have a neat design, they have some flaws. And one of those flaws is lackluster drives. Well, at least as far as their performance goes.

The recent trend of replacing hard drives with solid-state drives is understandable. The latter is expensive, but having a piece of hardware that is more durable and works faster is a significant advantage. 

However, this advantage comes with some downsides. SSDs have less total storage than HDDs, and the problem becomes quite apparent when you purchase a cheaper MacBook model. 

Fortunately, the issue of lacking drive storage is not enough to prevent Macs from remaining so popular. There are ways to manage the problem, and this article will cover the most effective measures MacBook owners can take.

Take Advantage of External Storage

Your computer data management strategy does not have to revolve around getting rid of various computer files permanently. No, if you have some files that you want to keep around, but they consume quite a lot of space, why not transfer them to external storage?

For that, there are two options worth mentioning—cloud storage and external devices.

  • Cloud storage

Using iCloud, which is the default cloud service for macOS, is quite simple. The free plan comes with five gigabytes of storage, but there is also an option to extend available storage for a monthly fee. You can get as many as two terabytes for ten dollars a month. 

Other than transferring files from your Mac to iCloud, you can also access cloud storage from iPhone or iCloud if you have one. In other words, using iCloud allows you to create a mini ecosystem between Apple devices.

  • External devices

Investing in an external hard drive should not cost more than 50 dollars. And the amount of available storage should be enough to accommodate your needs. Besides a hard drive, you could get a USB flash drive that is both cheaper and has less storage.

Get in the Habit of Deleting Files Permanently

You will need to delete files anyway, and it is recommended to remove them from the MacBook permanently. 

Many Mac users drag files in the Trash Bin expecting that it is enough. No, you need to empty the Trash Bin every time. The Bin also has a feature to delete its files automatically after 30 days. However, waiting for 30 days does not really solve the problem, right?

If you do not wish to deal with the Trash Bin and would prefer to use a keyboard shortcut, use Option + Command + Delete. Hitting the sequence after selecting a file or a group of files you wish to delete permanently will result in a pop-up, and confirming the pop-up will delete the data.

Check for Malware That May Consume Drive Space

Even if Macs are not as prone to viruses and other cybersecurity threats, you should still keep tabs on potential attacks. Scan the system for malware that may be eating the drive’s space. A reliable anti-malware tool should do the job.

As a rule of thumb, you should have antivirus software running in the background when the MacBook is turned on. And if you wish to add additional security layers, enable the firewall and browse the internet via virtual private networks. 

Change Downloaded File Location

If you forget about downloaded files, change the default location to the MacBook’s desktop. Doing so will let you see the downloaded files right away. As soon as you notice that a downloaded file is useless, you can delete it from the computer. 

Stick to Streaming Services

It is easy to download and leave media files on the MacBook with the intent to watch or listen to them later. If you like movies or TV shows, stick to streaming platforms. The likes of Netflix and Disney+ have plenty of entertainment for you to consume. For music and podcasts, Spotify and YouTube are the go-to services. 

Even if you have to pay an extra fee for subscribing to a streaming platform, it is still worth it. Consuming media on a streaming site is more convenient, and if it helps with the MacBook storage problem, then there is even more incentive to use streaming platforms.

Delete Old Apps and Other Junk

Removing applications like xcode may free up more drive storage than you expect because there are not just main app files but temporary storage like caches and plugins as well. 

There is no need to keep an app on a MacBook if you are not using it. If freeing up the computer’s drive storage is your primary objective, do not hesitate and remove applications that you are not planning on using.

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