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Old Jun 20, 2012, 01:42 AM   #1
roland.g
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How to Free up drive space on an MacBook Air

There is a thread listed in the Mac Guides header of this forum about freeing up drive space.

Complete Steps to Perform a Clean OS X Reinstall on Your MacBook Air

However, it is outdated as it is based on a 2008 thread and doesn't cover the process regarding OS X 10.7 Lion at all, of which there is not even a remote disc to use.

GGJstudios and I began discussing it in a thread I prematurely asked to be deleted. There are programs like Monolingual, and I've also used XSlimmer in the past though I'm not sure since that just attacks Binary/Universal duplicity, if there is any real use for it here. I'm also not sure if Monolingual just takes out the ability to boot to additional languages or if it also addresses the additional fonts that may be unnecessary.

What I'd like to know is if you can do a clean install of Lion on a MBA from the recovery partition and eliminate items from the install to slim it down and save space like you could in Leopard and Snow Leopard. And if it is worth it. In those builds the savings was easily 6-8 GB. So for good reason on a space limited (128 GB) MBA, I'd like to free up what space I can.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 01:51 AM   #2
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Freeing up drive space in Mac OS X

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland.g View Post
What I'd like to know is if you can do a clean install of Lion on a MBA from the recovery partition and eliminate items from the install to slim it down and save space like you could in Leopard and Snow Leopard.
I'm not aware of any option to eliminate languages and architectures during the Mac OS X install process, so you'd have to do that after installation.
  • Before you start deleting anything, backup your drive, using Time Machine or make a bootable clone with Carbon Copy Cloner. That way if you make a mistake, you can quickly recover.

  • Monolingual will remove languages and architectures that you don't need, but not fonts. As always, exercise caution when using such apps, as problems can arise if the wrong languages or architectures are removed.

  • Font Book (in your /Applications folder) can be used to manage fonts. Deleting fonts you don't use will free up some space and can improve launch times for some apps. Be careful you don't delete fonts the system needs.

  • You can delete the Alex voice to free up about 400MB. It is located here:
    /System/Library/Speech/Voices/Alex.SpeechVoice/

  • Deleting unused Garageband loops can free up around 100MB. They are located here:
    /Library/Audio/Apple Loops/Apple/Apple Loops for GarageBand/

  • Deleting unused printer drivers may save some additional space.

  • Install the Secrets preference pane and set "Web thumbnail previews" to "Disabled".

  • For Time Machine users on notebooks running Lion or later, space may be consumed by Time Machine local snapshots, which can be disabled. OS X: About Time Machine's "local snapshots" on portable Macs

  • Backups for your iPhone/iPad are stored in /Users/yourusername/Library/Application Support/MobileSync. You can review and delete these backups from iTunes > Preferences > Devices.

  • If you install apps and later decide to delete them, make sure you also delete any associated files and folders. In most cases, app removal software, including uninstall packages, will typically leave remnants behind. In some cases, what's left behind by such uninstall apps consumes more space than what was removed. To maximize space savings, the most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion. You can use this method even if you have already removed apps, as long as you can remember the app names.
    Best way to FULLY DELETE a program

  • Of course, the greatest impact will be moving user files to external drives. For example, my iTunes library won't fit on my internal drive, so I have it split, with my favorite music on the internal, available when I travel, and the remainder on external drives.
    How to split a single iTunes library over two or more media locations

  • Disregard any guides or posts that recommend deleting cache files. As caches exist to improve performance, deleting them can negatively impact system performance while they are being rebuilt, and any space savings are temporary, as the cache files will automatically grow again.

  • Avoid apps such as MacKeeper, CleanMyMac and CCleaner. They aren't necessary and can do more harm than good.

  • If you're not absolutely certain that something is safe to delete, DON'T delete it! Ask first!

Last edited by GGJstudios; Jan 2, 2013 at 08:54 PM.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 01:58 AM   #3
roland.g
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
  • Monolingual will remove languages and architectures that you don't need, but not fonts. As always, exercise caution when using such apps, as problems can arise if the wrong languages or architectures are removed.

  • Font Book (in your /Applications folder) can be used to manage fonts. Deleting fonts you don't use can improve launch times for some apps. Again, be careful you don't delete fonts the system needs.

  • Also, you can delete the Alex voice in /System/Library/Speech/Voices/Alex.SpeechVoice/ to free up about 400MB.

  • Deleting unused Garageband loops can save quite a bit of space, as well.

  • Deleting unused printer drivers may save some additional space.

  • Of course, the greatest impact will be moving user files to external drives. For example, my iTunes library won't fit on my internal drive, so I have it split, with my favorite music on the internal, available when I travel, and the remainder on external drives.
    How to split a single iTunes library over two or more media locations

  • Disregard any guides that recommend deleting cache files. That will not save space and will negatively impact system performance.

  • Avoid apps such as MacKeeper and CleanMyMac. They do more harm than good.
can I just delete the alex voice from the path?
and the garageband loops?
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 02:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roland.g View Post
can I just delete the alex voice from the path?
and the garageband loops?
Sure. Re-read my post, as I've added some things.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 02:02 AM   #5
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Related to this, I am hoping when retina apps appear, that there will be a Monolingual style app to remove the @2x retina graphic files, as no doubt they will take up lots of space!
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 02:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Sure. Re-read my post, as I've added some things.
Thanks.
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Old Jun 30, 2012, 08:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
I'm not aware of any option to eliminate languages and architectures during the Mac OS X install process, so you'd have to do that after installation.
  • Also, you can delete the Alex voice to free up about 400MB. It is located here:
    /System/Library/Speech/Voices/Alex.SpeechVoice/

  • Deleting unused Garageband loops can free up around 100MB. They are located here:
    /Library/Audio/Apple Loops/Apple/Apple Loops for GarageBand/

  • Deleting unused printer drivers may save some additional space.

What about other voices in /System/Library/Speech/Voices/ folder?

In Lion, I saw the folder containing iLife sound clips (approx 100+MB) in the /Library/Audio/Apple Loops folder and deleted it, as I trashed iPhoto, GarageBand & iMovie.

How to go about deleting unused printer drivers?

Thanks for the advice.

Last edited by macneubie; Jun 30, 2012 at 08:50 PM.
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 01:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macneubie View Post
How to go about deleting unused printer drivers?
/Library/Printers/
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 05:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
/Library/Printers/
From my printer folder, only Canon and Epson exists, and they don't really take up much space there....
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 06:37 AM   #10
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How do I actually format on a new Macbook Air?

I know there is the disk utility, do I choose the actual physical drive and erase? Will that get rid of the startup files needed or will this be OK?
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Old Aug 2, 2012, 08:00 AM   #11
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stumbled upon Mac version of CCleaner which is quite good in cleaning out the accumulated gunk in the system.
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Old Aug 2, 2012, 11:16 AM   #12
GGJstudios
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macneubie View Post
stumbled upon Mac version of CCleaner which is quite good in cleaning out the accumulated gunk in the system.
You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps like CCleaner to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Some remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process.

These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. Some of these apps delete caches, which can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt.

Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.

With very few exceptions, you don't need to defrag on Mac OS X, except possibly when partitioning a drive.

About disk optimization with Mac OS X
Quote:
You probably won't need to optimize at all if you use Mac OS X.
Five Mac maintenance myths
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Old Aug 2, 2012, 11:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps like CCleaner to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Some remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process.

These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. Some of these apps delete caches, which can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt.

Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.

With very few exceptions, you don't need to defrag on Mac OS X, except possibly when partitioning a drive.

About disk optimization with Mac OS X

Five Mac maintenance myths
not really optimizing/defragging the SSD, but more to clean up those temporary internet files within Safari, which I cleaned up 700+ MB space for the first time since ML.
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Old Aug 3, 2012, 12:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by macneubie View Post
not really optimizing/defragging the SSD, but more to clean up those temporary internet files within Safari, which I cleaned up 700+ MB space for the first time since ML.
You can get rid of those in Safari by clicking Safari > Empty Cache
In Safari 6, that option is on the Develop menu.
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 09:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
You can get rid of those in Safari by clicking Safari > Empty Cache
In Safari 6, that option is on the Develop menu.
Currently you have to go to Safari -> Preferences -> Advance and enable developer menu, after you can go to Developer -> Empty Cashes
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Old Mar 29, 2013, 09:18 AM   #16
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Grand Perspective will show you which files and folders are taking up how much space. This is probably where you should start.

http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net
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Old Jun 17, 2013, 10:56 AM   #17
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Is it OK to delete GarageBand and iPhoto completely??
I never use them - I use iMovie now and then, but not the others. Would removing the above two interfere with iMovie in any way?
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Old Jun 17, 2013, 12:32 PM   #18
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Thanks for this thread. I had posted a question to the guide's original thread, but it's been dormant since 2008.

My question was, how much space can you squeeze out of a clean Mountain Lion install? The guide was written for Leopard and savings of 10-20GB+ were discussed. However if I recall correctly, Snow Leopard dramatically shrank the footprint of OSX. Are there still large savings to be made, or are we really looking at a few GB?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 17, 2013, 12:46 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ifti View Post
Is it OK to delete GarageBand and iPhoto completely??
I never use them - I use iMovie now and then, but not the others. Would removing the above two interfere with iMovie in any way?
You should be fine deleting them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by milhouse994 View Post
Are there still large savings to be made, or are we really looking at a few GB?
See post #2.
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Old Jun 17, 2013, 12:59 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
See post #2.
Thanks. Sorry if this is being pedantic. The original guide says that deleting printer drivers will save 3.4GB. Post #2 just says "some additional space" which makes it sound like nowhere near that much. Just curious if that's a difference between Leopard and Mountain Lion.

I'm not that worried about saving a couple of GB, but 10-20 is a different matter.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old Jun 17, 2013, 02:10 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milhouse994 View Post
Thanks. Sorry if this is being pedantic. The original guide says that deleting printer drivers will save 3.4GB. Post #2 just says "some additional space" which makes it sound like nowhere near that much. Just curious if that's a difference between Leopard and Mountain Lion.

I'm not that worried about saving a couple of GB, but 10-20 is a different matter.

Thanks for all your help.
It completely depends on how many printer drivers you have installed, which may be a different amount than other users. Just delete any drivers you don't use and/or think you'll never need.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 08:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milhouse994 View Post
Thanks. Sorry if this is being pedantic. The original guide says that deleting printer drivers will save 3.4GB. Post #2 just says "some additional space" which makes it sound like nowhere near that much. Just curious if that's a difference between Leopard and Mountain Lion.
That is what it is. Starting with Snow Leopard OS X only installs print drivers for attached printers, where Leopard used to install a whole slew of drivers even if you did own those printers.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 12:31 PM   #23
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That is what it is. Starting with Snow Leopard OS X only installs print drivers for attached printers, where Leopard used to install a whole slew of drivers even if you did own those printers.
Great. Thanks for the clarity.
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 01:52 PM   #24
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Great. Thanks for the clarity.
Great thread thanks.
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