macOS Sierra: How to manage your Mac’s storage

macOS Sierra offers some new tools to manage storage on your Mac. Here's how you can use them to free up hard disk space.


At WWDC Apple introduced macOS Sierra, and one of its most useful features is the ability to more effectively manage file storage on your Mac. With macOS Sierra you can opt to easily remove files and other objects that take up storage space on your Mac.

In this how-to I’ll show you how to access macOS Sierra’s storage management options.

How to access macOS Sierra’s storage management tools

Here’s how you can quickly access the storage management options in macOS Sierra:

1. Click on the Apple icon in the menubar.

2. Click on About This Mac.

3. Click on the Storage tab.

macos sierra storage menu

4. Click on the Manage button.

A menu will appear with various storage options:

macos sierra storage management menu

The Recommendations tab will let you Optimize iCloud Storage, and Optimize Storage by removing iTunes movies and TV shows and by keeping only recent email attachments. You can also opt to have your items older than 30 days automatically removed from your Trash. And you can opt to Reduce Clutter by reviewing and deleting older documents stored on your Mac.

I strongly suggest that you be careful when using the Reduce Clutter option. I found that it listed quite a few files that I had no interest in deleting. So it's not something that you want to whip through quickly on a whim. Use Reduce Clutter when you have time to patiently identify each file you want to remove.

You can also click on the Applications, Documents, iCloud Drive, iOS Files, iTunes, Mail, Photos and Trash tabs to view other items that you might want to delete from your Mac to free up storage space.

When I clicked on iOS Files, I realized that I had some older and unnecessary iOS device backup files hanging around. So I deleted them and freed up about 27GB of space on my 5K iMac. Not bad for a couple of minutes work.

Apple has done a very good job in making storage management easy in macOS Sierra. Folks with nearly full hard disks will appreciate how simple it is to find and remove unnecessary clutter on their computers.

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