How to Make File Size Smaller on Mac

Kyle Wood

Mac, Tutorials

If you are a Mac user, you may have encountered situations where you need to reduce the file size of your documents, images, or videos. Whether it’s to save storage space or to optimize files for sharing over email or the web, finding ways to make file sizes smaller can be incredibly useful. In this article, we will explore various methods to achieve just that.

Compressing Files and Folders

One of the easiest ways to reduce file size on a Mac is by compressing files and folders. This process creates a compressed version of the original file, which takes up less space without sacrificing quality. Here’s how:

  1. Select the file or folder you want to compress by clicking on it.
  2. Right-click on the selected item and choose “Compress [file/folder name]”.
  3. A compressed version of the file/folder will be created with a .zip extension.

You can now safely delete the original file/folder if you no longer need it, as the compressed version contains all the necessary data.

Optimizing Images for Web

If you regularly work with images, optimizing them for web usage is crucial in order to reduce their file size without compromising quality. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the image in Preview (default image viewer on macOS).
  2. In the menu bar, click on “Tools” and select “Adjust Size”.
  3. A dialog box will appear, allowing you to change the image dimensions. Adjust them according to your requirements.
  4. Select the “Resolution” dropdown and choose a lower value. Typically, 72 pixels per inch (ppi) is sufficient for web usage.
  5. Click on the “File” menu and choose “Export”.
  6. In the export dialog, choose a suitable format like JPEG or PNG.
  7. Slide the quality slider to a lower value to further reduce file size.
  8. Click on “Save” to export the optimized image.

By following these steps, you can significantly reduce the file size of your images while maintaining an acceptable level of quality for web usage.

Encoding Videos with HandBrake

If you work with videos, encoding them using a tool like HandBrake can help reduce their file size without sacrificing too much visual fidelity. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Download and install HandBrake from the official website (
  2. Open HandBrake and click on the “Open Source” button to select your video file.
  3. In the right-hand panel, choose an appropriate preset under the “Preset” section. For example, you can select “H.264 (x264)“, which offers a good balance between quality and file size reduction.
  4. If needed, adjust other settings such as resolution, bitrate, and audio settings according to your requirements.
  5. Select a destination folder for the encoded video by clicking on the “Browse” button at the bottom.
  6. Click on the “Start” button in the top menu to begin encoding.
  7. Once the process is complete, you will have a smaller-sized video file with a reasonable level of quality.

HandBrake provides many advanced options for fine-tuning your video encoding, so feel free to explore and experiment to find the best settings for your specific needs.


Reducing file size on a Mac can be achieved through various methods, including compressing files and folders, optimizing images for web usage, and encoding videos with tools like HandBrake. By implementing these techniques, you can effectively save storage space and enhance file sharing capabilities. Remember to always strike a balance between file size reduction and maintaining acceptable quality levels for your specific use case.

With these strategies in mind, you can now confidently tackle large files on your Mac and optimize them according to your needs!

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