Apple Desktop How To

Free Up Space With “Optimize Storage” In macOS Sierra

Among other features, macOS Sierra (i.e. OS X 10.12) comes with a neat optimize storage facility that lets you quickly save lots of storage space on your Mac. Learn more after the jump.

I absolutely love performance of the SSD on my Mac. It’s blazing fast; easily 10x faster than the hard drive on my old Toshiba notebook. However, there is one problem with it: because SSDs are expensive, storage capacity tends to be quite limited. My baseline MacBook Pro comes with 128GB of storage, which isn’t nearly enough when editing lots of high-resolution photos and videos.

I’ve become used to getting “low storage space” notifications on my Mac every few weeks. Right now, I have to manage storage manually. So, when I see this notification, I go off in Finder to delete stuff like old TV shows, movies, temporary data, the trash and more. It’s fairly annoying, especially when I feel OS X can automate it.

And automate it can!

Introducing Optimize Storage feature in macOS Sierra

The latest version of Mac OS X – now just macOS – will give you an option to automatically optimize storage when you’re running low.

It does this by automatically getting rid of old documents, screenshots, images, skipped iTunes songs, unused fonts, unused App Store apps and played movies, TV shows, podcasts in iTunes, and a lot more. Apple does this safely, of course, as it first uploads these items to iCloud before deleting them.

macOS Sierra also gives handy recommendations to help you make better use of the available storage on your Mac. You can access storage recommendations by clicking on the Apple icon in the menubar, clicking on About this Mac, selecting the Storage tab in the window that pops up, and then Manage.

From here, you can also manually execute the Optimize Storage feature, instead of just using it when you’re running low on storage.

I also like how you can choose to have Finder automatically erase items in the Trash that are older than 30 days.

Optimize storage recommendations in macOS Sierra

Optimize Storage is an excellent, useful little feature in macOS Sierra. I’ll definitely be using it when I update to the new OS in Fall later this year.

I’m just concerned how quickly this will fill up my limited 5GB free storage in iCloud.