Mac: If you've had a Mac for a long time, you might have a ton of stuff -- from podcasts to iOS apps -- set to download automatically. This is usually pretty pointless nowadays for most of us. Here's where to check to make sure you're not wasting precious hard drive space. There are two primary places where your Mac might be automatically downloading software: the Mac App Store and iTunes. If you're working on a Mac without a lot of hard drive space, space is limited, so you don't want to waste it on junk you don't need. So, it's worth double-checking to make sure you're not automatically downloading software, podcasts or videos you don't need.
Check App Store Downloads
- Head to System Preferences > App Store.
- Check your settings and uncheck any downloads you don't want. If you have a desktop and laptop, you might want to disable the "Automatically download apps purchased on other Macs" option on your laptop.
Disable Automatic Downloads in iTunes
- Open iTunes and head to iTunes > Preferences.
- Select the Store tab.
- Uncheck any boxes under Automatic Downloads that you don't want to download. For example, if you have an iOS device, you can pretty safely uncheck the Apps box. Doing so means you'll do all app updates and downloads directly on your phone and not in iTunes.
- If you don't use iTunes for podcasts, make sure iTunes is not downloading podcasts on its own just because you use Apple's podcast app on iOS (but really you should not be using Apple's podcast app). Back in iTunes, head over to the Podcasts tab. Uncheck the box next to "Automatically downloads new episodes for your subscriptions".
Obviously, only disable the stuff you don't need to automatically download, but there's a reasonable chance that if you're a long-time Mac owner you're still needlessly downloading stuff you don't really need any more because you've never gone in and disabled some of these.