Why Your Mac is Running Slowly: Hard Drive Space

Following on from my buddy John’s piece on machines running slowly I have another useful but basic tip that is often forgotten about.
Should you find your machine becoming slower and slower and have checked the RAM, another thing to check would be the hard drive disk space. Most people are reluctant to delete older items as you never know when you are going to need them, typically the day you decide to get rid of these files someone will ask for one – it’s just the way it goes!
Although basic machines these days are coming with larger and larger hard drives this is still a useful troubleshooting step, the last thing anybody wants is the hard drive to fill up and for data to become corrupt and ultimately lost.

There are a few different ways to check your hard drive space:

1. If you navigate to the Applications folder then into utilities there is an application called ‘Activity Monitor’. Launch this page and select the ‘Disk Usage’ tab, look over to the left hand side which will display how much disk space has been used and how much is remaining, plus there’s also a little pie chart.
activity monitor

2. Another would be to navigate to the Applications folder and Utilities, within this is an application called ‘Disk Utility’, most people will have used this before to repair permissions and try to rectify other niggling problems but again it tells you about the space you have remaining.

disk utility

There is one more thing, a common misconception which we see a lot, users believe that by putting files in the trash it deletes files, this is incorrect, the trash still needs to be manually emptied in order to remove these files (do this by right clicking and selecting empty trash or by selecting it from the finder menu). It can be very easy to gradually fill your internal hard drive over time and i’m hoping these basic but useful steps will help you out.