Here are some general tips to keep your Mac's hard drive trim and slim as possible
You should never, EVER let a conputer hard drive get completely full, EVER!
With Macs and OS X, you shouldn't let the hard drive get below 15 GBs or less of free data space.
If it does, it's time for some hard drive housecleaning.
Follow some of my tips for cleaning out, deleting and archiving data from your Mac's internal hard drive.
Have you emptied your Mac's Trash icon in the Dock?
If you use iPhoto, iPhoto has its own trash that needs to be emptied, also.
If you store images in other locations other than iPhoto, then you will have to weed through these to determine what to archive and what to delete.
If you use Apple Mail app, Apple Mail also has its own trash area that needs to be emptied, too!
Delete any old or no longer needed emails and/or archive to disc, flash drives or external hard drive, older emails you want to save.
Look through your other Mailboxes and other Mail categories to see If there is other mail you can archive and/or delete.
STAY AWAY FROM DELETING ANY FILES FROM OS X SYSTEM FOLDER!
Look through your Documents folder and delete any type of old useless type files like "Read Me" type files.
Again, archive to disc, flash drives, ext. hard drives or delete any old documents you no longer use or immediately need.
Look in your Applications folder, if you have applications you haven't used in a long time, if the app doesn't have a dedicated uninstaller, then you can simply drag it into the OS X Trash icon. IF the application has an uninstaller app, then use it to completely delete the app from your Mac.
To find other large files, download an app called Omni Disk Sweeper.
Download an app called OnyX for your version of OS X.
When you install and launch it, let it do its initial automatic tests, then go to the cleaning and maintenance tabs and run the maintenance tabs that let OnyX clean out all web browser cache files, web browser histories, system cache files, delete old error log files.
Typically, iTunes and iPhoto libraries are the biggest users of HD space.
If you created a lot of movies using iMovie, these take up a lot of space, also, and these should be moved to an external hard drive, too!
move these files/data off of your internal drive to the external hard drive and deleted off of the internal hard drive.
If you have any other large folders of personal data or projects, these should be archived or moved, also, to the optical discs, flash drives or external hard drive and then either archived to disc and/or deleted off your internal hard drive.
Thanks for those ideas. I've done as much as I could/dared to. I'm hesitant to archive photos and videos to my EHD because I dont want to lose my organization/grouping/events etc. Is there a way to preserve that on the EHD? Can you explain a little more what this Omni Disk Sweeper does? Not sure I need it. We have a handful of downloaded applications and don't use Apple Mail. I still only have 7.5 GB free. :/ It's the video files taking up the majority of the disk space, which I need in iMovie to get rid of them/use them/create movies.
Moving your iTunes Library.
Moving iPhoto library.
Moving iMovie project files (pick the one method that applies to your iMovie version.
iPhoto 9.5.1. (So I guess I don't have iPhoto '11?) By manually deleting all the duplicate video clips in iMovie I've gotten the free disk space to about 12.7 now. Also, when I move my iPhoto library to my EHD, will all new photos and video go there instead? Or will a second iPHoto library be created on the computer Hard drive?
Moing your iTunes library:
This is our resident iPhoto guru, Terence Devlin's, advice:
You can move your iPhoto Library to an external disk or new Mac:
1. Quit iPhoto
2. Copy the iPhoto Library Folder as an entity from your Pictures Folder to the External Disk.
3. Hold down the option (or alt) key while launching iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Choose Library' and navigate to the new location. From that point on this will be the default location of your library.
4. Test the library and when you're sure all is well, trash the one on your internal HD to free up space.
You can follow the directions for iPhoto 8 or later. I have iPhoto '09 and those procedures are the same.
You can move your iPhoto library to another location. You can, also, make copies of the entire Pictures folder, if you like to have more than one copy of all your photos.
I have multiple copies of my Pictures folder/iPhoto libraries on three hard drives and re-write over these as necessary to keep all of them the same and up to date.
But, iPhoto can only sync to one iPhoto library at a time.
If you use iPhoto, Photos get stored in the iPhoto Libary.
iMovie movies have there own library they get stored in.
Any downloaded movies like movies bought or rented get stored on iTunes or you can save downloaded movies from other online to iTunes, also.
Thanks for the replies, but I'm still confused. What happens to my iPhoto library when I copy/move it to EHD? Are the folders and events preserved?
Where do new synced photos go?
If you are using iPhoto ’08 or later, you can double-click the iPhoto Library icon in its new location to open iPhoto. iPhoto will remember this new location in the future and that will be where your future added photos will d sync'd to.
Just drag the iPhoto Library package from your Pictures folder to the EHD which must be formatted OS X Extended (journaled). Next launch iPhoto with the Option/alt key held down and select the EHD library in the window that appears:
The location of the selected library is shown below the window.
Open the library and confirm that it's complete and working as it should be before deleting the copy in your Pictures folder.