How to free a lot of space on your development Mac computer

Since about a week ago I started working from home. I used to work on a powerful iMac at the office but now the only computer that I use for iOS development is my MacBook Air 13” (early 2014). I also have a monitor and a wireless keyboard. My setup looks something like this.

Everything is well and good, my laptop is powerful enough for my programming work. There is only one thing I don’t like about it: its HD is only 120 Gb so it runs out of memory all the time. Or, used to run out of memory until I figured out how to free a lot disk space.

First of all I installed a program called Disk Inventory X, which allowed me to analyse my disk space usage. Then I found out that the most memory consuming thing on my computer was this folder

~/Library/Developer/Xcode/iOS DeviceSupport

It weighs many gigabytes (it weighed tens of gigabytes when I first found it) and they say that it is perfectly safe to delete everything from this folder. Now whenever I feel like I don’t have enough space I clean this folder.

There is also one other folder that rapidly eats up the disk space.

~/Library/Developer/Xcode/Archives

Every time you build an archive in Xcode it ends up in this folder. The archives for some of the apps I work on take more than 100 Mb. Some days I can make quite a few of these archives. Now I remove the older archives from time to time. Just recently I freed 10 Gb on my computer this way.

By the way, the whole purpose of this post is to remind myself of the location of these folders, so I don’t have to look for it in the future.

Another thing I did: I bought a 1 Tb external hard drive. I use it for storing my photos, movies and backing up my documents. I don’t store any photos on my MacBook any more and I even switched off iCloud sync so that the photos I take on my iPhone don’t automatically end up on my computer. I just move my photos from my iPhone to the external drive manually from time to time. 

Now at any time I have at least 20 Gb of free space on my computer which is pretty comfortable for me and I don’t need to buy another computer which is super good.

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