If Mac Startup Disk is Full Try These Tips to Clear Space

“Your startup disk is almost full”

When was the last time you saw this annoying message when you were trying to store some important file on your Mac?

Well, if you have encountered this problem recently, then we are here to help you deal with it.

In this article, we have discussed multiple ways to help you deal with startup disk full on Mac and free up valuable disk space. These ways include using built-in utilities and trying other important steps.

Let’s discuss more here.

How to free up storage space on your Mac?

If you are on macOS Sierra or later versions, then you can find a useful utility on your Mac that helps you manage and free up disk space effortlessly. It also helps you move your data to cloud to deal with startup disk almost full error.

On macOS Sierra and later versions, all the files that you seldom use are stored in the cloud automatically. These files remain at the same location where you have last saved it and downloads when you open it. Thus, you manage to optimize storage space and manage Mac startup disk almost full error effortlessly.

Furthermore, files that you have used recently will stay on your Mac. In addition to that, optimized versions of the all your photos will also remain on your system.

To access this built-in feature on your Mac, go to Apple menu and select “About This Mac”. Now click on Storage. Here, you will be able to see space occupied by different files & folders on your Mac and available free space.

Here, you need to click on Manage button. It will display your various recommendations that will help you optimize Mac storage. It will display you fewer options if there are certain recommendations already turned on. Remember you will find Manage button only in macOS Sierra or later versions.

Now that you have clicked on Manage button, here you will see 4 different options including:

  • Store in iCloud
  • Optimize Storage
  • Empty Trash Automatically
  • Reduce Clutter

All these 4 options will help you deal with startup disk almost full on Mac error efficiently. Let’s discuss more about these options here.

Store in iCloud

Once you open this option, it will help you move various files into iCloud including:

Desktop and Documents: You can move all necessary files from Desktop and Documents location to iCloud using this option. Here, it keeps only those files on your Mac that you recently opened. Thus, you will be able to work offline working freeing up storage space. All files that are stored in cloud will display a download icon. You can double click on this icon to download the original file.

To move Desktop & Documents items to iCloud head to Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud and select Options button given next to iCloud Drive. Once you click on Store in iCloud, it will turn on Desktop & Documents folders also optimize system storage settings.

Photos: Here, only optimized version of your photos will be kept on your Mac. All high-resolution photos & videos will be stored in iCloud Photos. To download the original videos or photos, you simply need to open it.

To store photos in iCloud, go to Photos > Preferences > iCloud and select Store in iCloud.

Messages: You can move all your attachments & messages in iCloud. To keep your device storage free, only recently opened messages & attachments are kept on your system. To move messages, go to Messages > Preferences > iMessage.

Optimize Storage

Once you select Optimize Storage option, you will find these options:

  • Automatically remove watched iTunes movies and TV shows. This feature will automatically remove all recently watched iTunes movies and TV shows from your Mac. You can select download icon if you want to download the movie or TV show again.
  • Download only recent attachments. It will only download the attachments that you have recently received. You can also manually download attachments any time you want.
  • Don’t automatically download attachments. It will download any attachment when you open the attachment or email or save the attachment on your system.

Empty Trash Automatically

This feature will help you empty Mac Trash after 30 days to free up valuable disk space. It not only helps you deal with startup disk full on Mac error, but it will also boost your system performance.

Reduce Clutter

This smart feature helps your de-clutter your device storage. Once you click on Review Files button here, you can select various categories like Documents, Applications, Books, iCloud Drive, iTunes, and more from left panel to clean.

So, this was a quick review on how you can deal with startup disk is almost full error on Mac. If you know more such ways to deal with startup disk full issue, then feel free to share in the comments below.


You might have encountered one of the most annoying errors on Mac “Your startup disk is almost full” that causes lot of trouble for users. Let’s discuss how to deal with it and free up valuable disk space.

Guest article written by: Chandra Shekhar Choudhary is working at Systweak Blogs, as an SEO analyst and technical Content Writer. His potential of writing is PC tips, Android and Mac tricks and he is anxious in writing other technical blogs. You can also find Chandra Shekhar on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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