Move OSX applications to external HD

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MacsAreBetter\, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. MacsAreBetter\ macrumors member


    Jan 15, 2010
    Gold Coast, Australia
    I'm getting a MBA very soon (unless something better pops up) and 128GB is just.. miniscule. So I was thinking of making a thread, maybe sticky, on how to use up as little space as possible.

    How would I go about moving non-essential applications (for example iLife etc.) to an external harddrive, without screwing up the OSX installations?
  2. blow45 macrumors 68000

    Jan 18, 2011
    I don't think you are going to save much this way, go with something like cleanmymac instead (but be a bit careful on how you use it) so you can remove some unwanted language files and the like and save up some space. If you really want to copy some of the ilife suite on an external I think just copying the .app file from the apps folder elsewhere will suffice, though take this with a grain of salt cause I could be wrong there, it should still keep pointing to the right system folders even if you copy it off to an external. In any case, I don't think ilife is that heavy - maybe garageband but you can move all the high gb loop files and the like elsewhere. good luck. if you are afraid of screwing something up use superduper or carbon copy cloner and clone your os on a sparsebundle image on the external drive so you can reinstall from there.
  3. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    App's themselves take up very little space for the most part. Media such as music, photos, and movies tend to take up the most space. However if you're really concerned you can use the internal storage for just the OS and apps and external storage for all data files.
  4. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    A full install of OS X, iLife, iWork, Aperture, Photoshop, and a bunch of other apps and games only takes up about 20GB on my main system. About 1/2 of that is the apps directory. It is my data (pics, music, video, etc) which take the space.;)

  5. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    Yeah - this is very likely WAY more trouble than it's worth.
  6. MR1324 macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2010
    you will lose all the speed benefits of the ssd if you move the apps to a normal hdd.
  7. kemperman macrumors regular


    Jul 15, 2009
    If you think 128GB is too small then maybe the MBA isn't right for you. Putting apps, or pretty much anything else on an external HDD, negates the whole point of the MBA (portability). I see you had a MBP, why did you get rid of it? Was it because it was too big because the MBA plus HDD won't be much smaller
  8. YMark macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2008
    No question. Waaaaay more trouble.

    Exactly. Sounds like the OP is purchasing the wrong computer.

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