Reclaiming my hard drive

In the middle of a Zoom call a couple weeks ago, I got a system notice that I was running out of space on my startup disk. It said I had 1.6 gigabytes free and the number was dropping rapidly.

Crap.

I did some quick measures to get through the call by deleting some unused virtual machines and unsynched an entire dropbox repo. Boom. Back up to 43.2 gigs. Nice. Good enough for the call.

After the call, I knew something had to be done. It’s not easy to figure out which folders and files are taking up space on a Mac out of the box, so I nabbed a paid app from the app store called DaisyDisk. I had seen it earlier and knew it was semi popular. Might as well take it for a spin.

Immediately after installing it and scanning my hard drive, it made it really easy to dig in and see where my space was going. 67 gigs were used in a folder called MobileSync. It’s the backups folder for devices. I hopped into iTunes and removed all my old backups. 67 GB gained.

I then opened up my applications and started removing ones I hadn’t used in some time as well as ones Apple had replaced like iPhoto and iMovie 9.9.

Removing Adobe apps was a little rougher using the Creative Cloud application. An app has to be updated to uninstall it. Yes, I could have just deleted the files, but I wanted to try the interface. I removed some of my unused Adobe products giving me a bit more space.

Now I’m back up to 128 GB of space. Not bad. I’ll have to do some more digging into Photos and Movies to see if I can kill their cloud caches or something. They add up to around 27 GB of space. Yeesh. I thought the cloud was for keeping stuff off my hard drive.