How to Free Up 3GB of Hard Drive Space on Your Mac In 2 Minutes

Let’s face it, hard drives are getting bigger all the time, and the chance we’ll fill one up is low. We still don’t want them to be full of extra, unnecessary files, though! Luckily there’s a quick and easy way you can free up a whopping 3 gigabytes (that’s 3000 megabytes! - give or take) in just a minute or two.

The Target: Printer Drivers!

What, you may ask, is using 3 gigabytes of space yet has no use to us? Here’s the culprit:

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Licensed under Creative Commons. Credit to liewcf.

Yes, printer drivers! We all typically only have one printer or tend to stick to one brand of printer, yet Mac OS X comes with a whopping 3 gigabyte of printer drivers for all sorts of models. This is so that when you buy a printer, you can get up and running instantly without having to download and install a driver. If you are convinced, however, that you’re never going to need drivers for a different brand of printer, you can safely delete those belonging to other brands.

Warning and Disclaimer!

You are DELETING STUFF. If you follow the instructions you will see just what you are deleting and be able to decide if it is the right thing for you to do. We are not responsible if you accidentally delete an essential file (although it is possible to recover from almost any situation!) If you ARE going to need a wide collection of printer drivers and you’re not sure you’ll be able to download them, you might want to skip this tutorial. But for 99% of users this isn’t the case.

Just.. be careful :)

How to Delete Those Pesky Drivers

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1. Open up Finder (click on the smiley face on your Dock).

2. Navigate to your main hard drive (Macintosh HD, by default).

3. Navigate to Library.

4. Navigate to Printers.

5. Make a note of which brand of printer you are currently using. So, if you have an Epson printer, you don’t want to delete the Epson drivers. If you have a Canon printer, you don’t want to delete those..

6. Right click upon and select Delete for all of Brother, Canon, EPSON, FujiXerox, Gestetner, hp, Lexmark, RICOH, Samsung, and Xerox. Do NOT select other folders or files or you may cause problems! Also remember NOT to delete the folder for your printer vendor (e.g. EPSON or Canon).

Checking the Space Used

If you want to see just how much space the Printer folder is using (or any other folder, for that matter), you can use “Get Info” (Cmd+I while a folder is selected, or right click and choose “Get Info.”) On a full Printers folder this gives the following result:

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Even if you leave a few different manufacturers’ drivers intact, you’re still going to be walking away with a free gigabyte or two! For example, the Xerox folder is 207 megabytes (approx), Lexmark is 311 megabytes, and EPSON is a whopping 1.41 gigabytes on its own! Even if you want to play it safe and know you will not ever use an Epson printer, just delete the Epson folder and that’s 1.41 gigabytes freed, just like that.

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Comments (3)

To all those who are reading this article, thank you! It is VERY early days for MacYay but I’m focusing on providing ultra high quality tutorials and tips primarily for Mac beginners (or just people who don’t want to feel stupid when reading technical stuff) and hope you’ll check out the few other pieces here and hopefully subscribe for the future :)

Peter Cooper — February 13th, 2008

This is epic win!

Robby — November 26th, 2008

Hey cool idea, thank you! I’m always looking for ways to rid my system of unused files. I try to keep m OS drive as clean as possible. If you have more tips send them my way.

Thank you,

Kevin Ball

kevin ball — November 30th, 2008

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