Posted on 28th June 2017 by Daryl McCartney

How to optimise storage in macOS Sierra

luxembourg airport

While I find myself sat in Luxembourg Airport for nine hours, I thought it may be a good time to blog. macOS Sierra has included many new features from Universal Clipboard to Unlock with Apple Watch but the one I found extremely useful is Storage Management.

Now, many of you may have come across this already. Whether it be by attending a macOS Sierra Support Essentials, or maybe just browsing the web for new features. But, for those that haven’t, this new application may just start to make managing your data storage so much easier.

So, how do you find it?

Well, the Storage Management app is located in /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications, but can be launched simply via Spotlight. Alternatively, it can be found in About This Mac>Storage. To launch from the view seen below, just click on “Manage…”

mac storage management

Once launched you are presented with a list of recommendations which I’ve explored in a little detail below.

storage recommendations

Store in iCloud

Store in iCloud has two choices;

  1. You can choose to enable the new macOS Sierra feature Desktop and Documents in iCloud Drive which will, when space is required, store your documents and desktop files in iCloud keeping only the recently opened files locally on your mac for offline usage. Files stored in iCloud are represented with the download icon (see right).download icon
  2. Your other option is optimised photos and videos in Photos, again only when storage is needed will the original, full-resolution photos and videos be stored in iCloud. This leaves just a space saving optimised version on your mac with the Original easily downloadable when the photo or video you want is opened.

NOTE:Using these Store in iCloud features will take up iCloud data storage and therefore you may need to purchase and iCloud storage plan. Recently the prices and storage options have been changed and you can now get 50GB for 79p a month, 200GB for £2.49 a month and 2TB for £6.99 a month.

Optimised Storage

Optimised Storage also has two options:

  1. Firstly, when storage space is needed you can have iTunes purge watched films and TV shows from your mac. When you want to watch them again, simply select the download icon next to the show.
  2. The second option has two choices; download only recent mail attachments or don’t download any mail attachments. Each attachment can be downloaded when required.

NOTE:Neither of the Optimised Storage options take up iCloud storage space.

Empty Trash Automatically

Empty Trash Automatically does what it says on the tin. Every 30 days your trash is emptied and all contents permanently deleted.

Remember always to keep a backup of your data so anything you need can be recovered in the event of it being removed.

Reduce Clutter

This last option is by far the most useful. Having used my mac for over 5 years now I have files everywhere and trying to hunt down content to remove and free up space can take some time.

Reduce Clutter allows you simply to find all the large files on your mac and, for many, remove them directly from Storage Management by hovering over the file and clicking the delete icon (shown below).

storage documents

This can be really useful for finding old iOS backups in the iOS files section or removing downloaded TV shows, films and iOS apps from iTunes. In the space of ten minutes I was able quickly to free up 60GB worth of storage space consisting of quite a few individual files which, to be honest, I would never of even contemplated removing.

Hopefully for those not aware of this new feature you find this as useful as I did! Until next time!