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Can I Upgrade Storage On a 2020 Mac Mini?

I have a friend with a 2020 Mac mini w 500 GB storage. She is out of hard drive space. We have deleted so many items and have only cleared up 12 GB. She uses about 200 GB, her husband uses 150 GB and the rest (150 GB) is “other” (under the “manage your storage” option).


(1) can she upgrade storage on this Mac mini with an authorized reseller for example

(2) what application do you recommend to run on her computer to try to remove large files that are not needed in the “other” bucket? I went into her ~library but I am not going to delete any files there, when I don’t know what they are or how they are used.

(3) While she could move files to an external drive, honestly she doesn’t have a large photos library (<50gb), and we've deleted most apps she doesn't use. I've been through her downloads file folder and deleted all low hanging fruit. I was able to get the 12 GB back, but that's it. I'm making her go through her email - I think that's a huge file but she's a gmail user and I'm surprised that's taking up room on her hard drive vs Google's storage? She uses an external drive for Time Machine. She wants to upgrade to Monterey but doesn't have enough storage space cleared up to do it. ----- Liz

Comments: 7 Responses to “Can I Upgrade Storage On a 2020 Mac Mini?”

    2 years ago

    No, you cannot upgrade the storage. This is such a common problem. So many people buy a new Mac and underestimate how much storage they will need.

    One option is to get an external drive and move some files to that drive. Whether that works well depends on what is taking up space and whether that would be easy to access on another drive.

    There is no Other "bucket." If you are looking at the graph that shows CATEGORIES, not PLACES. There is no place on your Mac where all "other" is stored, just as there is no room in your house where all "furniture" is located. I did a video very recently on how to find things to clear off your Mac. Check that out.

    However, with two people using the Mac it may be hard to keep it going with only that size of drive. They should consider getting a new one soon and not holding back on the size of the drive.

    They can also both use iCloud Drive to clear off some space. They can do it on a family plan and share 2GB of space. How well that works would depend on their situation.

    If she is using Gmail and it does turn out that her mail storage is huge, then you can go into Gmail settings (on the Web) and set it to only sync the last 5,000 or 10,000 messages locally. That will save a lot of space there.

    2 years ago

    Thanks Gary. I appreciate it. The "Other" bucket is under Apple Menu/About this Mac/Storage/Manage and then left hand side under Recommendations. I had never seen that either. In researching it, the Apple community threads indicate that this Other bucket represents hidden files in the Library. She does have some HUGE files in the Library. Interestingly, on my Mac, when I check the same thing out, no "Other" bucket is shown. Thanks for the tip on GMAIL, which I will try.

    2 years ago

    Liz: Yes, there is an "Other" item shown there. I know that's what you mean. What I'm saying is that Other is not a LOCATION but a CATEGORY. It is everything not represented in the rest of the categories listed. Could be some things in your Library folder, could be files in your Documents folder or elsewhere that can't be categorized in any other way.

    Ignore that information as it is not helpful to you. See the video I linked to to clear off space.

    2 years ago

    Gary: The original 12 GB I cleared over 5 days went to 0. Friend in Panic. Your video was very helpful and I have done most of the deletions. It's still not making a dent. I was able to claw back 6 GB so at least we could get into Mail. The low hanging fruit is Mail: 9.79 GB which we are going through and deleting old stuff, Music: 1 GB which I can move off to external drive. And then there is this Other: 294 GB. I understand your comment above. I feel like I have sleuthed everywhere.

    2 years ago

    Liz: See the link in my first comment. Look at those 20 things.

    Chris Scioscia
    2 years ago

    I have a 1TB iMac 2019 64 Ram. I had similar storage issues to the point of not being able to open a document. After many hours of research and trial and error my last ditch option was to reformat the HD and use the latest Time Machine back up. What I found was life changing. Upon the completion, I went from 15mb free on a 1TB machine to 650 GB of free space. I have no idea why this happened but this seems like a good option after upgrading to multiple new OS versions. Thoughts Gary?

    2 years ago

    Chris: I can't start to guess as it is the sort of thing where you'd need to be there to investigate and see what is what. A simple inventory (start at the top level, look at the size of each folder, look into each folder, repeat) would have gotten to the bottom of it though.

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