Your Start Up Disk is Almost Full…

Your start up disk is almost full to make more room available on your start up disk, delete some files.

I have a confession to make, something I really need to get off my chest. I’m a digital hoarder. I’m not sure when it started but I save EVERYTHING. Oh sure, it’s come in handy a time or two but for the most part it’s pretty ridiculous. I must have fifty or more DVD’s full of old files that I can’t even open anymore. In fact, up until we moved last summer I was still hanging onto a bunch of old zip drives. With no hope of ever opening them or accessing the material, I finally decided it was time to throw them out.

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This where I started. Yikes, that’s a lot of wasted space.

Today I was filming video for some upcoming classes when all of the sudden I got a warning, Your start up disk is almost full to make more room available on your start up disk, delete some files. Full? How could it be full? So I did what I always do. I ignored it and powered on. My computer was having no part of it. Two minutes later I was done. Out of memory. My video recorder app shut down and that was that. Game over. I saved the recording to an external drive and tried again. Two minutes later same thing (some of us learn slower than others). So I saved again then wrapped up the video and started in on a process long overdue. Spring cleaning. I found a great article that helped me figure out where to start and how to find the low hanging fruit.

I’ve still got a ways to go but so far I’ve been able to make a pretty substantial dent. The first place I went was to my Downloads folder. You’d be surprised at how many files were in there and how much I was able to delete. I won’t kid you each of these steps took some time but it was totally worth it. Next I went to my audio and music folders. One of the easiest things I found to delete were old podcasts. There were a lot of them and they were taking up a lot of room too. I saved the ones I wanted and then cleaned out all the junk. Audio files are big but video files are even bigger so my next stop was to clean out all my old movies. Like I said I’m a hoarder so there was a lot of junk in there that wasn’t being used and most of it was huge. Out they went.

My last stop of the day was iPhoto or as Apple refers to it these days Photos. This was a tricky one because Apple has made some changes to how this program works. It used to be you would dump your digital photos in manually when your camera got full. Now with everything synced up it ALL goes in there. That means a lot of it is just plain garbage. I’m a busy guy and I didn’t feel like going through every single photo to determine what gets saved and what gets chucked so I did the next best thing. I took iPhoto off my main hard drive and relocated it to an external drive. Someday when I have lots of time I’ll actually go through those all photos and get rid of the junk but for now I’m just happy to free up some space.


Not bad, not bad at all.

As you can probably tell some of these are quick fixes and some are just good house keeping. I’m no expert at any of this I just needed to reclaim some drive space quickly. If I had more time I might consider setting up some more elaborate solutions but I was able to take care of all this stuff in about half a day and be back up and working.

Just like cleaning the attic or the basement I grabbed anything that I hadn’t used in years or had no sentimental attachment and pitched in into the trash… and you know what? It felt good….real good. So good in fact that my next move is to start gutting old work folders. I know this part is going to take a lot longer but in the end it will be totally worth the effort. Once I complete my spring cleaning I plan to pick up a new external drive and use it strictly to store all my big, giant, bloated, over-sized video files.

Helpful links

For anyone who is in the same boat or just likes a tidy Mac here’s a link to the article I used to help get me started:

If you want to move your iPhoto library to a new disk here’s the video I used to help me get that done. (This video is a little dated but you’ll get the idea):

My advice to anyone considering going through this process is to be very careful deleting files because once they’re gone, they’re gone. Take your time and review EVERYTHING before you delete. Make sure to look inside those folders too because if you’re like me you’ll probably find a lot of hidden gemsĀ  in between those old files.

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