macOS 12 Monterey: Do you have enough space on the Mac hard drive?

With new generations of computers, newer, larger memories come along. SSD hard drives with several terabytes (TB) of capacity are no longer uncommon. And the operating systems for Mac, PC and Co. are getting bigger and bigger. So if you are not buying a new computer, you have to make sure that you B. There is enough space on the Mac hard drive to upgrade to macOS 12 Monterey. But how much memory does macOS Monterey actually need? And what options are there for allocating the required storage space on the Macintosh HD? Here are the answers to these questions.

How much memory does macOS 12 Monterey need on the Mac hard drive? According to most sources, you should keep at least 20 GB free. You can find out how to clear the Mac hard drive here.

How much memory does macOS 12 Monterey need on the Mac hard drive? According to most sources, you should keep at least 20 GB free. You can find out how to clear the Mac hard drive here.

How much storage space does macOS Monterey need?

The presented at WWDC21 Mac operating system macOS 12 Monterey brings new functions and a revised look to Apple computers, such as the Mac, the iMac, the Mac mini and the MacBook models from Air to Pro. Depending on the current one Beta version you can assume a download that is over 14 GB in size. Some sources recommend at least 20 GB of free storage space for the new Mac operating system in 2021. So you should have at least 20 GB free on the storage medium on which the macOS you are currently using is installed. You can find out how much space is available like this:

  1. Click on the in the menu bar Apple icon ()
  2. Select the first point from the drop-down menu About this Mac from
  3. Now click on the tab hard drivesto view the memory allocation
In the "About this Mac" menu of macOS you can find out how much memory is used and how much memory is free via the "Hard drives" tab. This is how you can plan the macOS upgrade to version 12 Monterey.

In the "About this Mac" menu of macOS you can find out how much memory is used and how much memory is free via the "Hard drives" tab. This is how you can plan the macOS upgrade to version 12 Monterey.

Overview: All macOS versions with names and numbers

Free up Mac memory for the macOS upgrade: Here's how!

Do you use one older Mac compatible with Monterey and which has little storage space left by storing various documents, apps, photos, music albums and the like, there are several options for cleaning up. You can delete duplicate files and apps that are no longer used with the linked files and system folders by using CleanMyMac X (here the website). The cleanup tool for Mac also offers the ability to clean up photos, email attachments, iTunes junk and more. Especially when it comes to apps, photos, videos, music and the like, a few gigabytes quickly accumulate that can be cleaned up.

Another way to free up storage space for the Mac upgrade to macOS Monterey with 20 GB of free storage as a recommendation is to store documents, pictures, videos, music and the like. Large hard drives to which you can move entire holiday albums, music collections and film archives can be found, for example, with the WD hard drives My Book, My Passport, My Passport Ultra and Elements. You can find out what makes the difference here: Difference between WD My Book, WD My Passport, WD My Passport Ultra, and WD Elements. A large hard drive will also help you make a backup before upgrading to Monterey. Don't forget the backup for me!

What is your strategy for the upcoming upgrade of the Mac to macOS Monterey and the required free space? Feel free to leave a comment on the topic :)

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  1. Beatrice Willius says:

    According to Michael Tsai, BS and Monterey need at least 50 GB of free disk space to install new versions. This is real disk space and not the value you see in the Finder. macOS creates TimeMachine snapshots there (even if no TimeMachine is used on the computer). There are also downloads and other junk.

    With DaisyDisk and similar programs this should be deleted before an installation. According to DaisyDisk, I have 70 GB of garbage on the disk again.

    Incidentally, the issue of free disk space affects the small bug fix releases, because they have always brought macOS with them since OS. For security or something.

    CleanMyMac is overpriced and doesn't do much more than I can do by hand.

    The blog told me that I am typing too fast. Head on desk!

    • Johannes Domke says:

      Hello Beatrix,

      thanks for the additional information!

      Best regards

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hi Beatrix! You type too fast for spam detection ... only a bot can type that fast. 😂 And yes, I think CMM is nothing for you ... but for many users who just want to press buttons, the tool is quite helpful. It also snaps out half-finished local backups of iPhone and iPad etc ... as a rule, no normal user answers. I have Setapp anyway and it comes with it, which is very convenient.

  2. Paul says:

    Thank you. Got app cleaner & uninstaller, also very good tool. Have a minimal memory, never made a backup (!) And always upgraded except for Mojave. But today with the Monterey it brought me down .... (hi) .... Nevertheless, the Mac always starts from the last position: great!

  3. Klaus says:

    You always write from memory during installation.

    1. How much memory should be free to work properly with Monterey?

    2. I'm just saying, stay away from tools like CleanMyMac. You don't repair your systems with this, you destroy them.

    3. I can also recommend the App Cleaner & Uninstaller. It's good and doesn't go too deep into the system.

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Klaus! Thanks for your comment. I would like to go into this shortly:

      1. I once heard somewhere that you should have at least 20-30 GB free on the system volume so that the Mac runs properly and has enough space for temporary files. Of course, the value can quickly become invalid if you work in Photoshop with files that already have several GB. Or if you cut videos etc... then the Mac quickly needs significantly more storage space on the volume to cache things.

      2. I know there are people who have had bad experiences with CleanMyMac and similar programs, but I've been using CleanMyMac in particular for years and it hasn't once broken my Mac. But that's like religion: everyone can hold it however they want. I find the program helpful, but I can understand why people don't install it... so we don't have to have a discussion about it.

      3. Yes, App Cleaner and Uninstaller are both good. You just have to be careful that they don't "catch too much". For example, if you have many Adobe programs installed and throw one away, it may be that the App Cleaner also throws settings files from other Adobe apps in the bin. But I haven't tried that yet.

  4. Klaus says:

    Thanks for the replies.

    1. So you can't take that as a guide like you used to. E should already be more than 30 GB free when using large data on the disk.

    2. I didn't want to start a discussion either, I just wanted to share my point of view. Years ago, the entire system with the basic settings of the program crashed several times. Maybe it's improved now.

    3. There have never been any problems with the basic settings.

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