5 Ways to Free Up Disk Space on A Mac

Just when larger hard drives actually became affordable, SSDs came out. Since SSDs over 256 GB are still expensive, we now have disk space problems again. If you’re looking to free up disk space on a Mac you’re probably trying to avoid the “startup disk is almost full” error or maybe you’ve already encountered it.

Luckily, there are a few easy ways to free up disk space on a Mac that will help you get more storage in no time. The most basic method would be to empty your trash cans and uninstall the apps you’re not using anymore before anything else. But this is something everyone knows how to do and what if you have no apps to uninstall, you’ve already emptied the trash cans and you still don’t have enough space? Keep reading and you’ll fix the problem in no time!

How to free up disk space on a Mac

Before we go over the methods you can use to reclaim some storage space on your Macbook, you should know there are all-in-one apps that can do most of the work for you. CleanMyMac 3 is a good one – it allows you to delete extra language files, temporary files, files left behind app uninstalls, uninstall applications, detect and remove Mail attachments, and other cleanup related tasks. Just make sure you backup your data before running any cleaning app – you wouldn’t want to lose anything important.

Get rid of duplicate files

If you’ve been using your Mac for a while you’ve probably amassed quite a few duplicate files and just thinking about manually removing them can bring a headache. However, you don’t need to go through all that trouble since there are apps such as Gemini 2 that can automatically detect and remove duplicate items stored on your computer.

The official website offers a free trial for the app, but you can also find it on the App Store.

Remove temporary files

Temporary files are stored on practically any computer and Macs are no exception. The operating system does have a built-in function of automatically deleting temporary files but specialized third-party apps do a more thorough job and usually detect more items.

To remove temporary files from your Mac, one of the easiest solutions is to use the popular CCleaner. Yes, there’s also a Mac version of the app so not only Windows users get to reap the benefits.

When using CCleaner keep in mind that clearing the browser cache might free up more space but those files allow web pages you’ve previously visited to load faster on future visits. Until the cache is restored, you may experience slower web page load times.

Analyze disk usage

There’s always a chance you might have some files you don’t need anymore but take a lot of storage space. To see how disk space is allocated and what files take the most of it, you will need a disk analysis utility. Disk Inventory X does the job nicely, allowing you to view the largest files and folders on your Mac’s hard drive.

If some of the large files you find are still useful but you don’t access them very often it might be worth it to move them to an external hard drive or storage device. Also, don’t be tempted to delete system files because it might break the functionality of your OS.

Delete language files

Mac OS X apps include language files for all supported languages. Whatever language you use on your computer, it’s probably just one so you don’t really need the others. The language files can take up hundreds of MBs which you can free in no time.

A free app called Monolingual makes this exceptionally easy. Sure, those language files won’t free up GBs but if you have a small SSD on your Mac and are always running out of free space it’s worth removing them. You weren’t using them anyway.

Remove large attachments in Mail app

The Mail app can be a real storage-drainer. Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve last cleaned Mail attachment from your hard drive, they might end up taking GBs of space. Firstly, you can remove them using a cleanup tool.

On top of that, you should change the Mail app settings to not download attachments automatically. This way, you can manually save only the files you actually need and save space.

There are some of the easiest ways to free up disk space on a Mac. Of course, there are other methods. For example, macOS Sierra has some new features for managing storage. Open the menu, select “About This Mac” then switch to the Storage tab.

There, you can use the “Store in iCloud” option to store your Documents, Desktop, Photos, and videos in iCloud instead of using the local storage. There’s also an option called “Optimize Storage” that deletes the iTunes TV shows and movies after you’ve watched them. Finally, the “Empty Trash Automatically” feature is also useful since it will clean old items from the trash that have been stored there for a month.

The Best Chrome PDF Extensions

There is an impressive amount of extensions designed for Google Chrome and there is no shortage of add-ons that can help you work with PDF documents in a more efficient manner. Today we’re going to talk about the best Chrome PDF extensions for all your PDF needs.

PDF extensions come with all sorts of handy features such as uploading your PDF files to the cloud, making it easier to read them in your Gmail inbox, saving web pages as PDF documents, and even fill PDF forms online.

The best Chrome PDF extensions

There are also extensions that allow you to bookmark PDFs so the next time you open them you can start reading from where you left off. With that said, here are the best Chrome PDF extensions we recommend.

Docs Online Viewer

Docs Online Viewer allows you to preview PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, Excel files, Word documents and other types of files directly in your browser so you won’t need to install apps for this purpose. It’s a small extension and having it installed will not impact your browser’s performance.

Kami – PDF and Document Markup

This PDF extension allows you to view, annotate and collaborate on PDF documents but also on other types of files such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Sheets. You just need to import a file from your Dropbox, Google Drive or Box cloud account or drag and drop one from your computer.

Then, you can use various annotation features, but also share, export and print your PDFs. Moreover, you can get many other useful features if you choose to upgrade to a premium plan, but the free version is quite functional as well.

PDF Buddy

If you need to view and edit PDF files online, PDF Buddy is a great solution. Once you upload a file, you can use a set of straightforward editing options. It’s possible to format the text, align paragraphs, change font colors, highlight text, and even add symbols and custom shapes among others.

PDFescape Free PDF Editor

This particular tool allows you to access and edit PDF files and forms in your Chrome browser. You can even use this extension to automatically open any PDF files you come across online and spare yourself the trouble of installing a supporting app for that.

Xodo PDF Viewer & Editor

This particular tool bundles a Chrome extension and app, which allows you to view, edit and annotate PDFs imported from your computer or from your Google Drive or Dropbox account. It has practical and essential features such as adding text, shapes, signatures, and callouts, collaborate, highlight text, add comments, as well as merge, print and sort pages.

Merge PDF – Split PDF

This extension lets you merge, and split PDF files, but also extract pages and convert them to JPGs. Once you finish processing the files, you can save them to your computer, Dropbox or Google Drive. You can also add bookmarks and create a table of contents for your files, as well as compress, crop and rotate PDFs.

PDF Converter

As it turns out, you don’t need to install an app on your computer to convert PDF files. You can use this handy Chrome extension instead. PDF Converter supports various file formats such as Word, Excel, HTML, image files, text files, Open Office, PowerPoint, and so on. The conversion process is super easy and works for locally stored files as well as PDFs from your Google Drive account. Once the conversion is complete, you can download the file or send it to Xodo for storage or further editing.

PDF Compressor

Local storage, cloud storage, sharing services and so on – they all have size limitations. If you need to shrink your PDF files you can rely on PDF Compressor for the purpose. You can use it to compress PDFs from your computer or from the cloud but it also includes a few extra features for merging, splitting and protecting documents.

These are some of the best Chrome PDF extensions you can try. I hope that by now, it’s pretty obvious working with PDF files is much easier once you have the right tools at your disposal.

This is the Samsung Galaxy S8 audio feature the iPhone 7 doesn’t have

The 3.5 mm headphone jack is not dead and the Samsung Galaxy S8 proves it. Although the iPhone 7 is a highly capable device, it’s not the headphone jack that gives the Samsung Galaxy S8 superior audio capabilities. Samsung’s latest flagship includes something else the iPhone 7 lacks – Bluetooth 5.0 – and it’s actually the first smartphone that has it.

Yes, we all loves our wired headphones or earbuds but the Galaxy S8 is ready for the wireless era. In fact, its Bluetooth 5.0 supports two pairs of wireless headphones or speakers at the same time.

The first smartphone with Bluetooth 5.0

So what’s the deal with Bluetooth 5.0? It’s a significant upgrade over Bluetooth 4.2 being twice as fast and having four times the range and eight times the broadcast message capability. These figures come directly from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, the organization that creates, licenses and sets standards for the Bluetooth wireless protocol.

While it’s great that Bluetooth 5.0 comes with additional bandwidth which would translate into more stable connections, let’s be honest and admit that even in 2017 Bluetooth connections are still somewhat unreliable. Nevertheless, theoretically, Bluetooth 5.0 allows a connection to be maintained up to approximately 800 feet away from the phone. In reality, the distance could be smaller depending on the environment.

What’s most important about Bluetooth 5.0 at the moment is the support for two wireless speaker or headphone connections. This allows for two people to listen to the same song using different hardware. For example, you could listen to a track on your speakers and a friend could hear the same song in the other room using a headset. Of course, this would also allow for two people to participate in a voice chat from just one Galaxy S8 device.

It’s worth noting that the Galaxy S8’s Bluetooth 5.0 only matters if the wireless devices you connect it to also have it. With Bluetooth 5 also being important for the connected home and IoT devices, it’s nice to know that as a Galaxy S8 owner, your smartphone is up to date with the latest standards. It’s also quite obvious we should expect to see Samsung releasing new headphones, speakers and other Bluetooth accessories with the 5.0 standard.

How to Check If Your ISP is Limiting Your Internet Connection

While there is no ISP that will officially admit this, some providers are known to throttle your Internet connection for specific types of traffic or behavior such as BitTorrent traffic or when you download too much data. So how can you check if your ISP is limiting your Internet connection?

Obviously, this can be done but you will need to run some tests – it’s not as easy as pushing a button.

How to check if your ISP is limiting your Internet connection

The two most common scenarios in which your ISP may slow down your Internet connection is if you download too much data in a month, or limiting BitTorrent traffic. Keep reading to find out what you need to do for both situations.

Limited bandwidth for using too much data

You may think that if you have an “unlimited” connection your ISP will never throttle it for downloading too much data but it’s still possible even though the threshold is usually quite large. There is no easy way to find out if your Internet provider enforces a connection speed limitation other than monitoring it over time.

It makes sense the limitation would happen toward the end of the month once you reach the “invisible” data cap and the speed should return to normal at the start of the next billing interval.

The easiest way to keep track of connection speed variations is using the SpeedTest website. Of course, you need to remember to perform this check on a regular basis (once a week should suffice), not just when you experience slow speed. Also, to ensure accurate results the test should be performed when your connection isn’t being used, including by other people.

The connection speed can also vary based on the time of day – during the night when fewer people are using the shared line, your connection will likely be faster compared to day time. And don’t be surprised if you’re not getting the maximum speed you’re paying for, that almost never happens.

ISPs can also prioritize traffic from SpeedTest to make it look like your connection is faster, even if it’s not.

Slow BitTorrent traffic

If you’re experiencing slow BitTorrent downloads you can monitor this traffic over time using a practical tool called Neubot. First, visit the link below to download Neubot (select the Windows version) then install it like any other application.

Once you’ve installed the app, you can launch it from the Start menu.

In the program’s window, select the Privacy tab and make sure all the options are checked then click on “Save”. This will provide Neubot with the permission it needs to gather and publish your Internet address online so it can be reused for research purposes. The app doesn’t work without these permissions.

Now you can manually start the tests – you just need to select the “speedtest” option under “Manually start test” then click “Go!”. This will allow the app to perform a standard HTTP speed test.

Then, you can select the “bittorrent” option and click “Go!” one more time for the app to perform a BitTorrent speed test. As always make sure there’s no one performing large downloads on your network before starting the tests.

Go to the “Results” tab to view the test results. Select the “speedtest” test type from the text field at the top of the window and click “Go!” to view the results of the HTTP speed test. The, you can do the same for the BitTorrent speed test by selecting “bittorrent” in the test box.

Finally, all you have left to do is compared the results of the two tests. Keep in mind they will always be somewhat different. What matters most if the speed difference between them is significant.

Furthermore, Neubot runs in the background and can run tests automatically at regular intervals. To get a more accurate idea of your HTTP and BitTorrent connection speeds it would be a good idea to leave the app installed and check the results every now and then. However, if you don’t want the app to keep monitoring your connection speed you can uninstall it from the Control Panel.

The Best Kodi Boxes to Buy in 2018

Kodi, formerly known as XMBC, is one of the best and most popular TV streaming apps right now. If you’re using it often you might want to buy a dedicated Kodi box. However, there are plenty of options which might make it difficult to choose one which is why we’re going to talk about the best Kodi boxes you can buy in 2018.

Kodi’s open-source nature and community-backed development ensured the app is available for a wide range of devices. Also, it can be customized using numerous skins and has expandable functionality thanks to the endless collection of add-ons you can find online.

If you’re using Kodi on a device that’s also used for something else, you already know that constantly connecting and disconnecting it can be a hassle. The solution would be to buy what is known as a Kodi box.

The best Kodi boxes to buy in 2018

So what is a Kodi box? It’s a device that you only use with Kodi. Once the Kodi download is complete and you install the app on the box it will remain under your TV only to be used for streaming purposes. Here are the best Kodi boxes you can choose from in 2018.

Amazon Fire TV

The Amazon Fire TV provides an excellent Kodi experience due to its processing power and 4K support which is significantly above the Amazon Fire TV Stick. for about $90 you can be sure Kodi will handle even resource-intensive skins and you can smoothly browse your streams without lag.

Nvidia Shield

If you have some money to spend and you want a truly powerful Kodi box, the Nvidia Shield is more than worth those $200. You get amazing performance, a controller and 16 GB of storage.

Furthermore, Nvidia Shield supports Dolby 7.1 surround sound, 4K streaming and Ultra HD streaming but also works as a gaming box allowing you to play the best Android games.

Raspberry Pi 3

The whole Raspberry Pi 3 package is about $50 which is amazing since it comes with a 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU and will allow Kodi to run flawlessly. We’d say this device is the winner if you need a budget Kodi box that can also be used for something else – remember the Raspberry Pi can be used for so many things – from using it as a phone to a custom CCTV camera.

Google Nexus Player

The Google Nexus Player was not one of Google’s most successful releases but the device is perfect as a reasonably priced Kodi box. It may not have support for 4K streaming but it does come with a 1.8 GHz quad-core processor so it will ensure you get an excellent Kodi experience no matter the skin or build you’re using. The Nexus Player is a discontinued product and you can find it for approximately $100 although prices will lower over time.

Seguro Trongle X4

The Seguro Trongle X4 is one of the best Kodi boxes for those on a tight budget. The Android device can be purchased for $40 and offers 4K support and a 2GHz quad-core CPU. You’re going to be surprised how small this device is and has built-in Wi-Fi which truth be told, is not the most reliable. Either way, if the Wi-Fi isn’t working you can always use the Ethernet connection instead.

Since this is an Android 6.0 device, it also includes the Google Play Store, so the Kodi download process is the same as for any other Android app. You can use this budget-box to stream 4K and 1080p content without issues, and it comes with a microSD card slot that supports up to 32 GB so you can even store content locally.

Razer Forge TV

If something is labelled Razer I immediately associated it with two words : “power” and “high-end”. The Razer Forge TV makes no exception. It has 16 GB of storage, 2 GB RAM and a 2.7 GHz quad-core processor. This is a pretty Sci-Fi TV box and it’s not even too expensive since you can find it for a little over $100. Nevertheless, it has a downside – there’s no 4K support. Even so, it’s an incredibly powerful box on which Kodi runs flawlessly so if you’re a performance freak this one is right up your alley.