So your old laptop is running a bit slowly… it might be that the hard drive is too small and all your hard disk space is all used up. Here’s a few different ways to recover some extra Hard Drive space. There are lots of files you can probably get rid of – here’s now to find them.
You should never fill your hard drive to more than approx 80% capacity or it will slow down performance?
1. Use Disk Inventory to see where your space is being taken.
You probably have lots of old files lying round you don’t use much, some of them might be very big. This program shows you what is taking the most space. There are lots of apps that will give you an inventory of your disk usage. A more advanced one is described here. But Disk Inventory X is very good for beginners and it does a nice graph like the one you see here.
1. Download Disk Inventory X from here.
2. Run it, go have a cup of coffee – it can take a while.
3. Look at the results, they will be a picture like this:
You can mouse over the colors to see which files they are on the hard drive, and then manually delete the folders to create free space. I found lots of thinks I did not need with this program, like old movies hiding away, folders full of microsoft junk, etc. Don’t delete anything if you don’t know what it is though.
2. Remove all the extra language files to gain a few hundred MB.
OS X comes with almost 50 languages, chances are you only speak one or two. Here’s how to delete the ones you don’t use.
1. Download Monolingual from here
2. Run it and it will remove all the language files you don’t need. It defaults to keeping English, gets rid of Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic etc. (Don’t use the other features of monolingual – just the language removal.)
This will be more useful on an older smaller hard drive, but if you have a drive bigger than 100G you probably won’t even notice an extra few hundred Megabytes.
3. Clear out your Library/Application Support folder
Have a look in your Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support folder and there may be some old folders from applications you have deleted but no longer use. You can delete them.
4. Clear out your Printers
This is like the languages, but for printer drovers. OSX comes ready to work with hundreds of printers, chances are you only have one or two. Have a look in Macintosh HD/Library/Printers and delete any folders for printers you don’t need. For example the Epson library contains 1.4Gig of files – yet I don’t even have an Epson printer!
5. Manually delete files
The slow but hard way to make more space! But there is a trick to speed it up. To see how much space a folder takes, go to Menu ‘View/Show View options’ then select the box that says ‘calculate all sizes’. Then sort by folder size by clicking on the size heading in the window. You can now see which folders take the most space.
When you are finished deleting files empty the trash. This deletes them totally from your hard drive and frees up space. While they are in the trash they still take up space. Be careful, there’s no way to get them back after you have deleted the trash!
Movies take up the most space, if you delete them they will free up lots of space.