How to Clean up MacBook Pro Hard Drive

Nobody likes when their MacBook Pro starts to run slow. It can be a real pain waiting for files to load or dealing with the spinning beach ball when you are in the middle of an important project or just trying to watch a movie. Apple MacBooks are typically really fast and reliable but sometimes they can start to act up.

Cleaning up the hard drive on your MacBook Pro can help speed up performance and allow your laptop to seem new again, depending on your MacBook’s specs though. If you have an older model computer or just want to make sure yours is operating at the best of its abilities, take a look at how you can clean up the hard drive and what a difference it can make.

Note: by saying “hard drive”, we mean a hard disk drive and solid-state drive (SSD) that’s equipped inside your MacBook Pro.

Symptoms of a Cluttered Hard Drive

If you are not sure that your MacBook Pro needs a clean up, here are a few symptoms that often mean your hard drive is a mess and is due for an easy tune-up. A cluttered hard drive is pretty normal, especially if you’ve had your computer for a while so don’t worry if any of this is happening to your machine.

If your MacBook Pro is running slower than usual, i.e. programs and apps are taking a long time to load, web pages crash or don’t load, or your screen freezes often, it’s a good sign that your hard drive might need to be cleaned. It’s pretty obvious when a nice computer like a MacBook Pro starts to slow down, so if you think it’s acting slow, there’s a good chance it is.

High quantities of large and old files such as photos and music can take up a lot of room on your hard drive and over time lead to slow performance. Items left in the trash bin but not fully deleted can also take up a lot of space. Then you have system junk and junk leftover by commonly used apps that might take up a lot of space without you even knowing it. Old email attachments and old system files also add to poor performance.

How to Clean Up a MacBook Pro Hard Drive the Easy Way

There are a few different ways to go about cleaning up your MacBook Pro hard drive and the easiest way is to purchase and download software that cleans up the hard drive for you. We will look at some steps to cleaning up your hard drive manually but for convenience and if you are not too computer savvy, purchasing a program that takes care of everything is a quick and easy option.

One of the most well known and common software programs that help to clean up a MacBook Pro hard drive is CleanMyMac X. This program is really easy to use and after it is installed, you simply open the program, run the system check and it goes through an in-depth process of cleaning out old files and other junk, along with a few other important scans to clean up everything and get your computer running like new again.

CleanMyMac X main interface

These Mac hard drive cleaning programs do cost money, but the time they can save you and the ability to keep everything on your computer running quick and clean is easily worth the price. A quick scan and clean by one of these programs can have your MacBook Pro running fast again in a matter of minutes while doing it yourself can take several hours.

Other good options for MacBook Pro hard drive cleaning software are Drive Genius and CCleaner.

How to Clean Up A MacBook Pro Hard Drive the Hard Way

If you don’t want to spend the money on a MacBook Pro clean-up software program, it is possible to clean up the hard drive yourself. It takes some time and know-how to do the job right so some research and further instruction outside of this quick guide might be needed. If you are comfortable with your MacBook and know how to access back-end aspects of its operating system, you will be able to clean up your own hard drive.

Here are some easy steps to cleaning up your hard drive:

  1. Delete old and unused files – go through all of your system files and delete any that you no longer use or don’t know what they are. Duplicate files can also be deleted if you find any during your search.
  2. Clean up your cache – clearing up web caches can be an easy and effective way to improve performance but is somewhat involved so check out this link on how to go about it.
  3. Uninstall Any Unused Apps – Apps can take up a ton of space and memory so getting rid of any that are installed on your computer that you don’t use can speed things along in the long run.
  4. Remove Old Mail Attachments – We all get thousands of emails a year and a lot of these come with images and attachments. If you double click on these, they are saved to your computer. Go through and get rid of these old attachments to help your hard drive.
  5. Empty Mac Trash – Once a file is placed in the trash can, it still needs to be permanently deleted. If you have put lots of files in the trash but have not yet deleted, they can take up a bunch of space.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning up the hard drive on your MacBook Pro can be an involved process. Purchasing a software cleanup program can be an easy option but if you want to do it yourself, start with the information above and check out this guide and this link for more tips and a walk-through on how to get your hard drive back up to speed.

What is your favorite Mac cleanup software? Have you ever cleaned up your hard drive manually? Let us know any other tips and tricks, if so!

Leave a Comment