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macOS 10.12 Sierra Optimized Storage

Article ID = 166
Article Title = macOS 10.12 Sierra Optimized Storage
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 14th September 2016
Article Last Updated = 23rd September 2016
Article URL = http://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?166

Article Brief Description:
How to use the new Optimized Storage configuration options/settings in macOS 10.12 Sierra or later

Optimized Storage

Apple introduced a new feature called "Optimized Storage" with macOS 10.12 Sierra and it is available in the latest version of macOS. This feature enables you to save space on your Mac through a variety of different options. Optimized Storage requires iCloud.

Viewing Primary Optimized Storage Options

Go to Apple menu > About This Mac > Storage tab macOS About This Mac > Storage window The Storage window gives you a simplistic, colour coded overview of what is stored on your boot drive (and any other storage devices currently connected to the Mac). You may have a white section with diagonal grey lines called "Purgeable" - this consists of what macOS considers to be very old files which can probably be easily archived/deleted to free up some space immediately. If you click on the "Manage…" button to the right you gain access to specific recommendations: macOS Optimized Storage > options window NOTE: Some of these options can be turned on/off elsewhere in the system/other applications but the Optimized Storage window gives you access to most of the controls (but not all) in one place.

Store in iCloud

This currently gives you two options:
  1. Store files from Desktop and Documents in iCloud Drive - this is the same as Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive > Options… > Desktop & Documents Folders
  2. Store photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library - this is the same as Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > Photos > Options… > iCloud Photo Library OR Macintosh HD > Applications > Photos > Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Photo Library
macOS Optimized Storage > Store in iCloud This will move the chosen data primarily to the cloud but will potentially still synchronise data and take up storage on your local Mac, so you must refine the options if you want to optimise your local Mac's storage:

Desktop and Documents - go to Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive > Options… > Documents tab and tick "Optimize Mac Storage" at the bottom macOS Optimized Storage > Store in iCloud > Desktop and Documents

Photos - go to Macintosh HD > Applications > Photos > Preferences > iCloud > tick "iCloud Photo Library" and select "Optimize Mac Storage" macOS Optimized Storage > Store in iCloud > Photos

Optimize Storage

This option will automatically delete iTunes films and TV programmes that you have watched. If you use Apple's Mail application you will also get options for automatically removing attachments from local storage too. macOS Optimized Storage > Optimize Storage NOTE: You won't lose the films or TV programme as purchased iTunes content can be re-downloaded from the iTunes Store.

This option is the same as Macintosh HD > Applications > iTunes > Preferences > Advanced > Automatically delete watched films and TV programmes macOS Optimized Storage > Optimize Storage preference in iTunes

Empty Trash Automatically

This option will automatically delete files in the Trash that are older than 30 days. macOS Optimized Storage > Empty Trash Automatically This option is the same as Finder > Preferences > Advanced > Remove items from the Trash after 30 days macOS Optimized Storage > Empty Trash Automatically preference in the Finder

Reduce Clutter

This option gives you an overview of all your files that you can filter in specific ways such as:
  • Large Files - quick access to files that take up the most storage space
  • Downloads - quick access to downloaded files such as disk images and installers which can be large and therefore take up the most storage space
macOS Optimized Storage > Reduce Clutter > Documents - Large Files

The Main Optimized Storage Window

The list on the left of the main window gives you access to common types of optimized storage - this list will be populated by the various options that you turn on/off here and in individual applications e.g.
  • Recommendations - the primary Optimized Storage options (see above)
  • Applications
  • Documents - this is the same as the "Reduce Clutter" option above
  • GarageBand
  • iCloud Drive
  • iOS Files
  • Mail
  • Trash
  • Photos

Applications

You can quickly see a list of all applications on your Mac (but not the ones that came with macOS). Sorting the list by Size allows you to see which applications take up the most storage space. Apps downloaded from the Mac App Store can also be seen and deleted directly from the list presented here. macOS Optimized Storage > Applications NOTE: You won't lose Mac App Store applications as purchased apps can be re-downloaded via the App Store app > Purchased tab.

GarageBand

Certain types of GarageBand data can be deleted from here.

iCloud Drive

This is the same as 'Desktop and Documents' in the "Store in iCloud" option above. macOS Optimized Storage > iCloud Drive

iOS Files

If you use iTunes to backup your iOS device these backups will be shown (and can be deleted) from here.

Mail

If you use the Apple Mail application (not a third party application) email attachments can be stored in iCloud and therefore automatically removed from your local storage, thus saving space.

Trash

This is the same as the "Empty Trash Automatically" option above but it also gives you a list view of what's in your Trash with options to delete individual items and a button to "Empty Trash". macOS Optimized Storage > Trash

Photos

This is the same as 'Store photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library' in the "Store in iCloud" option above.

Article Keywords: Mac OS X OSX macOS 1012 Sierra how to use the Optimized Storage Optimised Storage configuration settings system preferences

This article is © MacStrategy » a trading name of Burning Helix. Apple, the Apple logo, and Mac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.


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