Mac: How to free up space with iCloud Photos optimized storage

Is your Mac running low on storage space? One way to easily free up room is by utilizing iCloud Photos and the optimize storage feature. Read on to see if this solution could be a good fit for you.

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Photos and videos are usually some of top usage categories for many Mac users. First things first, to check what is eating up your storage space on your Mac, head to → About This Mac→ Storage. If the Photos app is a big factor, turning on optimized storage for iCloud Photos can help out.

Keep in mind that depending on the size of your Photos Library you may need to pay for iCloud Storage if you aren’t already. iCloud Photos optimized storage works to save space by keeping the full-resolution photos and videos on iCloud and keeping smaller, more efficient sized versions on your Mac if there isn’t enough storage to keep the full-resolution ones.

If you do have enough storage space, optimized photos will store full-resolution versions on both iCloud and your Mac. To check if you have optimized storage turned on for your iPhone or iPad, follow along here.

Mac: How to free up space with iCloud Photos optimized storage

  1. Open Photos and click Photos in the menu bar (top left corner)
  2. Click Preferences…
  3. Make sure the iCloud tab is selected
  4. Click Optimize Mac Storage if iCloud Photo Library is already turned on
  5. If you haven’t turned on iCloud Photo Library on your Mac and want to learn more, check out this tutorial

Click on the iCloud tab at the top of the window as shown below to choose Optimize Mac Storage.

For more ways to uncover what’s taking up your space and free up storage on your Mac, check out our walkthrough here.

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:

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