Have you noticed that your laptop seems to be taking forever to open up applications — or do much of anything at all — lately?
Slow loading speeds happen for a variety of different reasons.
What’s the most common reason why your MacBook Pro is running slow?
Because you’ve stored way too many files on it. After all, MacBooks, though powerful, don’t have as much space as a desktop computer.
But how do you know what to save and what to store? What does it take to understand how to clean a MacBook? What are some ways you can prevent this file overload from happening in the future?
Read on to find out.
How to Clean a MacBook: The First Steps
You’re doing some work on your MacBook Pro when all of a sudden a notification pops up in the corner of your screen. It tells you that your hard drive disk is almost full and that you need to make some space and optimize your storage options.
What should you do?
First, determine how much storage your laptop actually allows for by clicking the Apple menu, selecting, “About This Mac,” and then clicking on the “Storage” option.
Not only will doing this tell you how much storage space you’ve used vs. how much is still available. It will also let you know where you need to clear up files. You may say that photos are taking up the majority of your hard drive, or perhaps that videos are the culprit.
Much like that infamous closet purge, you should start by getting rid of any photo, video, music, or document files that you no longer need. Aim to purge as many videos and music files (like those years-old podcast episodes you never listened to) first.
After all, they take up the largest amount of space.
Now is also the time to clear your cookies and cache, delete your browser history, and clear out old files in your Downloads folder that you no longer need.
Still Have a MacBook Pro Running Slow?
If even after your basic cleanup, your computer is still slow, you’ll need to take the next steps in understanding how to clean a MacBook.
The good news is that Apple tries to make this easy with its Storage Management feature. (Click the “manage” button in the storage window you just opened.”
You should store what you can in iCloud.
This means that the file types you select (most commonly, photos and documents) will be stored in the cloud as opposed to on your hard drive. You’ll also be prompted to remove TV shows you’ve watched and empty your trash.
Don’t worry — you won’t lose those shows or movies forever.
You’ll just be able to re-download them again for free should you want to watch them in the future.
What if you’re having trouble figuring out exactly where the largest files are on your computer?
You can use the “Reduce Clutter” feature on your MacBook.
This feature organizes your files according to their size. This way, you can delete several large files in a matter of seconds.
Finally, make sure that you update your software and run any application updates you haven’t in a while.
This isn’t just about keeping your data more secure, though that’s certainly important, too. Recent updates automatically delete copies of files that you don’t need. They also send you reminders when you likely have things to delete.
Tools for a Clean MacBook
Of course, you don’t have to do most of the file clearing manually — that would take far too long.
There are several tools you can use to help speed up the process of clearing space on your MacBook hard drive. Essentially, these tools automatically scan your MacBook for unnecessary files and delete them throughout the day.
Think of it as a kind of “preventative action” that helps you to avoid the dreaded “low storage notification.”
CCleaner is a popular option, with millions of users worldwide.
However, recent security concerns have caused many users to look for another option. This post on some of the top CCleaner alternative options today is a great starting point to find out what may work best for you.
Another popular tool for ensuring that you keep your storage space optimized?
Invest in an external hard drive.
This is ideal for those who may have security concerns about storing their personal data in the cloud, or who just prefer to use another hard drive. Many external hard drives today are quite small, about the size of a phone charging brick.
Plus, if you go this route, you won’t have to sort through all your files. Instead, you can just opt to move all your old music or photos to the storage on your external hard drive.
You’re Ready to Enjoy a Clean MacBook
We promise that if you follow the advice on how to clean a MacBook in this post, you’ll see improved loading speeds in no time.
Remember to periodically clear files manually from time to time. Or, even better, download tools that do it for you automatically.
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