Apple » Mac » Manage MacBook memory: Optimize Storage!

Manage MacBook memory: Optimize Storage!

You should manage your MacBook storage to get more free space. Do you know which files steal the most space?

Manage MacBook Memory

If you’ve realized that you should manage your MacBook storage, then you’ve probably reached the limits of your storage space. You’re now wondering how to get back to more free space without deleting important files, like photos or mail. In this article, we’ll show you how to easily find all the files you can safely delete – because you don’t need them.

Get an overview of the used storage space

If you want to manage your MacBook storage, there is a great feature you should know about: the so-called storage management. It shows you quite clearly which kind of files use a lot of storage space, e.g. how much space your photos need or your mails. This is of course very interesting to get an overview. After all, who wants to open all the folders and see what’s in there and whether you don’t need it anymore.

Why is free storage space important at all?

Before we get into managing your MacBook storage, let’s first take a look at how much total storage space is still available. Did you know that relatively full hard drives make your MacBook

slower? You can think of it like this:

You want to put a bar of chocolate in a bowl with a lid so it stays fresh longer. If the bowl is completely empty, you just put it in – that’s very quick. However, if there are already other sweets in there, then the chocolate bar won’t fit all the way in. So what do you do? You break it and somehow try to fit it into several small pieces. This takes much longer. If you want to offer chocolate to your visitor now, it is quite time-consuming to find all the smaller chocolate pieces and take them out. If you can fit the whole bar into one piece, then it’s quick.

It’s the same with your hard drive. If you have large files and a lot of space, then the file can be put somewhere and quickly opened again. If there is little space left, the MacBook has to distribute it (this is called fragmenting) and put it in different places. The distribution takes longer and so does the retrieval. So it’s best to make sure that there is always enough space. Then your MacBook is also nice and fast!

Manage MacBook storage: determine free space

To quickly determine the free space, we can simply display it – even grouped by the type of data. To do this, we proceed like this:

  1. Press the apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen
  2. Now select “About this Mac
  3. In the window that opens, click on “Hard disks” at the top of the screen

Here you can see all the hard disks. Usually there is a hard disk “Macintosh HD”, which is the internal hard disk of your MacBook and possibly other external hard disks, if one is connected.

Manage MacBook Memory

If you hover your mouse over the white area of memory usage on the right, it will show you the amount of free space. Is that not so much anymore? Then we should see where we can create some space together.

Which files need the most space?

Let’s open the so-called memory management and see what is consuming a lot of memory. The memory management shows it very clearly. To do this, proceed as follows:

  1. Click on the magnifying glass in the upper right corner or press “command” and the space bar at the same time. Then the search opens. Enter “Memory management” and open the program.
  2. Wait a moment until the memory management analyzes your data in real time and gives you an overview of what kind of data consumes particularly much memory.

On the left side, you can clearly see what kind of files consume the most storage space. It’s divided into Documents, Photos, iCloud Drive, Mail, Music, Messages, Trash, and Applications. The “System” and “Other” sections do show a size, but you can’t see what it is exactly, so you can’t save anything here either.

So let’s rather dedicate ourselves to the areas where we can create free space again.

Manage and optimize MacBook memory

First of all, we can display recommendations with which we can manage the MacBook memory and then also optimize it.

Recommendations for more free memory

Recommendation received for more storage space

Store in iCloud:

Already using Apple’s iCloud? You have free storage space to store data in Apple’s iCloud. Currently, that’s 5 GB. If you want, you can also buy more storage space. Click on “Save to iCloud …”. There, the item “Photos” is particularly relevant for the storage space. If you activate this item, your photos will be uploaded to iCloud and you will only see photos with reduced resolution. This saves storage space. When you open a photo, the image is downloaded and displayed at full resolution. So the quality remains the same.

Optimize memory:

You can enable this item to delete Apple TV movies you’ve watched, for example, once you’ve watched them. This makes sense, of course, because you could load them again at any time. This saves storage space for the data you currently need.

Automatically empty the Recycle Bin:

Do you always remember to empty the recycle bin? Probably not many people do. Even if it is of course handy to be able to recover accidentally deleted files, you can also delete deleted data permanently after some time. If you enable this option, the system will delete all data that has been in the Recycle Bin for 30 days and has not been recovered.

Reduce chaos:

Who doesn’t want to reduce chaos, but what the heck does this item mean? Basically, you can click on “Check files” and you will see a list of all files – sorted by their size on the hard disk. This list is very handy, because if you find something among the first entries that you don’t need anymore, you really free up a lot of disk space. Could you find something on your computer?

Manage MacBook storage and free up space

You can manage your MacBook storage by selectively deleting files. We can now go through the different file types together and see what you could delete:

Manage MacBook memory and delete files


There (as already seen in “Reduce Chaos”) your files are sorted or filtered by different criteria. We already discussed sorting by size in “Reduce Chaos”. But now you can also display all downloads. There you can often find files that you once downloaded but no longer need. In “Unsupported apps” you can find applications that are no longer compatible with the latest Mac version. You can delete them, since they don’t work anymore anyway.


At this point, the link only leads to your photo library. You can still click on “Media types” on the left and select “Videos”. Videos often need much more storage space than photos. Maybe you can find some big, old and no longer needed videos there.


Even though cloud sounds like moving files to the cloud at first, that’s not basically the case with Apple iCloud. If you use iCloud to store data, it is mirrored in the cloud. This means that they remain on the hard drive and are also moved to the cloud. Unless the storage space becomes tight, then large files are removed from the hard drive and get an icon with a cloud. This means something like: The document is currently only in the iCloud and will be downloaded again when opened. Of course, you can now clean up a bit in your iCloud. Basically, the MacBook deletes your data from the hard drive anyway if there is a copy in the iCloud.

Mail: You can see here quite nicely how quickly the storage space fills

up if you often get larger mail attachments and don’t delete any of them. Want to find the memory hogs? Then open the Mail app and click on “Mailbox” at the top and then on “New smart mailbox …”. Select “Contains attachments” under “All mail” and confirm with “OK”. Now you will see all mails that have an attachment and therefore consume disk space. If you like, you can display the size of the mails in the list under “View” > “Show mail size”. Now find the largest ones and check if you still need them.


If you have made music available offline, so that you can listen to it even if you don’t have internet, it will be displayed here. Do you really need all music offline on your MacBook? If not, delete some here.


Similar to mails, messages often hide large attachments. In this case, for example, videos or photos that you have been sent or have sent yourself. The list is sorted by size, so you can see the largest attachments at the top. Do you really need all photos and videos? If not, then delete a few files here. Tip: Click on a file and press the space bar. Then a preview will be displayed.

Recycle Bin:

Here you can see only the items in the Recycle Bin. You can still delete everything in the Recycle Bin with “Empty Recycle Bin” if you don’t want to restore the files.


Do you have large programs installed that you no longer need? Some programs can be quite large. Here you can save a lot of disk space. Click with the right mouse button or on a touchpad with two fingers on an app and then select “Delete”.

MacBook memory full even though everything has been deleted?

Still don’t have enough free space? Then consider using an external hard drive. The new MacBook has a USB-C port and it is quite fast. A corresponding hard drive with USB-C port and good speed is not as fast as an internal hard drive, but much faster than years ago. Especially documents, photos or videos are great to store on an external hard drive, because you do not necessarily have to access this data all the time.

Do you already have a USB-C hard drive for your MacBook that is fast? If not, then we can recommend one of those hard drives for you. All of them are fast, so you can actually choose based on looks and/or price. We use LaCie hard drives ourselves because of their robustness. If you’re thinking more of a new MacBook, then we’ve written a 2020 MacBook comparison for


ANZEIGE – Preise inkl. MwSt., zzgl. Versandkosten / Letzte Aktualisierung am 2022-06-26 at 11:21 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API Avatar

Nix verpassen: Abonniere unseren Newsletter!💌

* indicates required

Gefällt Johanna, Frank, Sigrid und vielen weiteren
Weitere Hinweise zum Datenschutz
Mehr zu diesen Themen:
Disclaimer: übernimmt keine Gewähr für die Aktualität, Richtigkeit, Vollständigkeit, Wirksamkeit und Unbedenklichkeit der zur Verfügung gestellten Informationen. Wir weisen ausdrücklich darauf hin, dass offizielle Herstellervorgaben vorrangig vor allen anderen Informationen und Empfehlungen zu beachten sind. In diesem Artikel gibt es zudem Produktplatzierungen und/oder Werbung, für die wir nicht beauftragt wurden.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top