CleanMyMac Guide – How to Reduce System Storage on Mac?

how to Reduce System Storage on Mac
Is your Mac running out of storage space? Are you unable to save new files on your system because of it? Learn how to reduce system storage on Mac and make more space available.

First, let us see how much space has been used up by the system. Click the Apple logo on the top left corner of your screen and choose “About This Mac.” Click on “Storage,” and a window will pop up showing you the storage usage. If the bar is yellow, then a lot of space has been used up. If more than 50% of your total storage is occupied, you will have to clean your system up. You can do this by learning how to reduce system storage on Mac.

Sometimes, it becomes even more frustrating when you are unable to figure out what exactly is taking up so much space. Click on “Manage” and you will get a window displaying System information. The “System” option on the left panel will mostly be greyed out, so you have no way of knowing what is wrong.
The reason why “System” is greyed out is so that you cannot access it and accidentally delete important system files on your Mac. So how do you manage your storage space? Let us look at some ways of how to reduce system storage on Mac:

Third-party app: CleanMyMac

The “System” category under System information contains several files like video caches, app caches, iTunes backup files, etc. You cannot delete them manually so you need to make use of a third-party app. One of the best system clean-up apps is CleanMyMac that we will discuss here. You may try other similar apps.
In CleanMyMac, a feature called “Space Lens” allows you to see the data inside the “System” category and how much space they are taking up. Follow these steps:
  1. Download and install the CleanMyMac app on your Mac.

how to reduce system storage on Mac - install the CleanMyMac app on your Mac

  1. Open the app in “Space Lens” mode. Grant it permission to access your files by clicking on a yellow button that says “Grant Access.”

how to reduce system storage on Mac - Open the app in "Space Lens" mode

  1. A list of folders will open up breaking down all the files on your Mac. Place your cursor on individual folders to see more details about them.

how to reduce system storage on Mac - A list of folders will open up breaking down all the files on your Ma

  1. Click on “Storage” and it will open up its content folders, and how much space each of them occupy.

Click on "Storage" and it will open up its content folder

  1. Run a scan using CleanMyMac and the app will display the number and space occupied by junk files like incomplete downloads, old iOS backups, iTunes junk files, etc. Delete the ones that you are sure that you do not need.

Run a scan using CleanMyMac

Alternative methods

Even after using a third-party app, not much space may be freed up. So if you still need more ways of how to reduce system storage on Mac, here are some other methods you can try:

1. Delete/move large files manually

Open a Finder window on your Mac and choose the “Recents” folder. Sort all your recent files by size – big to small. You can click on the Settings icon and go to Arrange By > Size. You will see at one glance which files are taking up too much space.
Choose the ones you do not need and delete them, or archive them into a cloud service. You may want to move them to external storage, but ensure that they do not lie on your Mac eating up large chunks of storage.

2. Delete duplicate files

It is quite common for duplicate files and similar files to pile up inside your system. You are not even aware of them as they slowly take up too much of your storage space.
Use a third-party app like Gemini 2 to scan your most-used folders to find such rogue duplicates. Once you review them and confirm, these duplicate files will be deleted from your system.
Now that you know how to reduce system storage on Mac, you should keep in mind that it is advisable not to get to the stage where you need to free up space. Use Apple’s “Optimized Storage” feature to have your data backed up into the cloud. Thus your system will always have enough space to run your programs freely and save new files.