Monday, 30 April 2012

Freeing up your Hard Disk

"You can never have enough hard disk space."

Truer words have never been blogged. I know this for a fact because I'm perpetually running out of space myself.

So I present to you, the Top Three ways of getting more hard disk space.

1) Empty your trash. 

Items in your trash still take up hard disk space until you empty it.

2) Delete downloaded installer files. 

Assuming you've installed your software properly, you have absolutely no need to retain the installer files as they can be re-downloaded from the website.

What's the best way to do this? 

Using Spotlight (the little magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of your screen), you can search for ".dmg" files (as shown in the screen shot below). Select "Show All in Finder" and you should have a full list of all files with .dmg in them.

You will probably get a massive list of files that appear.

You can sort them out according to Kind (see screenshot below) for convenience, and scroll down until you see "Disk Image".

You can work your way through the list and delete all of the dmgs you don't need. I've personally just deleted 170 installer files that I didn't need and freed up 130 Gigabytes of space.

Lastly, see point 1.

3) Store your personal pictures, movies and music on an external hard drive.

One of the great things about working on a mac is it's ability to work with multiple media libraries.

It's as simple as clicking and dragging your iPhoto library, movie files, or iTunes folder into your external hard drive, waiting for it to complete, and then deleting the copy that's sitting on your hard disk. (Again, see point 1 when you're done)

Make sure you do not interrupt the process by disconnecting the drive, running out of battery or allowing your machine to go to sleep.

The next step is as simple as
a) Finding the icon of iPhoto / iTunes in the dock.
b) Holding down the Option key on your keyboard (2 keys to the right / left of your spacebar key)
c) Click on the icon for iPhoto / iTunes
d) Select "Create New" / "Create Library"
e) Repopulating the new libraries with the pictures and music that you'll need for work. 

When you need some smooth tunes to relax or to look at smiley happy pictures, just:
a) reattach your external hard drive
b) Quit iPhoto / iTunes
c) Holding down the Option key on your keyboard (2 keys to the right / left of your spacebar key)
d) Click on the icon for iPhoto / iTunes
e) Select "Choose Library" or the name of the specific iphoto library.
f) Relax & Unwind.

If in doubt / unsure about whether you can delete / move something

Approach your friendly techs at the IT Support Helpdesk.

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