How To Clean Out Your Hard Drive in 20 Minutes // 5 Things

I can’t remember what it was I was trying to download last week, but I do remember my jaw dropping when I got the error message telling me I didn’t have enough room on my hard drive. How was this possible? Had I really used every inch of space on my MacBook Pro? Holy shit, I had!

So I went into panic mode, and tried to think of quick, easy ways to free up some space on my hard drive so my download could continue. Here are the five things I did — and if you need to clean out your hard drive, quickly & easily, you can do them, too.

How To Clean Out Computer 20 Minutes 5 Things

01, Photo Dump
I was kind of a hoarder when it came to photos; I kept every single one — blurry, heads chopped off, too dark to see anything, and all. So I made a quick pass through some of my biggest photo albums and got rid of the obvious crap. When I have more time, I’ll do this in more detail. (Also, since I got my DSLR, I’ve been shooting in both RAW and JPG. But I really don’t need both, so I got rid of the JPGs and just kept the RAW files).

02, Un-Duplicate iTunes
It’s so easy to get rid of your duplicates, iTunes does all the hard work of finding them for you. View > Show Duplicate Items. Boom.

03, Stream Music
Better yet… Did you know that you can stream any music you’ve purchased from the iTunes store? So I deleted my entire iTunes music library. Yup, everything — somewhere in the neighborhood of 16,000 songs. And when I want to listen to them, I just stream them via iTunes. But, honestly, since I signed up for Rdio, I hardly ever listen to music via iTunes anymore anyway.

04, Google Drive
Move your documents to the cloud, too. I love Pages and Numbers, Apple’s (infinitely better) versions of Microsoft Word and Excel — and when you have as many Pages and Numbers files as I do (freelance pitches and proposals, business plan drafts, design mock-ups, blog inspiration, personal projects, short stories and poetry, files from school or work a hundred years ago, etc.), you tend to waste some space unnecessarily. So I moved them. Some of them went to iCloud and some of them to Google Drive, either way they’re not taking up space on my computer anymore.

05, Unwanted Apps
Sometimes I do a little overkill in the App Store. I download all these games to play, organization systems to keep my life in check, photo editors, etc. Some of the apps I’ve actually used and am done with, but, realistically, I’m never even gonna open half of them anyway. So I chucked them, save for a select few.

If all else fails, invest in an external hard drive (this 1TB My Passport one is only $79.99, and is on my wish list). With the amount of photos I’m taking these days, I’m gonna need one sooner rather than later.

PS: Don’t forget to empty the trash when you’re pau and get rid of that crap for good!


The initial shock of my overflowing hard drive wore off pretty quickly, once I realized how quickly and easily I was able to free up a ton of space. Now go get your hard drive in order and let me know how you did it!


How close are you to to the limits of your hard drive? What is clogging up space on your hard drive?

Original imagery via.

2 comments on How To Clean Out Your Hard Drive in 20 Minutes // 5 Things

  1. Ihilani
    17 June 2013 at 10:03 pm (437 days ago)

    You totally inspired me! Added my music to the cloud tonight (including TONS of music from my old macbook that I stopped listening to because I never moved it over to my new computer). Photos are next on my list for a leaner, more organized machine. Oh man when you have kids the photo clutter reaches a whole nother level. There’s definitely LOTS of crap to get rid of there.

    • Tiera Kawaiola
      18 June 2013 at 3:41 pm (437 days ago)

      That’s awesome! My photo count jumped way up when I got my dogs, I can’t even imagine how it is with kids haha!


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