How Much Space Do You Need For Mac Sierra

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Apple has been able to shrink the file size of its OS updates over the years, so you don't need to free up too much space to make room for MacOS Sierra. The download is only 4.78GB in size, but why. If you are running High Sierra on a Mac with a Flash drive, or Mojave on any Mac then you don’t need to create a partition at all, you only need to create a new volume. Start by moving off the larger, lesser used items in your Documents, Music, Photos, Movies. While the OS may need state that it requires much space, you also have to consider that it needs more space to install and run. As a rule of thumb, you should have abut 10-15% free space depending on the size of your drive. That’s right — you can double Apple’s available RAM upgrade for less money! Mac Pro users are generally heavy RAM consumers, so buy the base machine with the storage and processor setup you need plus the minimum amount of RAM. Then, use that link you see above to get as much RAM as you think you’ll need for editing your Oscar-contender.

November 2020 marked the launch of macOS Big Sur. The arrival of a new version of macOS is always exciting. The new features and improvements can almost make it seem like you’re running a brand new Mac. However, there can also be problems and every new release is accompanied by stories of Macs running into problems and crashing. With that in mind, is it safe to upgrade to macOS Big Sur?

One thing you should take into consideration before you decide to upgrade to Big Sur is whether you have enough disk space. You should allow at least 32GB to upgrade, but that’s a bare minimum and doesn’t take account of the new apps you’ll no doubt want to download once you’ve upgraded. If you’re short of disk space, you should check out the latest CleanMyMac X app by MacPaw. It has an interactive junk detector, that will recover a few GBs for your needs. This app is notarized by Apple, by the way (here’s a link to a free version — give it a check)

Should I update to macOS Big Sur?


Before asking that question, you should ask if you can upgrade to macOS Big Sur. If you’re upgrading from Catalina, the answer is probably yes as there are very few Macs that can run Catalina but not Big Sur. However, if you’re running an older version, you may be out of luck. The full list of Macs that will run Big Sur is:

  • Any Mac Pro or iMac Pro
  • MacBook Pro and MacBook Air 2013 and later
  • iMac and Mac mini 2014 and later
  • MacBook 2015 and later

If your Mac is on that list, you can safely install Big Sur.

However, your Mac’s specification is the only thing you need to check for compatibility. You should also make sure the apps you use regularly, and especially those you rely on, will run on Big Sur.

32-bit apps

If you skipped macOS Catalina and want to update from the earlier version, there’s an important thing to note. macOS Big Sur doesn’t support 32-bit apps, for example, many Steam games will be left out. So you are faced with a choice:

  • Search for 64-bit versions of your apps (if they are available)
  • Keep using your current macOS

How do I find my 32-bit apps?

Go to the Apple menu > About this Mac > System Report
Under Software, choose Applications.

There you’ll find a column titled “64-bit.” Now, look for “No” entries in the column. These are your 32-bit applications.


Some users encountered continuous “kernel panics” on Big Sur. This is reportedly solved by a fresh installation that is performed on the erased hard-drive. Or you can go back to macOS Catalina and wait for the updated Big Sur version to be released.

If your Mac hangs up too often, read how to lessen the load on your processor.


If you have decided you are going to upgrade to Big Sur, the next question is when. As with any new version of macOS, it’s safest to wait a few weeks after release until any issues have been fixed.

Hear the difference: Sound design

This is rarely mentioned but macOS Big Sur has received a serious sound overhaul. All these familiar alert bleeps we’ve heard on macOS Catalina have been replaced with much more intriguing voices.

Do you really need all the new features?

How Much Space Do You Need For Mac Sierra

How Much Space Do You Need For Mac Sierra 10.13

It’s always tempting to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of macOS. However, it’s not all upside. New versions of operating systems can be buggy, they can slow down your Mac, and there are always compatibility issues with some apps.

macOS 11 Big Sur will be the first OS to support Apple’s ARM silicon, instead of traditional Intel-based chips. And thanks to this, we’ll soon see iOS apps running natively on Macs.

Two reasons to upgrade your Mac to Big Sur (if you run Catalina)

  1. macOS design is consistent with iOS platform
  2. You want a Mac with Apple silicon that will in future support iOS apps on Mac.

How should you upgrade? And what are the first steps?

There are two ways to upgrade to Big Sur, or any other operating system.

  1. Install Big Sur over the top of your current operating system.
  2. Perform a clean install.

Each has its pros and cons. A clean install will ensure that you don’t carry over any leftover files that may cause compatibility issues with the new operating system. It will also resolve any problems you might already be having with your Mac because of ‘junk’ files left by apps or by the system. However, it means wiping your Mac’s boot drive completely, so you will need to spend time reinstalling apps, copying files from a backup, and configuring settings. Standard installation is much quicker and easier, but risks more compatibility issues because of files already on your Mac.

  • The standard upgrade is done through the App Store
  • For clean install, you’ll need Disk Utility, an external USB drive, and Time Machine.

Zen option: Wipe away all the junk first

If you like the idea of a clean install but don’t want to have to go through the process of reinstalling apps and configuring settings, there is a third option: Just do a quick cleanup beforehand.

  • Broken downloads
  • Application cache
  • Unused localizations
  • Browser cookies

All these files clutter your system and will one day compromise the performance of your macOS Big Sur. If you like, you can embark on a manual cleaning mission. But how do you find all the junk? Here’s the trick I’m using — which is the free version of CleanMyMac X.
If you install it and run the System Junk tool, it will magically show you what you can delete.

Download this app here — this version is notarized by Apple. It also gets rid of broken items that may cause your Mac to behave erratically.

Is Big Sur safe? Yes. However, deciding whether to upgrade to Big Sur may seem straightforward. After all, it’s free and easy to do. However, you should think carefully before you decide if and when to upgrade. In addition to checking whether your Mac is compatible, you should make sure you have enough free disk space to install it. If you’re currently running an earlier version of macOS than Catalina, you should also make sure you don’t rely on 32-bit apps. When you do upgrade, make sure you backup your Mac first. And remember, you can use CleanMyMac X to help free up space and optimize your Mac before you upgrade.

Are you getting a disk full warning on your MacBook Pro? It says you need to make more space available on your startup disk and urges you to delete files or save space by optimizing storage.

Like this – “Your disk is almost full” (for macOS Sierra or later).

Or this – “Your startup disk is almost full” (for earlier macOS versions).

How can you actually “optimize storage”? Apple has some hints on freeing up storage space, but let’s be honest — the tips are fairly generic! For example, one of them is a recommendation to use iCloud, a subscription service that we’re not really a fan of because it isn’t cheap and the file sync process can be time-consuming.

That’s why we decide to write this post, offering a number of better ways to reclaim more space when MacBook startup disk is full. The best part? We’ll make it as detailed as possible so you won’t feel lost.

Let’s get started, but first…

What’s Filling up My MacBook Startup Disk?

So what exactly is your startup disk? Well, your startup disk is the partition on which your Mac operating system runs. It has a set amount of space (say, 500GB) that you can use to store applications and files. You can’t get rid of that disk because it’s what your Mac uses to function. However, as time goes on the files and apps you add to the MacBook drive will begin to accumulate and limit the space remaining on that disk.

Note: most MacBook users have just one disk named “Macintosh HD” by default, but power users may have two or more.

You’ll get a message from Apple system when your disk is almost full, and if it fills all the way up you won’t be able to download new files, open attachments, or install new programs. An overfilled startup disk will also cause your MacBook to run slower since it won’t be able to use RAM as effectively. This means keeping your disk clean is extremely important for daily operations.

To check what’s taking up space on your mac, you can choose “Manage” on the startup disk warning notification. If you’re ahead of the curve and trying to clean up your Mac before being warned, you can access the management screen by going to About This Mac from the Apple menu (top left of your screen), and then choosing Storage.

You can also use CleanMyMac (via the Quick Menu shown below) to get a quick overview of how much storage space are taken. By the way, the app does more than just that. You can easily use it to clean up gigabytes of system junk and unnecessary files in minutes.

Regardless of which methods you use, these tools will help you see what’s taking up the most space and guide you towards where to start trimming down.

How Do I Free up More Space on My MacBook?

How Much Space Do You Need For Mac Sierra

Now that you know what’s stealing your storage, how can you fix the problem? Aside from the obvious solutions like clearing the trash and downloads folder, there a few different methods you can use.

Tip: Before using any of these methods, backup important files! Time Machine is the built-in app you could use and it’s free. You may also use advanced backup software Get Backup Pro, which offers more powerful and convenient backup options.

1. Erase Duplicate or Similar Files

These days we all are used to back up phone/camera photos to our computer, and believe it or not, identical or similar files can quickly add up and occupy lots of space. They can be duplicate documents, images taken twice (or more times), redundant backups, and several other formats. The tricky part is those files are usually not easy to be found.

Fortunately, you can use a handy app like Gemini to quickly locate them.

Using the app, you can choose folders to scan and find these unneeded duplicates. Gemini then separates exact duplicates from similar files so you know exactly what you’re looking at, and you’ll be prompted before deleting anything. It can help you reclaim a lot of valuable disk space in just a few minutes.

2. Offload Important but Infrequently Used Files

How often do you watch the movies you’ve downloaded to your computer? Do your old photos need to be within reach at all times or only upon occasion? If you’re someone who keeps archives of documents, images, movies, programs, or other files but only occasionally reference them you might benefit from transferring them to an external drive.

Then start copying files from your MacBook to the external HDD. If you’re copying projects such as unfinished movies or designs, make sure you copy all assets as well or the file will not be able to load properly.

3. Beware of Mac System Files

Depending on the macOS you’re using, you might notice that “System Storage” or “Other Storage” keeps increasing and as a result, taking too much disk space. The worst part? You can’t analyze what’s stored inside as this option is greyed out by macOS by default.

Thankfully, you can use CleanMyMac X to get an “insider” look and clean those unneeded system files. Just download the app and install it on your Mac. Open it, click on Space Lens, run quick scan of your Macintosh HD, then under “System” folder, you’ll be able to see all the details.

4. Sign up for a Better Cloud Storage Program

You may have noticed that Mac’s storage manage panel prompts you to consider iCloud as a way to clear space (see the screenshot below). While we aren’t a huge fan of Apple’s subscription cloud storage program, there are plenty of alternatives available.

Two of the most popular are Google Drive and Dropbox.

Google drive will give you 15GB of free storage space, and the companion program Google Photos offers unlimited image and video storage at 16MP or 1080p and less. If you still don’t have enough space, you can upgrade your Google Drive to 100GB for just $2/month or a terabyte for $9.99/month.

How Much Space Do You Need For Mac Sierra Madre

Dropbox offers a basic account for free with 2GB of space, but upgrading to Dropbox Plus will get you a terabyte of uploads for $9.99/month. According to 9to5mac, Dropbox stands out for its file-sync speed and reliability as he put:

“For me, the crucial benefit of Dropbox is speed and reliability. I’ve tried all the main services over the years, and Dropbox has always been 100% reliable and has consistently synced within seconds.”

Both programs offer an automatic import function as well to help cut down on your work.

5. Deep Clean Your MacBook Drive

If storage space seems to be a recurring problem, you will benefit from cleaning out system junk and useless files to stay on top of any storage issues. Again, CleanMyMac is the best solution to handle this. It’s an app that provides you insightful information on what’s taking away your storage.

You can use the app to scan unnecessary files such as temporary documents, attachments, and iTunes/iMovie junk that usually require extensive searching to find buried in your Mac’s library. After the scan, it then offers a number of suggested actions you can take to reclaim more space.

6. Manually Delete Old Large Files & Apps

If you’re looking for a quick and short-term fix, manually clearing out those old large files will help you get a few extra gigabytes of space without sacrificing a great deal of time.

How Much Space Do You Need For Mac Sierra 10.12

First, open Finder and navigate to “All My Files” from the sidebar. Make sure your files are in list view (the icon that looks like 4 stacked lines should be dark grey) and then choose “Size” from the header.

If you’re on an older macOS, you’ll need to click the settings gear in Finder and select ARRANGE BY > SIZE. This will produce a slightly different layout which groups your files by category (100MB – 10GB, 1MB – 100 MB, etc). You can find the size of each file by right-clicking and choosing “Get Info”.

How Much Space Do I Need To Install Macos High Sierra

Once you know which files are largest, you can start removing those you no longer need and clearing space as efficiently as possible. Some common space hogs include videos, old DMGs, creative applications, and large audio files.

A quicker way to spot out old big files on your Mac is to run CleanMyMac X (again) and navigate through the Large & Old Files feature as it will sort all those items based on file size.

That’s all we want to share with you in this article. Did you manage to address the disk almost full issue on your MacBook Pro? Which method(s) do you find most helpful? Or you have another awesome tip to reclaim more storage quickly? Let us know by leaving a comment below.