How to clean up MacBook Pro

Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
September 14, 2023
7 minutes to read

When you have no free space on your MacBook hard drive, your system may start running slow. You need to periodically clean up your Mac computer from unneeded stuff and junk files to keep its speed like a brand new and “just out of the box.” In our previous blog post, we gave seven reasons why you are losing MacBook storage space. In this article, we will share some tips on how to clean up your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air startup disk.

cleaning up a macbook

How to check your MacBook’s storage space?

To find out what is taking space on your MacBook, do the following:

  1. Open System Settings and go to the General section.
  2. Click Storage in the right panel.
  3. On the top of the window, you will see what’s taking space on your Mac.
system settings showing mac storage usage
Here you will see what kind of files occupy the disk memory: applications, photos, audio files, movies, mails, documents and other files.
System Settings window showing disk usage

If you have old versions of macOS, follow these steps to view Mac storage usage:

  1. Go to the Apple menu.
  2. Select About this Mac.
  3. Switch to the Storage tab.
About this Mac panel - Storage tab

How to clean up a MacBook Pro

Follow these tips to free up disk space on your MacBook:

1. Clear Caches

Depending on the computer, caches can occupy anything from a couple of gigabytes to 10 or even 20 gigabytes. Clear cache files on your MacBook will make you some extra storage space. There are two ways to clear caches on you machine.

The manual way of clearing cache on a Mac

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Press Cmd+Shift+G and type ~/Library in the search field to go to the Library folder.
  3. Find the Caches folder.
Finder window showing cache files

The quick way to clear cache on a Mac

There is a quicker and easier way to get rid of caches and free up Mac computer storage. You can use App Cleaner & Uninstaller, which allows you to remove the service files of apps, find leftovers of already removed apps, remove login items, launch agents, installations, screensavers, and other extension files. Just launch the applications → select caches and other service files for the needed apps and click the Remove button.

App Cleaner & Uninstaller window with cache files selected

App Cleaner & Uninstaller

Free Download

2. Clean the Downloads folder

Some users even don’t realize what a large number of disk image files and other useless items they store in the Downloads folder. Disk images are needed only for installing programs, and then they simply take up space on your disk. To get rid of disk images once and for all and make room in your storage, do the following:

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Go to the Downloads folder.
  3. Type in the search field disk image.
  4. Remove all .dmg and .iso files that eat up space on your MacBook hard drive.
Finder window showing Downloads

The quick way to find and remove installation files

By the way, App Cleaner & Uninstaller also allows you to easily find all Mac installation files, which you don’t need anymore. For this, go to the Extensions tab in the app → select files in the Installation section, and remove them.

App Cleaner & Uninstaller window showing Installation files in Extensions tab

3. Remove old backups of devices in iTunes

Okay, what else? If there are copies of devices in iTunes amounting to 3-4 gigabytes and sometimes as much as 30-40 gigabytes. Open iTunes → go to its Menu Bar → select iTunes → click Preferences → switch to the Devices section and remove the clutter from there. Now it’s all in iCloud!

iTunes preferences - devices tab - iphone backups

4. Uninstall unused applications

When thinking about how to clean disk space on your MacBook, very likely, you have numerous apps you don’t use. By deleting unneeded old apps, you can free up huge space on your disk. Review your Applications folder and uninstall the unused applications. Again, you can easily do it with App Cleaner & Uninstaller, which allows you to view a list of installed apps sorted by size, and remove programs with a safe and complete cleanup. All you need to do is to tick the checkbox by the app and click to remove it.

Uninstalling apps with App Cleaner

5. Reduce the number of startup items

When you have a big number of apps that run automatically when your MacBook starts up, this may make your system run slowly. All utilities on a Mac have their own processes running in the background: scanners, monitors, synchronization services, update checking services and so on. These background processes are the reasons why your MacBook is so slow. We recommend that you preview them and disable the ones you don’t need. It will help you make your MacBook Pro run faster.

To clear the Startup list, follow these steps:

  1. Go to System SettingsUsers and Groups → select General.
  2. Click Login Items.
  3. Here, you can choose only those applications that are necessary to be launched after you start the system.
System preferences window - Users and groups - login items tab

The quick way to remove startup programs

App Cleaner & Uninstaller will help you to disable or remove startup programs more easily. Go to the Startup Programs tab and disable unneeded launch agents and login items with the switch button. Uninstalling apps with App Cleaner

6. Clean up your MacBook desktop

Some users prefer to keep the files on a desktop for reasons of convenience. Well, in this case, the system has to handle all of these connections, so it may have an adverse effect on the performance of your MacBook. Therefore, remove all unused icons and move files to the appropriate folders. desktop screenshot with a large files of files

So what is the best way to clean up a MacBook?

We have given you short easy tips which will help you to clear up space on your MacBook Pro or Air, and make macOS to run faster.
You can clean MacBook Pro’s hard drive manually. But the best way to clean up MacBook Pro is to use a free application App Cleaner & Uninstaller. Download it for free and enjoy the best Mac cleaner in town.

Frequently asked questions about cleaning up a MacBook

How do I clean my MacBook Pro for free?
How do I free up disk space on my MacBook Pro?
Can you add storage to a MacBook Pro?
Is 128 GB MacBook Pro enough?
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