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I am fed up with all these useless "Delete old pictures" "Delete your trash" BuzzFeed-tier articles so I am hoping for some qualified ideas here.

What I've done so far (and how much it deleted) is:

  • Monolingual (2.5gb) : deletes unused languages in applications. I only kept Chinese and English. It can also delete classes for older architectures but that was only a few mb, languages is the main focus of that app. Many people say it destroys your applications but I've been using it for 5 months straight now and never experienced any problems

  • OmniDiskSweeper (countless gb) : like TreeSizeFree on Windows it lists directories by size. This way I for example found about 8gb of iTunes cache files that haven't been deleted, some xCode caches and simply big folders of other applications. If you "lower your standards" every session you will eventually end up even looking for folders smaller than 100mb but it's totally worth it as e.g. 6 of them already make half a gigabyte

  • CCleaner (5gb) : well-known on Windows but not too popular among mac users it took care of my cache files (basically Chrome (2.2gb) and Ableton(1.5gb) but it also deleted some system caches

  • OnyX (300mb) : it's rather fixing stuff than deleting but it also looks for some temporary files that were meant to be - but never have been - deleted

  • deleting Garage Band (maybe 3gb) : as I am using nothing but Ableton for music production I deleted the app and most of its contents except for some fine drum samples

What else can i do? Having a 120gb MBA I have no choice but to locate every single file that's not completely necessary. It's just weird that, without installing applications, I see my drive getting more and more filled up with junk (I guess). Of course a system won't just magically lose "weight", but I can remember being at 45gb of free storage 10 months ago and my computer usage hasn't really changed since. (I am at 18gb now)

I might try CleanMyMac 3 at some point but I haven't heard about it too much yet.

EDIT: I will include your ideas in OP if it helped, but the best hint still gets a tick tho

  • 2
    Your Title says memory, the rest of your post is about disk space. – Tetsujin Aug 27 '15 at 11:53
  • 4
    Let's mention some apps that help locate where the disk space is - my favorite is DaisyDisk. Another one is WhatSize. There are several free alternatives also - Disk Inventory X and GrandPrespective. – mspasov Aug 27 '15 at 12:06
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So, it this is not a direct answer to your question because it is kind of a work around.

I totally agree with not having / wanting to spend more than you initially should have, but I think we need to start changing our mindset a bit. PC's and MAC's alike are coming with less internal storage options and somewhat force you to rely on the cloud and / or external storage.

So with that out of the way, this my workflow - I have a 128GB MBA, so I am in a similar position as you.

I bought am external USB3.0 drive that I carry with me all the time. On that drive I have my photo library and all the big stuff. I figure if I am doing anything that requires a substantial amount of work in my photos or iTunes, I will be sitting down and plugging in a drive is no biggy.

On my internal drive - I simply just have the apps and I only have the apps I use 70%+ of the day on my MBA drive - the rest lives on my external drive.

I also use Xcode and the latest beta takes up 7.5GB+ so that is a good chunk gone already, versus the Xcode 6 version which is 5.5GB so those 2 already take up over 10% of the drive.

So what I do is every 6 months I re-install my mac. Once when the new OS is out and once in the middle of the summer. All my data lives in the cloud like dropbox and I do not use my documents or pictures folder - they are pointing to my folders inside my dropbox folder - so all my data is save.

This way every 6 months, my temporary data is removed and I know it is, because my internal SSD is cleaned off. This process takes about a day, but it is saving me a lot of frustration.

I can appreciate not everyone can adjust their workflow around this, so to let you know I am an iOS developer and a teacher at a tertiary polytechnic so my data is super important.

Notes I store in Evernote and my files in Dropbox, iCloud I use as well, but not very much.

I hope this gives you an idea of how to help you manage this issue. It is a real pain to start of with, but if you treat your MBA purely as a data independent shell, than it may help your thinking about it a bit.

Hope it works for you :-)

  • Really interesting approach, I also put all of my documents in the cloud and keep pictures off my mac but aside from app development I also produce music which takes the other half of my SSD ;-; however, this reinstalling-thing is something I've always been afraid of but maybe I should really consider deleting the whole drive once in awhile. And yes, having to keep both versions of Xcode is a real pain, I still use Xcode 6 to run stuff on my iOS 9 device but I need Xcode 7 to be installed for the SDK 9 symbols :/ will mark as best answer unless someone comes up with something more efficient. – user2875404 Sep 2 '15 at 13:03
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More Suggestive answer supporting with everyone's answer as our main purpose is to delete unnecessary file and folder for iOS developer:

  1. DeviceSupport - You can keep the simualator which log's you may need in future. It's actually symbolicate crash logs for different device/iOS.

  2. Delete this folder after every few days interval

    ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/DerivedData

  3. All your targets are kept in archived form in Archives folder. Before you decide to delete contents of this folder, here is a warning - if you want to be able to debug deployed versions of your App, you shouldn’t delete the archives

    ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/Archives

  4. iOS Device Support folder creates a subfolder with the device version as identifier when you attach the device. Most of the time it’s just old stuff. Keep the latest version and rest of them can be deleted (if you don’t have an app that runs on 5.1.1, there’s no reason to keep the 5.1.1 directory/directories).

    ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/iOS DeviceSupport

  5. Core Simulator folder is familiar for many Xcode users. It’s simulator’s territory; thats where it stores app data. It’s obvious that you can toss the older version simulator folder/folders if you no longer support your apps for those versions. And, it’s safer to use ‘Reset content and Settings’ option from menu to delete all of your app data in a Simulator.

    ~/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator

  6. Caches are always safe to delete since they will be recreated as necessary. This isn’t a directory, it’s a file of kind Xcode Project. Delete away!

    ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.dt.Xcode

  7. Additionally, Apple iOS device automatically syncs specific files and settings to your Mac every time they are connected to your Mac machine. To be on safer side, it’s wise to use Devices pane of iTunes preferences to delete older backups; you should be retaining your most recent back-ups off course.

    ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

i got back about 40GB! For more help go to: http://ajithrnayak.com/post/95441624221/xcode-users-can-free-up-space-on-your-mac

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Instead of obsessing about eking out every last wasted megabyte, (I used to be this way,) you can replace the internal SSD with one of larger size, (up to 1TB @ $500,) and retain the smaller one in an external enclosure to connect with USB. Depending on the model of MBA and your budget, this can be an attractive and fear-easing decision, leaving you with plenty of space to use (up.)

OWC has installation kits, containing the upgraded SSD, a screwdriver kit, enclosure and video instructions. I've done it myself on my own MBA, and we've updated several early MBA 11's w/64GB SSDs at my school to extend their lifetimes.

Disclosure: satisfied customer; no financial ties to Macsales.com or Other World Computing.

  • I was checking this recently but even a 256gb drive (would be enough for me) is a few hundred bucks if not used. I was a Windows guy and thought I would only use my Mac for developing until I realized how brilliant Macs are. Whatever combination of buying/selling/upgrading I am going for I would always spend at least 400 bucks - which is kind of affordable but I just can't deal with paying more than I should have paid in first instance – user2875404 Aug 27 '15 at 12:23
  • EDIT I just checked the prices and it was stunning how cheap there were.. unfortunately they don't support anything beyond 2012 – user2875404 Aug 27 '15 at 12:41
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One other thing you can do to free up space is remove GarageBand and all of its sound loops and content. Of course, this will make it impossible to use GarageBand, and if you have used any of that content with other programs, like iMovie, it will be gone from them as well.

But if you don't care about this content, removing it can free several gigabytes of storage.

Instructions can be found here...

  • Already did as I am using Ableton but this is definitely helpful for other users, thanks! – user2875404 Sep 2 '15 at 13:05

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