How To Optimize Mac Storage – Manage Files Perfectly


No matter how much storage your Mac hard drive has. There will come a time when the computer will be on the edge of running out of space. With the ever-loading 4K videos, long trail of memories and the indispensable music library. Even terabytes of storage seem too little to accommodate the pileup. And that is what creates the need to use optimized storage on Mac to prevent the computer from being cluttered for storage. Learn how to Optimize Mac Storage here.

Optimize Storage is Apple’s built-in storage cleanup tool to manage Mac storage efficiently. First introduced in macOS Sierra. It also consists of four important components: Store in iCloud, Optimize Storage, Empty Bin Automatically, and decrease Clutter. That you can use selectively or all at once. Now you are clear with the basics, let us begin with the process…

How to Access Optimize mac Storage

  • First off, click on the Apple Logo located at the upper left of the screen.
  • Now, choose “About This Mac” in the menu.
  • Next, click on the Storage tab.
  • Click on Manage to access all the four Optimized Storage tools. Now, you should see also the overview of available storage space along with the space consumed by different categories of files on your Mac.

How To Optimize Mac Storage

  • Side Note: Just in case, your disk has been partitioned, you should also see recommendations only for the partition which consists of the home directory.

Use Store in iCloud on Mac – Optimize Mac Storage

  • Assume that you are already in the Optimized Storage setting. Click on Store in iCloud. Now, you have the option to choose what you want to store in iCloud.

Desktop and Documents: Choose it to use iCloud Drive to store all of your files from desktop and document locations. Note that when you need storage space on your Mac, only the files you recently opened will be kept on your computer.

Photos: Select it to store full-resolution photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library and keep the optimized versions on the Mac. That is how you optimize your mac storage.

Messages: Select it to use the “Messages in iCloud” feature to store your whole messages and attachments in iCloud. It is worth noting that when your Mac will require storage space. Only the recently opened messages and attachments will be kept on the computer.

By default, all the options are selected. However, you can uncheck the box to the left of a specific box. If you do not want to store that file type. Then after that, click on Store in iCloud to confirm.


  • Your stored files will be accessible across the iDevices that include iPhone, iPhone, and iPad.
    It is worth reiterating that storing files in iCloud consumes the storage space in your iCloud storage plan.
  • As Apple offers just 5GB of free iCloud storage, you have got to be very selective about what sort of files you should store in the cloud.
  • When you reach the iCloud storage limit. Then you will receive an alert saying something like “iCloud Storage is Full. Upgrade your storage to keep using iCloud.”  Just simply, click on Upgrade in the popup message and then choose the preferred iCloud storage plan.
  • As for the pricing, the iCloud storage plan starts at 50GB for $0.99/ month. If you find the 5GB free iCloud storage too little for your needs. Google Drive 15GB free space, 100GB for $1.99/month, Box (10GB free, 100GB for $5/month would be worth checking out.)

Stop Syncing Desktop and Documents Folders to iCloud on Mac

  • To get going, click on the Apple logo that appears at the top left corner of the screen and select System Preferences in the drop-down menu.
  • Now, click on Apple ID and ensure that iCloud is selected in the sidebar. Now, hit Options next to iCloud Drive.
  • Finally, uncheck the box next to Desktop & Documents Folders.

That is it! From now onwards, your documents won’t sync with iCloud.

Stop Storing Your Photos in iCloud – Optimize mac Storage

  • Click on Apple Logo → System Preferences → Apple ID.
  • Now, select iCloud from the sidebar and then uncheck the box to the left of Photos.

How to Disable Messages in iCloud on iMac

  • Open the Messages app on your Mac → Messages menu at the top left corner and then choose Preferences in the menu.
  • Now, select the iMessage tab and then uncheck the box to the left of Enable Messages in iCloud.

How To Optimize Mac Storage

  • Now, select the iMessage tab and then uncheck the box to the left of Enable Messages in iCloud.

Use Optimize Storage on Mac to Automatically Remove Movies and Shows

  • Click on Apple Logo → About This Mac → Storage → Manage.
  • Now, click on Optimize and then hit Optimize again in the popup to confirm that you want to optimize the storage of films and TV programs.

Turn Off Optimize Storage on your Mac

  • Click on the Apple logo at the top left of the screen → System Preferences → Apple ID.
  • Then, untick the box next to Optimize Mac Storage.

Empty Mac Bin Automatically

  • Click on Apple Logo → About This Mac → Storage → Manage.
  • Now, click on Turn On to the right of “Empty Bin Automatically” and then confirm that you want the items left in the Bin for more than 30 days to be automatically deleted.

Disable Empty Bin Automatically on your Mac

  • Open the Finder and then click on the Finder menu shown at the top left corner.
  • Now, choose Preferences in the drop-down menu.
  • Ensure that the Advanced tab is selected and then untick the box for Remove items from the Bin after 30 days.

Disable Useless Files from Mac

  • Click on the Apple logo → About This Mac → Storage → Manage.
  • Now, click on Review Files.
  • Then, dive into the specific categories like ApplicationsDocuments, and delete the files that are no longer needed.

How To Optimize Mac Storage

Manage and Optimize your Mac Storage smartly

That is the way you can optimize the storage space on your macOS device. Make sure that all the useless files stay away. From what I have experienced, it works as expected in terms of getting rid of unnecessary data.


Alright, that’s all Folks! I hope you like this How To Optimize Mac Storage – Manage Files Perfectly article and get a lot of help through it, give us your feedback. Also if you guys have further issues and queries related to this article. Then let us know in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly.

Have a Great Day!

Also See: How to Download and Install iOS 13 Beta on iPhone

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