Free up disk space on Mac

Identifying Disk Space on a Mac

Mac OS Storage Management allows you to identify which files are taking up a great deal of space on your hard disk, so you can free up disk space on mac by removing unnecessary files. Simply navigate from Apple () menu > About This Mac > Storage > Manage. Parallels virtual machines located within User directories will also appear as separate entries here.
Note: Parallels VMs located within Shared or other directories will not be included.

Search through your Documents folder (which also contains Downloads folder), deleting large files that no longer serve a purpose and making sure to empty out the Trash can before emptying out Trash cans.

If you would like to decrease the size of one or more virtual machines (VM), please click Parallels VMs > Free Up Disk Space.

Identifying the contents of a virtual machine

Mac disk space used by virtual memory (VM) typically belongs to operating system files and applications in Windows. To manage storage in this platform, visit Windows Settings > System > Storage and enable Storage Sense; to free up space manually click ‘Free up space now’:

Wait for the scan to complete before scrolling down to review files that take up a significant portion of space – such as my previous Windows install which currently occupies 27.5GB on disk.

Once ready to remove files, click “Remove files.”

Note: Additionally, third-party tools like Scanner may help identify large files you no longer require.

Reducing virtual machine size

Reclaiming extra disk space enables Macs to free up hard drive space that remains vacant after Windows installs on them.

Step_1: Reclaim extra disk space on Mac by accessing File > Free Up Disk Space on its menu bar and choosing that option from within it.

Step_2: Navigating through each item on the list, starting by deleting snapshots where applicable, should take some time.

Step_3: Shutting down the suspended virtual machines will also reclaim some disk space.

Click on Resume button, and then shut off all Windows virtual machines through Start menu > Power > Shut Down or Mac menu bar > Actions > Shut Down.

Step_4: The third option allows the reclaiming of space from an currently selected virtual machine.

Step_5: Once clicking Reclaim, an offer to shut down a virtual machine and reclaim disk space will appear. Select Shut Down, and reclaiming will begin immediately.

Step_6: Parallels Desktop allows you to effortlessly reclaim disk space back onto Mac each time a virtual machine is shut down, without manual intervention from you.

Navigating to your virtual machine configuration page > General, and enable Reclaim disk space upon shutdown option.

Reclaim disk space manually using the General tab of virtual machine configuration.

Step_7: If a virtual machine is rarely or never used, use Parallels Desktop Control Center’s virtual machine context menu to archive it to make use of less hard disk space on Mac’s hard drives.

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