OS X Yosemite – Preparing to upgrade my Macbook OS

Well, I decided it was time to get ready for the latest Apple MAC OS 10.10. I’ve been running a variety of Apple operating systems since I first got my Macbook Pro in 2008. Of course, that system is still working great, but won’t be able to upgrade from the current version: 10.9 (OSX Mavericks). So that machines can’t be updated this time around, but my Macbook Air can. So my preparation begins.
OS X 10.10 Yosemite My current Macbook Air has a 256GB SSD hard drive. It’s not the largest that will fit in this machine yet I don’t want to open it up to replace a HD. My issue is that it is full. I need space! Once I’m done calculating my drive space: music, photos, videos, work documents, songs, etc I am out of room. I literally get the System Full message weekly. Not good for my system either. So it’s time to DELETE.

As I prepare for OS X Yosemite, I realize I will need to clear out about 10GB of space. That is conservative because previous upgrades were slightly larger. It isn’t as easy as hitting delete either, so I will begin today to make room for the new features, bells & whistles I must not be able to live without. Here’s some quick things that helped me. Hope they help those too in a precarious situation: keep or delete.

First, I begin with a look at the folders I have on my system. This time around, I realized that I had the DEVELOPER folder for Xcode still installed. No longer needing it, I deleted it right away. Net result: 1.3GB

Next, I ran one of my favorite tools: Gemini. It scans your HD looking for duplicated. Low and behold, I found some bible teaching albums in iTunes that I also had backed up on my drive. Went into iTunes and deleted the folders individually. Result: 3GB

Note: if you add an album from another folder, it will become a duplicate files as iTunes contains the new tracks. You can also safely delete the original tracks as well once iTunes adds them.

Another tool I use to visualize my drive is OmniDiskSweeper. I used to use a more visual tool, but this seems to give me the best access to these larger files and folders. You can find it in the App Store.

I only recently realized that a complete backup of your i-devices can be really large folders. I mean really large. Deleting my iPad backup and I gain 8GB. Tempting…

If you use cloud-backups such as Dropbox or OneDrive, you may think you’ve moved folders or files from your computer to the cloud but often times you will have them on your HD plus in the cloud. You’ll have to stop the sync between them and remove the folder from your computer to lose the duplicate nature of those folders. Use with caution. My gain was 500MB

Do I need to keep deleting? Perhaps I will have to clean up my computer even further than I have today. One tool I love is CleanMyMac 2.0 – definitely worth the investment. It finds all sorts of goodies like language files (Russian, Arabic, Spanish, etc) that I don’t need – so hit scan and clean and they are gone. This didn’t help me this time around

Finally, you can use ONYX for a squeaky clean setup prior to the upgrade. This eliminates caches, history folders, user preferences and all sorts of system clutter. Use with caution as you can easily be overly aggressive with this tool. The other tool they make is called Maintenance and is highly recommended as well. This would be a finishing touch before you hit UPDATE.


Yosemite Apple Macbook & iMacAs of this post, there are no official space requirements posted by Apple for the final release version of Yosemite OSX. If you’ve upgraded your OSX before through the App Store, you may remember the space needed for Mavericks was close to 11-13GB. The clean install of Mavericks was 11GB. The previous version required 16GB. So we are hopeful this one will be below 10 but I won’t hold my breath.

Comparison: If you are a Windows user, version 7 required 20GB and Windows 8 increased to approx. 24GB. So be grateful your requirements with a Mac is only 10ish GBs.

Compatible Macs able to upgrade to Yosemite:

  • iMac (Mid-2007 or later)
  • MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
  • MacBook Pro / MBP (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
  • MacBook Air / MBA (Late 2008 or later)
  • Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

Basic Yosemite Requirements:
Mac needs at least 2GB of RAM, 8GB of available storage and at least OS X 10.6.8 already installed.

If you’re really lazy, you could dump nonessential folders onto an external HD and then move them back when your upgrade is complete.

Important: Perform a Time Machine backup once your machine is clean. Then and only then proceed to upgrading your OS X.

Always be cautious deleting & cleaning up your machine. And good luck with the OS X (10.10) Yosemite upgrade!

UPDATE: The new Yosemite is really slick. It took me about 20 minutes to update my 2011 & 2008 machine. Yes, my old late 2008 Macbook Pro was available for the update for free. AWESOME.

What I noticed when I went to download was the warning tell me what the actual space requirements were for Yosemite. Drum Roll….

Yosemite OS X 10.10 Requirements

Just 4.81 GB required for this upgrade. Loving Apple today. Very slick guys. Loving Yosemite and all it has to offer. At some point I will see what the actual effect of the upgrade was on space but for now, it’s great. Loving the integration and once iOS 8.1 is released, complete tie-in features will be available.