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  1. #1
    SSD File Size Difference
    KennyC's Avatar
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    SSD File Size Difference
    I'm trying to figure out why when I open about this Mac then storage under documents is shows 41.83gb but when I'm in finder and pull info on my document folder it only shows 2.9gb which is the amount I migrated over from win box which is what I have in my saved documents.

    Any ideas or what would cause this?
    Kenny

  2. #2
    SSD File Size Difference
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    What's in the Trash? Things in Trash are not actually deleted from the drive until you empty the Trash. Also, do you have Time Machine turned on but the backup drive not attached? If so, then Time Machine is making snapshots every hour.
    Jake

  3. #3
    I believe the Document category you're seeing under About My Mac is not referring to the Documents folder, but all file types that are considered documents, regardless of where they are located on your SSD.
    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) - 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5

  4. #4
    SSD File Size Difference
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Jonathan, good analysis. That never occurred to me.
    Jake

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    I believe the Document category you're seeing under About My Mac is not referring to the Documents folder, but all file types that are considered documents, regardless of where they are located on your SSD.
    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Jonathan, good analysis. That never occurred to me.
    When I got home from work, I checked on my Mac, and to my surprise, macOS is categorizing all sorts of files as "documents" that I would never label as such:



    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) - 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5

  6. #6
    SSD File Size Difference
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Those look like Finder windows and if so, are just what files are stored in your "Documents" folder. Not categorized by macOS, just what you put into that folder. That "Documents" folder is yours to use any way you want. I see Music and Pictures and Movies, which, if you want to, can be moved to your Home folder (the one with your login name), but which will be just fine where they are if you don't want to do that move. "Documents" is a folder created for each user, under that user account name, for that user to put whatever they want. If you want to use a subfolder for what YOU think are documents, you could do that, give it any name you want and move what you think are "documents" into that folder. So you could have a folder named "Documents" inside the Documents folder, or you can call it "Word processing" or "Text files" or whatever you want. Or you could have folders for "Work," "Home," "Vacation," "Texas" or whatever you think you want to group together.

    Now, if you ask Finder to find files where "Kind" is "Documents" it will include all sorts of things because it does consider as a "document" any file that does not fit into some other category like Application, System, Music, etc.

    Apple has a document on Finder here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201732

    EDIT: Follow some of the links in that article, too, to get more information on advanced uses. You can also check at Apple.com under Support and click on the spyglass icon and search for things like "Smart Folders" and "Searching" to see what Apple has published.
    Jake

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Those look like Finder windows and if so, are just what files are stored in your "Documents" folder. Not categorized by macOS, just what you put into that folder. That "Documents" folder is yours to use any way you want. I see Music and Pictures and Movies, which, if you want to, can be moved to your Home folder (the one with your login name), but which will be just fine where they are if you don't want to do that move. "Documents" is a folder created for each user, under that user account name, for that user to put whatever they want. If you want to use a subfolder for what YOU think are documents, you could do that, give it any name you want and move what you think are "documents" into that folder. So you could have a folder named "Documents" inside the Documents folder, or you can call it "Word processing" or "Text files" or whatever you want. Or you could have folders for "Work," "Home," "Vacation," "Texas" or whatever you think you want to group together.

    Now, if you ask Finder to find files where "Kind" is "Documents" it will include all sorts of things because it does consider as a "document" any file that does not fit into some other category like Application, System, Music, etc.

    Apple has a document on Finder here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201732

    EDIT: Follow some of the links in that article, too, to get more information on advanced uses. You can also check at Apple.com under Support and click on the spyglass icon and search for things like "Smart Folders" and "Searching" to see what Apple has published.
    That's not my Documents folder. Those screenshots are from the System Information App, and that's what macOS is categorizing as "Documents" when I go to:

    Apple Menu > About This Mac > click "Manage..." next to Macintosh HD

    Lots of those files are definitely not in my Documents folder. And as you can see from the second screen shot, it's including music, movies, and photos as "documents." Yet if you look over on the left, it also seems to ALSO categorize these same files under "iTunes," "Music Creation," "Photos," etc. Really confusing to me. They seem to be using "Documents" as a super-heading over all these things.
    Last edited by usagora; 12-27-2018 at 09:34 PM.
    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) - 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5

  8. #8
    SSD File Size Difference
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    OK, so in that view anything not categorized by the other categories in the bar display is included. And that includes ALL files in EVERY location on the ENTIRE drive, not just your files, so system files, system images, system sounds, etc, all get categorized as "documents" because they aren't applications, or Photos, or whatever else is categorized on the bar display. Also, that particular display is notoriously inaccurate and not really of any useful purpose to the user because it looks at the ENTIRE drive and not just the User's files.

    What is useful about "About This Mac" is the System Report that will tell you what hardware is installed and some high level information about the system when you need to do diagnostics. Otherwise, beyond the About This Mac initial window, none of the rest is that key. And the Storage information is, as I said, notoriously inaccurate from any user point of view.
    Jake

  9. #9
    It's still weird, though, because the bar display shows, for example, "Documents" and "iTunes" as two separate entities, yet when you click on "Manage..." all the files in my Music folder--as you can see from my second screen shot above--are categorized under "Documents," not "iTunes" - so it's like it's double-counting files. If you click on "iTunes" (on the sidebar in either of those screenshots), it lists no files, but says 48.05 GB. That GB count sounds accurate for the music and movies I have included in iTunes, but these are of course in my Music folder under Music > iTunes > iTunes Media.

    Oh well, I don't really care. Just never noticed the confusing categorization there before.
    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) - 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5

  10. #10
    SSD File Size Difference
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    As I said, it's notoriously inaccurate and, IMHO, useless. Look at the sidebar in the images you posted. It lists Applications, Books, iCloud Drive, IOS files, iTunes, Mail, Messages, Music Creation, Photos and Trash, along with Documents, So if any files is NOT one of the first ten categories, it gets dumped into Documents. Now, you may ask why it double counts. Because it's notoriously inaccurate. I don't know anybody that uses that display for anything, ever. So my suggestion is that you just forget about it and join the rest of us in ignoring that particular display.
    Jake

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    As I said, it's notoriously inaccurate and, IMHO, useless. Look at the sidebar in the images you posted. It lists Applications, Books, iCloud Drive, IOS files, iTunes, Mail, Messages, Music Creation, Photos and Trash, along with Documents, So if any files is NOT one of the first ten categories, it gets dumped into Documents. Now, you may ask why it double counts. Because it's notoriously inaccurate. I don't know anybody that uses that display for anything, ever. So my suggestion is that you just forget about it and join the rest of us in ignoring that particular display.
    I agree - I don't remember the last time I even looked at it before today. Only did so today because the OP brought it up
    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) - 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5

  12. #12
    SSD File Size Difference
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Well, in the case of the OP, in addition to the inaccuracy of the display itself, it also includes everything from the entire disk, not just the User files. So as the OP said, when he looks at that inaccurate display it seems to have 41 GB, but in HIS Documents folder there are only 3 GB. The 41 is ALL objects defined as "documents" and his "Documents" folder is whatever he put there. So in the About This Mac display it may include some, but not all, of the files in the user's Documents folder, and includes a lot of files NOT in the user's area at all. The two are apples and oranges.
    Jake

  13. #13
    SSD File Size Difference
    KennyC's Avatar
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    Thanks you both for the explanation. Just was concerned because of just a 256 SSD, once I get my external setup I'll be able to move some things and just run from the external.
    Kenny

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