Freeing Up Space on Your Mac Hard Drive

by Michael on October 26, 2008 · 0 comments

My wife has an older MacBook with an 80GB hard drive. Unfortunately, she’s been running short on disk space. In an attempt to free up a few additional gigs, I downloaded JDiskReport (a freeware program that allows you to visualize your disk usage) and fired it up.

Given that she takes a lot of pictures, I wasn’t surprised to learn that the biggest offender in terms of disk usage was her photo collection. She also has a good bit of music, so her iTunes folder was likewise rather large. Nothing too helpful there, but…

When I dug a bit deeper, I saw 2GB+ of files in the Audio directory in her ~/Library folder. Upon further inspection, I realized that a number of these files were associated with GarageBand. Since she never uses GarageBand, I decided to remove it, along with all associated files.

To get rid of GarageBand, I simply used Spotlight to search for ‘garageband’, and deleted everything that I could find. The end result? I was able to free up ca. 4GB of space without reducing the utility of her computer one iota. After a bit more digging, I found a bunch of unused printer drivers. That was another 1.5GB saved. And the iWork demo? An additional 1.95GB (we use Office).

All in all, I was able to free up 6.5GB of additional space. Not too shabby. Of course, the details of what you can delete will vary with your usage patterns. Nonetheless, JDiskReport will help you track down space hogs that you can (hopefully) do without.

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