An easy way to free up space in OSX Yosemite

So for those of us out there using SSD drives (Solid State Drives) to boot up our macs, which is most of us these days, at the very least for our Startup Disks, you generally have less space than the good old days, so really need to make sure that you don’t waste any space on redundant items.

The average is a 256GB SSD, and as a general rule you need at least 10% free to run at full capacity, and I would generally recommend at least 20% to guarantee performance, especially if you use large Photoshop files, or even use a lot of web browsers with a lot of tabs open.

I was looking through my hard drive for large files and this got my attention immediately as it was the largest folder in my Library folder.

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DICTATION & TEXT TO SPEECH

One of the interesting new features of OSX Yosemite is the “Dictation & Speech” function which allows you to either talk  to your computer and it be converted into text, or it reads text to you. Unless you have a visual impairment, you will be excited by the first one initially, nut in actually fact will probably play with the second option more, at least once when you first get your new OS (it is actually quite fun).

You may forget about that day and carry on with your life never to use it again in many cases.

You can find the “Dictation & Speech” preferences in the “System Preferences” Control Panel.

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DICTATION

Dictation allows you to talk to your mac and have it write down what you say. You can choose to do it live over the internet or allow it to download fully and

TEXT TO SPEECH

This is generally for the hearing impaired, but its always fun to play around with these. You may not realize that each one you use can take up to 400Mb on your hard drive.

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DELETING DICTATION VOICES

This will delete the accents the computer understands. Its about your voice here. im guessing you only need 1, unless you like to talk in silly voices to your computer.

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DELETING SPEECH VOICES

You can turn off the voices, which will then ask you to delete them, but in my experience it did not actually do so. Please see the next section to find out how to manually delete and check how much space you can retrieve.

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 WHERE IS THIS DATA SAVED

You can either use the System Preferences area to delete them, but this doesn’t always work. To make sure, you should check this folder

/System/Library/Speech/

You can see the path at the bottom of the window. Voices are the ones that read to you and will be the most significant in size. I completely deleted the recognizer as it was also large, and its easy to re-download anytime by enabling dictation at a later date. I find that method of writing less eloquent than my typing method. I like the “Lee” voice so i left that one available, so in the end it takes up only 421.7Mb, a total saving of over 2.5GB.

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I managed to get about 2.5GB back, as i had experimented with about 10 different voices. Now to find something else to delete.

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Thanks for reading, and food luck freeing up more space.