How to Unclutter Your Macintosh Hard Drive How to Unclutter Your Hard Drive

Useful tips for getting rid of all the no-longer-needed files clogging your hard drive (‘cruft’) – where to find them, how to identify them, how to zap them.

As you use your Mac, it tends to accumulate lots of files–not just the ones you create and interact with, but preference and application support files, software downloads, and more. Even when these files become obsolete, they stick around, following you when you upgrade your OS or even move to a new machine. As a result, many of us have thousands of old, unneeded files–a.k.a. “cruft”–cluttering our hard drives.

In most cases, these outdated files do no particular harm. However, they can become a problem if your hard drive starts running out of room. (Yes, drives are getting bigger all the time; we’re also loading them with more, ever-larger files.) They can also increase the time and storage space required for backups; slow down disk repairs, virus scans, and other maintenance chores; and clutter up Spotlight searches. In rare cases, forgotten files can even cause software conflicts, leading to crashes and other misbehavior.”

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.

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