11 Tips for Solving Startup Disk is Full Error on Mac

(Last Updated On: December 14, 2020)

A Mac owner can be happy about many things, such as a fast, efficient, and well-designed computer that can be used both for work and entertainment. Also, if you are a young entrepreneur, it can add up to your personal brand, right?

On the other hand, sometimes you may experience having the “Startup Disk Is Full” error and wonder what it means. And does it do any harm to your Mac? What it means is that you need more free disk space because it is full, which will make your computer perform much slower.

It is healthy to declutter your computer regularly and free up some disk space. Therefore, on this page, you can read more about fixing the “Startup Disk Is Full” error and freeing up some disk space. Aim to have at least 15% free disk space, and your Mac should perform well.

Delete Cache Files

There are three types of cache files stored on your computer: system cache, browser cache, and user cache. Your Mac is storing them to load certain processes and even websites faster for you.

Although, over time, cache files will take up a lot of space on your computer. The best choice is to delete them regularly, and if an app or a web browser needs those files, they will simply create them again.

Uninstall Apps You Don’t Use

Apps can take up more space on your disk than you could have imagined. For example, a popular Facebook Messenger app for Mac alone weighs more than 100 MB, and other apps with high-quality graphics can be more than 1 GB. 

Most likely, you don’t use all of the apps you have on your computer; therefore, it’s a good idea to review and uninstall some of them.

Store in iCloud

If you click on the Apple icon on the top menu, go to About This Mac, and click on Storage, you will see a button Manage on the right. Clicking on it will lead you to another menu that has some great suggestions for storage management, like Store in iCloud.

Choosing this option will only keep recent files on your Mac and store all others in iCloud. 

Optimise Storage

At the same section of storage management, there is another option called Optimize Storage. It automatically removes movies and tv series that you have already watched on your Mac and saves storage space this way.

Reduce Clutter

Another storage management option is Reduce Clutter. It does exactly what it says, which is sorting through documents and other files stored on your Mac and deleting items that are no longer needed.

Go Through Your Photo Gallery

With the new phones that are available nowadays, people can take high-resolution pictures and videos that take quite a lot of space; either you transfer the media files to your Mac or use an iPhone, and the Photo Library stores everything on your computer automatically.

There is a great chance you have many similar photos from various events like birthdays and other celebrations; therefore, it’s an excellent choice to review and delete those files.

Delete Language Files

A lot of apps you install on your computer have large language packs in them. Although likely, you won’t need all of the languages that are in those packages, so it’s only smart to remove the unneeded ones by using specialized software.

Clean up Your Desktop Every Day

Remind yourself to clean up your desktop every single time before turning off your computer. This will help reduce the amount of clutter, make it easier to find your files, and make your Mac perform a little faster because each icon displayed on your desktop uses extra resources. 

Delete Files From the Downloads Folder 

If you check your Downloads folder, you might find a few dusty installation files for the software you once installed and deleted a long time ago.

The folder is often forgotten, but if you go through it and delete all of those one-time-use files, you’ll have some extra free disk space on your Mac.

Regularly Empty the Trash Bin on Your Mac

After you have had a long session of deleting unneeded files and other clutter on your Mac, you would expect to have a lot more disk space. But there is one more step to achieve that goal.

To enjoy all that free space you just made, you will need to empty the Trash Bin first because if you don’t, all the files you deleted will still be stored on your computer.

Invest in an External Storage Device 

If, after all the uninstallation of apps, transferring files to cloud services, deleting files, and emptying the Trash Bin, you still don’t have enough free disk space for it to function properly, you might consider investing in an external storage device.

An external storage device won’t allow you to access the files from almost any device wherever you would be, like cloud storage, but it will ensure that you can access those files and edit them even when you are offline.

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