Free Up Space in Mac OS for Software Developers

As a developer if you are using the mac with the basic storage options with the 128 GB and 256 GB version then it’s pain to manage the storage, Cause I am in the same boat as yours. My 128 GB MacBook Pro which giving me warning of running out of storage now and then so I decided to give a permanent solution to it unless deleting useful files or uploading to the cloud. There are a couple of ways you can save from this trouble. I’ll discuss all of them below. And keep in mind this is more focused on the web developer then other people.

1. Upload to cloud

As the internet became faster and faster one of the best ways is to upload documents and other least required documents to the cloud and download as required. For that I use Dropbox and the OneDrive both have the function to an auto-upload document to cloud and delete from the local machine and as you required you can download the same as iCloud. But keep in mind to turn on the option by which you can keep only some folder to the machine and the rest of the folders to the cloud and download as required also new files added to those folders will auto uploaded to the cloud and local version will be deleted.

2. Use Web Apps

Usually, we keep download new apps as required but one more option is we can use the web app instead of the local native apps. Apps mostly I was using by downloading are

  1. Skype (https://web.skype.com)
  2. WhatsApp (https://web.whatsapp.com)
  3. Telegram (https://web.telegram.org/)
  4. Work chat of Workplace by Facebook (Web version)
  5. Clickup (Web version)
  6. Mail App (Using Gmail or Outlook directly)
  7. Microsoft To-Do (https://to-do.live.com/tasks/)

and many more…

This way you can use ram using your browser but will save plenty of space on the disk. Also, the cache of the browser can be cleared on one go, no need to clear the machine cache using paid apps.

3. Project Archives

This is the main point I want to talk about here, project archive as a web developer I used to work on many projects on a parallel basis also there is some project which I need to work on once a while and rare projects which I keep in my Mac in case of emergency with the database and other config settings keep on the desktop so I don’t have to worries regarding the setup when I have to quickly fix the client bug. But this mindset sometimes kill lots of space. So what I do is I delete the packages folder from the project but keep other config and database in the system. like

Project Type Directory
Laravel node_modules & vendor
PHP vendor
Yarn .yarn
Node.js node_modules
Python venv
Common Files Cache, Logs, Common Lib,
Build directories

this is the files usually downloaded when needed and as internet availabilities and speed has increased this download normally take a couple of minutes and do not take it lightly cause usually my Laravel vendor and node_modules folder combine take 200 to 500 MB and if you are working on more then 10-20 project then you can do the math of amount of space you can use.

4. Git

Normally all software developer is there who is not using git all using git and if not then I highly recommend to use it. Now as git and some serverless services are upgraded they are offering many good features on the board like Netlify CLI also Github actions which I use to take full advantage of them and I delete those project and clone when I needed and those types of projects do not require much or no configurations so you can be up and running on single clone and few commands. This is also the best way to keep code backed up and ready to available when needed.

5. Hard Drive

I also keep 1 Pendrive and one 2 TB hard disk handy for some project also for some important data which needed on the fly when there is no internet access also in free time I transfer my downloads and documents folders to this hard disks so later I can upload to drive if documents are important or keep them resting in the hard drive if needed for the short amount of the time and this helps to quickly dump all the data from mac to the hard disk if in sudden my computer storage run out of storage in cases like when new Mac OS update comes or I need to take backup to upgrade or give a computer to a service center.

Do comment your way to save space in the Mac OS.

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