What can I delete on my MacBook to free space?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Elle H, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Elle H macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2007
    B.C., Canada

    Wondering if anyone can help me. The whole reason I bought a Mac was because when I used to only use a PC, I always got viruses and my computer so ALWAYS so slow! I'm quite computer illiterate! My Intel MacBook, I bought last year (2006) when it pretty much JUST came out.. it's got a 100GB hard drive and all but I've run out of space! I bought an external hard drive to move my music files, movie files, things like that over to. I still have practically NO space on my MacBook and I would get a message that says my startup disk is full, and then my Entourage would need to quit (I suppose my email application takes up a lot of space? is that why?) I don't know what I can delete and what I cannot delete on my Mac. I saw that the "Library" on my MacBook takes up about 9GB. Can I delete anything in this folder?

    Can anybody help me out? Please and thankyou!:confused:
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Are you sure you got rid of all your music/movies off your internal? iTunes will copy your music/movies back to the default folder by default unless you tell it not to.
  3. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2006
    Carlisle, PA
    Do not, for the love of all that is holy, delete anything from the Library folder unless you know exactly what you are doing.
  4. mankar4 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2007
    search on the internet about how to delete the printer drivers and language packages that come with leopard. this will save you at least a few gbs. sorry i couldn't find you the original article about saving space in leopard.
  5. webgoat macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2007
    Austin, TX
  6. mmendoza27 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2007
    I was thinking the same exact thing as I read his post. LOL! :D
    Yeah, what he said, it's cool though, my dad renamed his home folder and it kept saying it couldn't find his preferences, so don't worry, we've all gotta learn, that's why we come here.
  7. JorgeDX3 macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2008
    Your mom's bed
    something good 2 do 2 free space is to zero out all free space. i dont exactly know what this does but i've done it like, 4 times and it works well.
    if you have had the computer for a long time, it will at least get you a couple of GB back.

    what to do:

    1. search for an app called Disk Utility. it comes with every mac.
    2. select your hard drive in the left column. not the one that says something like 232.9GB FUJITSU MHYJ-something. the one that by default is named Macintosh HD.
    3. go to the [ Erase ] tab.
    4. click on ( Erase Free Space... )
    5. the first option is the basic one and takes about 1:15 hours.
    the second one is the 7-pass one. it basically does the basic one 7 times, so it takes about 7:45 hours.
    the last one is the 35-pass. it takes about TWO WHOLE DAYS.

    first time i did it, (the 7-pass) it got me around 3.4GB.

    Hope I helped,

    Screenshot of my current activity:

    Attached Files:

  8. procreative macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2008
    Try Monolingual. It's free and I was able to remove over to 3 gigs worth of unnecessary language files from my system and Aps. Obviously 3 gigs is only scratching the surface of your problem but every lil bit counts.

    Good luck and like TheStu said, dont erase anything that you dont know exactly what it does.
  9. tcphoto macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2005
    Madison, GA
    I use my MBP for photography and tether to it with my camera. I try to delete unneeded applications and files to ensure optimum speed. You would be surprised how many print drivers, languages and application samples are on the hard drive. As said before, be certain that it is unneeded before trashing anything. After going through my new 250GB hard drive, I was able to free up 80% of the drive space. I do have three external drives that I utilize for image library, Time Machine, business files and more.
  10. iknowyourider macrumors 6502a


    Mar 26, 2008
    I very much like an app called "Disc Inventory X". It lets you look at a graphic of all your hard drive content. When you see a larger block (large file), you can point at it and see what it is. It may be something you can move to an external drive or just delete. Sometimes I realize that I have too many movies or podcasts. When operating day to day, try to leave about 10 gigs free. Your computer will run better like that.
  11. himynameisjon macrumors newbie


    Dec 28, 2008
    instead if deleting stuff spend about 90 bucks and buy yourself an external HD and move all your files to there, its easier to orginize and locate files and you computer will run like its brand new
  12. the advisor macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Long Island
    Even better..

    I think your best solution might just be to replace the hard drive in your notebook. Media is so cheap these days it would be stupid to go to such potentially dangerous lengths for a few GB. Ideally, you should be able to keep all your data, within reason on your internal hard drive, and then use the external you have for time machine purposes. The drives are pretty easy to replace if your the least bit handy. Check this out... 500gb for $109 bucks.


    Im pretty sure this is the OEM drive in my unibody MBP - 7200rpm/320gb

    I think this might be your best alternative if you can afford it. You will have much better results then your current approach, plus you wont be limited.
  13. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    what is it exactly erasing? whats is that free space? like pictures and things got stored on the hd from browsing the web? thanks for helping out
  14. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008

    A bit better, if not get the Seagate 7200.3 320gb or 7200.4 500gb @ 7200rpm..
  15. SHADO macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2008
    There's a wonderful application called Xslimmer. It's very simple: you just drag anything into it's window and it deletes the PowerPC components, which Intel macs can't use. This will save you some space. But like previous posters have said, know what you are about to delete. If you don't know what it means or does, chances are its important. I would not mess around in the Library folder, as some bad things can happen if you do not know what you are doing.
  16. pplperson7 macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2009
    yea what is it erasing?
    you never answered the question i would like to know
    i am scared to do it
  17. south8212 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2008
    let me layout exactly what is happening when you use the erase free space option. Basically when you move something to trash and empty the trash the files are seen as deleted on the os and the space is free. However, these files actually do remain on the hd in case you need to recover them. What the erase free space option does is write over all of the files with a bunch of zeros so that the stuff has have previously deleted is gone permanently. It does not touch anything that you have not moved to trash and emptied.
  18. Nickisgodofmacs macrumors member


    Nov 26, 2008

    would this effect time machine in anyway?
  19. south8212 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2008
  20. south8212 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2008
    im going to go ahead and tell most of you with alot of free disk space that you shouldnt really worry about doing this, eventually the files your removed through trash will get written over anyways. Its kind of a waste of time when you think about it.
  21. Nikos macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2008
    New York
    Get rid of the extra printer drivers and languages. There are free apps that will do this for you.
  22. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    GrandPerspective is so much cooler.
  23. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    Here's how erase free space works. When you delete something from the trash, OS X doesn't actually overwrite the file. Instead it removes references to the file and marks the space on the disk as free. If you copy a big file and it needs to use the space where the stuff you deleted was, OS X will simply overwrite that area of the disk as if it was blank. For most people, this behavior is just fine, and you will never notice (except a lot of time savings when you delete stuff!). For the paranoid, it is possible to recover the files that were deleted if they have not been overwritten. Undelete programs that do this are very common on Windows, I'm not sure about Mac, though. It would be very easy for someone (the police, criminals stealing your identity when you sell your computer on Ebay) to recover files that you deleted. This is where Erase Free Space comes in. Running Erase Free Space goes through your disk and overwrites anything marked as deleted with zeros (or random data if you choose the 7-pass method). The 7-pass method meets government standards for data destruction, and the 35-pass method is just a waste of time.

    Erasing free space shouldn't free up any space, but I won't argue with anyone who claims that it does (because you never know with Apple).

    edit: someone beat me to it.
  24. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    On top of the above suggestions... I'd would grab yourself a copy of AppZapper and start removing applications you don't use. You might need to enter the preferences and uncheck the "keep safe" option before it'll allow you to edit, discard applications it protects. You can remove those appz like iTunes, GarageBand, iMovie, Chess ect.

    Also, grab a copy of monolingual and discard all the languages you don't use. This could free up about 2-3Gb. However, if you have any Adobe applications installed, watch what languages you'll remove... as some Adobe application will check and fail if bits are missing. oh.. and monolingual also gives you the option to edit and delete or remove application architectures that you don't use... but before you do so, please seeks some advice from other members.

    I wouldn't recommend you manually deleting files from the Library (root) directory, unless you know what bits are for what services. There's a silm chance you'll break your OS. You can, however manually edit Library (user)... There might be some old and disused preferences you'd like to trash, together with some disused Application Support folders.

    But ultimately, if I were you, I'd consider upgrading the internal harddrive. With advances in technology those devices have tumbled in cost and there are many places online you can check to find a great bargin.

    Good luck! :)
  25. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    I just did the erase free space and i got an error saying i dont have ant more space left on my hd!! i had 160gb before and now i have nothing! what happened?

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