Has your Mac seemed a bit sluggish lately? If so, there's a decent chance that your storage space is starting to run out.
There are many reasons why your storage space may fill up. One common offender is your Downloads folder. Every time you download something to your Mac, some part of it may stay in your Downloads.
For example, if you download an app, it will leave a DMG file behind it. If you copy a file somewhere else, the original will stay in your Downloads. Either way, you'll need to learn how to clear downloads on a Mac.
Not sure where to start? Don't worry: this process is as simple as it can be! Here's all you need to know about clearing downloads on a Mac.
Sorting Your Downloads
Before you delete anything, you'll want to know what you're deleting. The best way to do that is to sort all your downloads beforehand.
First, head to your Downloads folder. You'll find it on the right side of your Dock, right next to the Trash icon. You can also get to the folder from the Finder sidebar; it's located beneath Desktop and Applications.
Once you're inside the folder, right-click once. Select Sort By > Size to make the biggest files appear first. For easier organization, change the folder view to a list by right-clicking and selecting View > As List.
Now that you see how much space each file takes, you can start getting rid of them. Go through the list and identify which files you don't need anymore. It's best to target the largest files first, as that will create the most space.
Deleting Downloads on a Mac
There are two main ways to clear downloads on a Mac. One method involves moving the files to the Bin, and the other will delete them outright. Here's a quick guide for both of these methods.
The Bin Method
The Bin method allows you to take one last look at your downloads before deleting them. That can be helpful if you're still unsure what to delete.
Start by going back to the Downloads folder. Right-click each file you want to delete, then select Move to Trash from the pop-up menu. To delete multiple files, select them while holding the Command key, then repeat the above.
Another way to do it is to move the files you want to keep from the folder and delete the rest. If you've done the first part, hold down the Command key and press A to select all files. Again, right-click and select Move to Trash.
Once the downloads are in the trash, all you need to do is empty the bin. To do that, right-click the Trash icon in the Dock and select "Empty Trash." That will delete the files for good and give you your storage space back.
The Alternative Method
Looking for an even simpler way to delete downloads on a Mac? Here's how to do it without using the Bin or entering any folders.
First, click the Apple logo in the menu bar. Select "About This Mac," click the Storage tab, then select Manage. Then, click on Documents on the sidebar and select Downloads to see what's taking up space on your Mac.
To delete a file from this list, click on it and press Delete in the bottom right corner. If you want to remove multiple files, hold down the Command key while selecting them. When prompted, click the Delete button.
Want to check how much space you got back by deleting your downloads? Click here to learn more about how to find memory on Mac.
Deleting Download History
Taking care of your Downloads folder means you're done, right? Well, not exactly: you still have to clear those downloads from your browser.
See, browsers keep track of any items you download through them. Even if you delete those files, the download history will remain in the browser. The more files you've downloaded, the slower your browser will get.
Fortunately, deleting the download history from your browser only takes a few minutes. Here's how to do it on both Chrome and Safari.
Start by opening Chrome. If you have a Chrome icon in the Dock, you can simply click on it to open the browser. Otherwise, hold Command and the spacebar on your keyboard and search for the app.
Once you're in the browser, head to Chrome > Clear Browsing Data. This will open a new page with a pop-up window saying "Clear Browsing Data." Click on the Advanced tab for a detailed look at your download history.
Now, check the box next to all the items you want to delete. Keep the items that are important to you, then delete the rest. For example, most people should probably keep their sign-in data and passwords.
To get rid of all download data, check the "Time Range" box and select "All Time" from the dropdown menu. Then, select "Clear Data" in the bottom right corner to remove your download history and save more storage space.
Open Safari by clicking on the Safari icon in the Dock or holding Command + Spacebar and searching for the app. Then, select Safari from the top menu bar. From the dropdown menu that appears, select "Clear History."
Next, select the selection box next to "Clear" and choose how much history you want to delete. For best results, delete all of it. Keep in mind that doing so won't delete the actual files from your Downloads folder.
That Is How to Clear Downloads on a Mac
Once you know how to clear downloads on a Mac, there's no reason not to start doing it regularly. Not only does this make your Mac work faster, but it also allows you to save storage space for things you care about!
Want to know more about how to get your Mac to work better? Interested in learning why the Mac is still as popular as ever? Keep checking out our Technology section for more Mac content!