You can’t avoid it – EVERYTHING is moving to the cloud. Most people are introduced to the cloud via personal/business cloud storage services like Apple iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, and a host of other services that stores and syncs your files across all your devices. The cloud storage services are ideal for people who need access to their files no matter where they are (or what device they’re using), as well as the ability to share files with teams, co-workers, and employees.
That all sounds hunky dory right (not sure why I used hunky dory, but whatever)? But I want to share with you ONE misconception about cloud storage that may be causing an issue with your computer.
Cloud Storage Takes Up Space On Your Computer
Most people think that when they “upload” files to the cloud, those files are no longer on their computer. WRONG – All cloud
storage synchronization services do is make the files that are currently on your computer, available on other devices people you share those files with.
Sure, if you lose your computer or it gets stolen, you still have a COPY of your files that are synchronized with the cloud for easy access or for download when you replace your computer, but those files are saved to your computer.
Why is this important?
For example, I offer Mac (and PC, I guess…) Cleanup services where I walk users through identifying, organizing, and cleaning up the files on their computer to recoup space and speed up & their computer. During MOST of those sessions, clients don’t know why their computer storage is almost full.
After investigation, I find the culprit – They THINK they’re saving space by storing their files “in the cloud”. So I have to break this concept of cloud synchronization down so they understand those files are still taking space on their computer, which could be the reason why their computer is running slow – TOO MUCH STUFF ON IT.
What you can do about it?
Now that we’ve established that files “in the cloud” are ALSO on your computer, you have to treat them like any other file on your computer. You simply have to make sure the files you’re currently storing to your computer (pictures, videos, movies, documents…and cloud synchronization files – Notice I’m not using the term “cloud storage” anymore) are files you’re actively using on a regular basis.
If not, you need create a process for organizing and archiving those files. Not only will this recoup precious storage space on your computer and “in the cloud”, it will keep your computer optimized and possibly speed it up – No more “spinning wheel of death”.
To accomplish this task, you will have to put in some time to:
- Organize current files
- Archive old files and move them off your computer
When that is complete, you can use tools like your Mac’s built in Manage Storage Tool to find additional storage (Must be on macOS X Sierra or higher). The next level up is using a 3rd-party tool like the (BrothaTech recommeded) CleanMyMac to dig even deeper into your Mac to uncover more storage space, as well as help you optimize and protect your computer.
Finally, If you would just prefer to “leave it to the pros”, you can always #HollaAtMe and let me walk you through the process of getting your computer back up the speed.