How to Make File Smaller on Mac

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

How to Make File Smaller on Mac

Are you running out of storage space on your Mac? Do you have large files that are taking up valuable disk space?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to make files smaller on your Mac using a few simple methods. Whether it’s compressing files or optimizing images, we’ll walk you through the steps to help you reclaim that much-needed storage space.

Method 1: Compress Files

If you have files such as documents, spreadsheets, or presentations that are taking up too much space, compressing them can significantly reduce their size. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the file – Locate the file on your Mac that you want to compress.
  2. Right-click – Control-click or right-click on the file and select “Compress [filename]” from the contextual menu.
  3. Wait for compression – Your Mac will create a new compressed file with a “.zip” extension in the same location as the original file. The compressed file will have a smaller size than the original.

This method is particularly useful for reducing the size of large documents or folders containing multiple files. However, keep in mind that some file types may not compress significantly since they are already compressed by nature (e.g., MP3 audio files or JPEG images).

Method 2: Optimize Images

If you work with images and graphics, optimizing them can make a big difference in terms of file size without sacrificing too much quality. Follow these steps:

  1. Open image in Preview – Locate the image file on your Mac and double-click to open it in the Preview app.
  2. Access the Export menu – In the Preview menu bar, click on “File” and select “Export..” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Select format and adjust quality – In the Export dialog box, choose a format (e., JPEG) and adjust the quality slider according to your preference. Lowering the quality will reduce file size but may also affect image clarity.
  4. Save optimized image – Choose a destination folder and click “Save.” Preview will create a new optimized version of the image with a smaller file size.

This method is especially handy when you need to shrink large images for web use or email attachments. Experiment with different quality settings to find the right balance between file size and image clarity.

Method 3: Delete Unnecessary Files

In addition to compressing files and optimizing images, deleting unnecessary files is another effective way to free up space on your Mac. Here’s what you can do:

  • Empty Trash – Periodically empty your Trash bin by right-clicking on its icon in the Dock and selecting “Empty Trash.” This will permanently delete all items in the Trash.
  • Clean up Downloads folder – Go through your Downloads folder and delete any files that you no longer need.

    You’ll be surprised at how many large files accumulate there over time.

  • Delete unused applications – Uninstall applications that you no longer use. You can do this by dragging them from the Applications folder to Trash or using third-party uninstaller apps.

By regularly decluttering your Mac, you can keep your storage space optimized and prevent unnecessary file accumulation.


Now that you know how to make files smaller on your Mac, you can reclaim valuable disk space and keep your system running smoothly. Whether it’s compressing files, optimizing images, or deleting unnecessary files, these methods will help you free up storage and avoid running out of space. Remember to periodically check your files and folders to ensure you’re making the most of the available storage on your Mac.

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