Despite the fact that the latest models of Apple computers are equipped with terabyte hard drives, sooner or later, users discover that their boot disk is full. Even a small library of iTunes or iPhoto can take up almost 64 or 128 gigabytes of disk space. Over time, when the disk is full, a pop-up message “Your startup disk is almost full” appears on the Mac screen. This means that your Mac repository is already taken, and you need a deep cleaning of the system.

Unfortunately, an unwanted message that the free disk space has run out may appear at the most inappropriate moment, for example, when you urgently need to record a movie before you go or create a backup copy of your iPhone. Moreover, if you do not have free storage space, most likely your Mac will slow down. To run a Mac, you must have at least 15% free disk space. Cleaning up unnecessary files is necessary to speed up your Mac, or at least to avoid displaying an annoying message that the disk is full.

In this article, we will look at a few simple tips on how to clean your Mac, how to delete unnecessary files, and also find out what a boot disk is, when a message about the need to clean up the storage appears and how to find out what space is on your disk.

How to Find Out What is Taking Place on your Startup Disk?

To view your storage usage, click on the Apple sign in the menu -> select About This Mac and go to the Storage section.

How to Get Rid of the Message “Startup Disk is Almost Full” on your Mac?

There are various categories of data on your boot disk. The larger the partition size, the more space these files take up on the disk:

How to Get Rid of the Message “Startup Disk is Almost Full” on your Mac?
  • System;
  • Apps;
  • Photos;
  • Movies;
  • Audio;
  • Backups;
  • Documents;
  • Other users;
  • Other.

Since a message about a full disk appears on your screen due to the lack of free space, the first thing recommended is to clean up your Macintosh HD from unnecessary files.

Once you know what occupies the most space on your disk, you can go to the appropriate folders and delete unnecessary files.

Read more: How to Get Rid of “Other” Storage on Mac?

Use Cloud Data Storage

If you use Dropbox service, you know that even in the free version the service provides 2 gigabytes of space. This means that you can move large files and folders from your hard drive to cloud storage. Use the “Custom Sync” option, which allows you to delete content sent to the cloud from your hard drive. To do this, go to Settings -> Sync and select the desired folder for synchronization.

How to Get Rid of the Message “Startup Disk is Almost Full” on your Mac?

Delete Downloaded files

How many times have you downloaded files from web browsers, instant messengers, torrents, emails? When downloading files from the Internet by default, they are stored in the Downloads folder, which can be easily found in the following directory:

Macintosh HD/Users/Current user/Downloads

Delete Old iPhone Backups

If you often sync your iPhone with iTunes, the app creates dozens of backups on your device, and they often take up a significant amount of gigabytes on the disk, as they include movies, music and other large files. To find old backups, launch iTunes.

How to Get Rid of the Message “Startup Disk is Almost Full” on your Mac?

Check your Recycle Bin

This may seem elementary, but we often delete files and forget to empty the Trash. The files in the Recycle Bin still occupy space on your disk, so it is recommended to clear the Recycle Bin at least once a week.

To permanently delete files from the Recycle Bin folder, right-click on the Recycle Bin in the docking station panel and select the Empty Recycle Bin command. Another way to accomplish this task is to open the Trash and click the Clear button in the upper right corner.

How to Get Rid of the Message “Startup Disk is Almost Full” on your Mac?

Reboot Mac

After you have cleaned your hard drive, you must restart your Mac. A simple reboot of the system can help free the disk from temporary caches and folders. It will also clear virtual memory files and sleeping files.

How to Get Rid of the Message “Startup Disk is Almost Full” on your Mac?


Using the above tips, you can remove a solid amount of GB of unnecessary data from the disk manually, and the message about the full boot disk will stop bothering you.

It’s the best time to ask questions and give us your feedback in comments.


Hi there! My Name is Vincent Lago! My goal is to share insightful reviews, guides, and manuals for people looking to know more about current solutions for Apple hardware and OS. I have years of technological background knowledge including owning a custom iMacs & PCs which was using for different types of business. And now, I want to share my experience with you.

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