The school where I work as a troubleshooter and fix for all things Mac, Windows, Chromebook and iPad, has many older Macs that we continue to run despite the inherent age problem. Theirs, not mine.
One issue that often crops up is the dreaded Disk Full problem. Many of our older Mac and Windows notebooks do not have enough storage space. Sometimes this is the case because macOS takes up more space than ever, but also because older Macs tend to clog up with unnecessary files. This is a simple and free way to fix it.
The application I'm trying now is aptly named Startup Disk Full Fixer. It is about as descriptive as an application name can be. All it does is what many other tools do, but for a price. Startup Disk Full Fixer, hereafter called SDFF, or maybe just Fixer, cleans a Mac of files that can build up and trigger the dreaded Startup Disk almost full warning.
The first thing the Fixer does is check out what's on the Mac and then give you options for what to clean (another word for deletion) . This is where marketing-speak takes a few liberties with language.
- Analyze your disk space usage
- Find out what is taking up your disk space
- Detect unnecessary junk files
- Remove caches, logs, app debris and other unnecessary files
- Free Mac Startup Disk
- Optimize Mac's performance
Let me explain. Your Mac saves many types of files – from log files to browser history, to various and different app cache files, macOS cache files, and well, files you don't need to store and won't miss when they're gone.
Fixer, well, kinda sorta mostly solves the problem, first by scanning your Mac, then analyzing the aforementioned files, discovered among those that can be discarded, and then, with your permission, do the deed and discard the dirty files.
The Mac App Store has some such discs. Most don't cost a lot, and a few are free, but if your Mac drive into almost full territory too often, a free tool that provides just enough extra storage to keep things going is a worthwhile option.