Today is one of those days when your computing doesn’t work as fine as usual. After starting your Mac you have encountered an extremely disturbing pop-up message that alerts you the following – “Your startup disk is almost full”
You probably get that feeling that this is not cool. Don’t worry we prepared this guide to reveal all important details about this disturbing issue as well as several fixes that are proved to be efficient against it.
What Is a Startup Disk?
Let’s start by explaining the main term in this Mac error message. The startup disk is the hard drive that stores the operating system. Hence, it is the most important disk of all. So in the event that you encounter a pop-up that alerts “Your startup disk is almost full”, it basically means that your primary disk drive is running out of space which is very bad news.
What Does the “Startup Disk Full” Mac Error Mean?
The meaning of this message should be understood literally. What does the full error message say when it pop-ups on Mac? Here is a copy of its text:
Your startup disk is almost full.
To make more space available on your startup disk, delete some files.
Don’t warn me again about this disk.
The “Your startup disk is almost full” message means exactly what it says. Your startup disk is running out of storage and you should definitely not ignore this message. Otherwise, you may end up having even more serious issues that prevent you from using your Mac.
This error message often appears due to the fact that you are having too many files that occupy your Mac’s hard drive. This, in turn, brings the free disk space to a dangerously low level. As a result, you may not be able to start your computer or it may become sluggish due to lack of enough operative space for the operating system.
How Do I Fix and Remove “Your startup disk is almost full” Error on Mac?
First, you need to discover what is taking up all the space on your startup disk drive. To see how your space is being used follow these steps:
- Click on the Apple Icon.
- Select About This Mac.
- Click Storage (or More Info).
The Storage tab will show you a graphical display of all main categories files that are stored on your drive as well as exact information about the memory size different categories took on the drive. This information may help you to determine where to start the disk cleanup process.
To remove “Your startup disk is almost full” error on Mac you should delete some files and increase the amount of free space available for your system. The options for you are the following:
- 1. Remove some files manually
2. Use a special app to find unneeded files and clean up startup disk
3. Upload some of the biggest files to the could or a backup disk and remove them from the startup disk
Remove “Startup disk is almost full” Manually
Oftentimes, the biggest space eaters are the files contained in the category “Other”. Files there are usually caches, archives, logs, disk images, plugins, cookies, extensions and so on.
The manual process will take some time. You should be very careful while completing the manual steps because, in the event that you inadvertently delete a file that is essential for the proper operation of your system, it may crash. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual process of fixing “Your startup disk is almost full” error, then navigate to the automatic approach.
Delete Unnecessary Apps
Probably some of the apps you installed on your Mac are no longer of use to you. Go find these apps and delete them. We recommend that you perform a complete uninstall process instead of just moving the unused apps to the Trash. Surely, the second approach will save some space and time but the first guarantees that all storage used by these apps will be cleared.
Delete Old iOS Backups
If you have the practice to back up your iPhone or iPad using iTunes on your Mac, then you may have lots of old backups that are taking storage on your startup disk. To clean all old and unnecessary backups go to iTunes and navigate to preferences. You will see all the old backups that are stored on your machine. Select and delete all older backups you don’t need. Make sure to keep the most recent one as it is still essential to have reserve copies of all files and settings on Mac. One never knows what will come next.
Lots of nasty unwanted applications are lurking on the web. A recent example is the Calendar Mac/iPhone Virus Notification type of threats. They hijack users’ devices and flood Calendar apps with intrusive annoying notifications. Sometimes the only way to get rid of such annoying apps is to reset the whole system. In such an event you will definitely need a recent backup that will restore saved data in a matter of minutes.
Clean Up Your Downloads Folder
Which is your default Download folder? Find it and make sure to revise all files stored there. The Download folder contains all files which we download from the Internet. Here’s why it can become extremely large in size over time. Cleaning up all files you downloaded from various websites and never used afterward can return some critical space for your operating system.
Get Rid of Mail Downloads
Do you know that whenever you view an email attachment, your macOS Mail app saves a copy of this attachment in a separate folder? Well, now is the time to find that folder and clean data stored in it to get rid of that nasty “Your startup disk is almost full” Mac error. Go to the Spotlight and search for Mail Downloads. You may be surprised how much data has been added there.
Finally, it is time to open your Trash and clean everything you added there. Since it often takes lots of disk space you should regularly empty it. So, go clean your Trash now and free some space on the startup disk.
Remove “Startup disk is almost full” Automatically
Checking various locations on your Mac including the home, Apps, Trash, Downloads, etc. for unnecessary files or apps is a time-consuming process for sure. The good news is that there is a much faster way to reduce the amount of storage on your startup disk. By using the help of an advanced anti-malware tool with an integrated Disk Cleaner feature you can perform a disk cleanup process just in a few minutes. With only one click you will clean application caches, downloads, application logs, trash, and other obsolete files and regain valuable disk space.
After you download and install the program, open it on your Mac and navigate to its Disk Cleaner tab. There you will find all the unnecessary items. Mark all different types of files you want to remove and click the Remove button to get rid of them.
With the help of the presented steps, you should fix the troublesome “Your startup disk is almost full” error message on Mac. If you don’t you risk that next time you power on your Mac, it won’t start at all.
Steps to Prepare Before Removal:
Before starting to follow the steps below, be advised that you should first do the following preparations:
- Backup your files in case the worst happens.
- Make sure to have a device with these instructions on standy.
- Arm yourself with patience.
What is on your Mac?
The threat is probably a potentially unwanted app. There is also a chance it could be related to Mac malware.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your Mac to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your MacOS.
Can Macs Get Viruses?
Yes. As much as any other device, Apple computers do get malware. Apple devices may not be a frequent target by malware authors, but rest assured that the following Apple devices can become infected with a threat:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What Are The Symptoms of On Mac?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also most Mac threats in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your Mac may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Mac's Activity Monitor.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your Mac for viruses.
What Types of Mac Threats Are There?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently infect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Adware and hijackers.
- Trojan horses and other spyware.
- Ransomware and screen-lockers.
- Cryptocurrency miner malware.
What To Do If I Have a Mac Virus, Like ?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most Mac threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them. One recommended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you.
There are many Mac anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter for Mac is one of the reccomended Mac anti-malware apps, that can scan for free and detect any viruses. This saves time for manual removal that you would otherwise have to do.
How to Secure My Data from ?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and Apple devices will become significantly more safe against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our MacOS Virus section, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.
About the Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific macOS issue.
How did we conduct the research on ?
Please note that our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware definitions, including the various types of Mac threats, especially adware and potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).
Furthermore, the research behind the threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand the threat posed by Mac malware, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.