Reclaiming disk space on the Mac

When I bought my MacBook Pro I immediately ditched the hard drive that came with it, open up the system and installed an SSD drive – immediately voiding the warranty!

But, I got some amazing response times – applications launch almost immediately – heaven!

The downside, however, is that your disk space is at a premium. So, I’ve got a bunch of ways to reclaim disk space. I’m an iOS and web developer so they’re more geared to that type of usage. Here are my top tips sorted by priority:

High

If the Mac is complaining about low disk space and I need an immediate fix here’s what I do:

1. Empty Trash

2. Run ./bin/reclaimMacDiskSpace.sh

This is a series of scripts that delete non-important stuff such as iPhoneSimulator apps, DerivedData, Downloads (I can always re-download stuff!) and Mobile Backups.

I won’t list the script details ‘cos it should all be pretty obvious. But ping me if you’re interested.

These turn out to save a surprising amount of space right off the bat. 

Medium

When I have a bit more time (usually after something important has happened like I’ve run out of disk space or Xcode won’t install due to insufficient space!) I’ll do these:

Backup to an external drive then delete: 

1. iPhone app Archives: ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/Archives

2. Old versions under iOS DeviceSupport: ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/iOS DeviceSupport

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5302789/can-i-remove-previous-versions-of-iphone-support-in-devicesupport-folder-in-xcod

3. Mobile backups under: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup.local

At one time I had over 2GB of data here!

Low

When I want to be really meticulous (and I sometimes make a point of clearing out an additional 20GB of space on my SSD drive) I go through these:

1. use OmniDiskSweeper to work out what’s using the most space and start off by clearing these out

2. Use Gemini.app to dedupe files

Any other suggestions?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *