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How Do I Clear My Hard Drive On My MacBook Air?

I keep getting an error message that my startup disk is almost full. I have deleted many of the files i had on my desktop and most of my other files I save in Dropbox.

How do I see what is on my Startup disk and how do I delete files?

Emma Hughes

Comments: 3 Responses to “How Do I Clear My Hard Drive On My MacBook Air?”

    4 years ago

    First, start by going to the Apple Menu at the top left. Choose About This Mac. Then go to Storage. This gives you an overview and may help you figure out what it taking up space.
    Then look in your home folder. You’ll see in there: Documents, Movies, Music, etc. Look in each one of those and see what you have. It helps if you are in List view and you sort by size to see the largest files and folders at the top. Choose View, Show View Options and then turn on “Calculate All Sizes” to see the size of folders as well.
    You’ll just have to take inventory and figure out what you have that is filling up space, and see what you don’t need anymore or can archive to an external drive or something.
    Note that Dropbox files are on your local drive. That’s the idea of Dropbox: it syncs that folder with the Dropbox cloud service and your other Macs. But the files are there locally too.

    Julie Armstrong
    4 years ago

    It looks like I have duplicates in Photos, and iPhoto. I am not clear if they are 1 copy or multiples. Also when I delete an app, does it delete additional system related files?


    4 years ago

    Julie: When you upgrade from iPhoto to Photos it copies all of your iPhoto library into a new Photos library. It does not delete your old iPhoto library. If you are done with iPhoto, then you should archive that library (external drive probably) and then you can delete it from your Mac.
    But if you mean INSIDE your Photos library, then you need to take stock of what you have and figure out why you are getting duplicates. Lots of factors there and you may need to get firsthand help.
    As for uninstalling apps, it depends on how you uninstall it. Throwing an app in the trash or using the LaunchPad method doesn’t delete data (and it shouldn’t). But some uninstaller from third parties may.

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