PC Doctor November 10, 2016

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Dear PC Doctor:

I have an oldish mac laptop that runs fine. I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do to free up some space on the hard disk and see if that helps it perform better.



Dear Jemma:

There are several reasonably safe tricks you can use to free up space on your computer.  Here are a few.

Clean up your downloads folder.  If you use the internet, you download files almost every day.  Take a look in the folder and see if you really still want all that stuff.  Move any unwanted downloads to your Trash.

To find your downloads folder, double-click the “Macintosh HD” icon on your desktop.  You will see “Downloads” on the left-hand side of the window that opens.  Double-click “Downloads.”  Highlight any items you no longer need or want and either control-click and choose “Move to Trash” or drag to the Trash icon.

Which leads us to:  Empty your Trash!

Sometimes, we move things we’re finished with into the Trash, but forget that last step of emptying the Trash folder.  So, all those files are still on your hard drive, taking up space.  Go ahead and empty it, especially after taking a quick look inside and being sure there’s nothing there you wanted to save.  To do this, double-click your Trash can icon.  Choose “Empty Trash” from the Finder pull-down menu.

Another thing you can do is remove backups from your other devices.  When you plug in your iPhone or iPad, it will download and sync the data and create a backup. These can take up space.  Go to Finder. Select Go from the menu bar and then select ‘Go To Folder’. Within this folder, type: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/ and press return.

You will see a number of folders, with long titles. The date on which this folder was created will let you know how old the file is. You can delete any old backups that you no longer need.

Similarly, you can delete old iTunes Library backups. Go to ~/Music/iTunes/Previous iTunes Libraries and delete the old backups that you don’t want.  Select them and either choose “Move to Trash” from the File menu or drag to the Trash can.

If you really want to clean up your computer and free up space, take a look at your Photos library.  Delete any bad photos that you would never want anyone to see.

I hope this helps!
Until next time,
Happy Computing.

    PC Doctor