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  1. #1
    How to free up disk space on a Mac
    I keep getting a message that the disk is full on my Mac running OSX. More than half of the disk space is occidental by "other." What is "other?" How can I free up some disk space?

  2. #2
    How to free up disk space on a Mac
    bobtomay's Avatar
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    You free up disk space by: a) deleting some of your data from the system drive or b) move data to an external drive.

    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/swi...-8-10-9-a.html

    Just exactly how much used and free space do you have?
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  3. #3
    How to free up disk space on a Mac
    MightyGem's Avatar
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    Use Grand Perspective to see your files. The bigger the square, the bigger the file.
    GrandPerspective

  4. #4
    How to free up disk space on a Mac
    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLVB32 View Post
    I keep getting a message that the disk is full on my Mac running OSX. More than half of the disk space is occidental by "other."
    Say what?
    If you do not have an external drive, then do you have TimeMachine set up to put backups on your main hard drive? (Ok, now someone is probably going to tell me that this is such a bad idea that Apple made it impossible...)

  5. #5
    How to free up disk space on a Mac
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toMACsh View Post
    Say what?
    If you do not have an external drive, then do you have TimeMachine set up to put backups on your main hard drive? (Ok, now someone is probably going to tell me that this is such a bad idea that Apple made it impossible...)
    No it's not impossible but it's not something the user has direct control over either. Recent iterations of Time Machine have a feature called "local snapshot" which is enabled if the OP has Time Machine running and is using a notebook.

    Time Machine includes a feature called "local snapshots" in OS X Lion and later. This feature keeps copies of files you create, modify or delete on your internal disk when your backup drive is not available.
    In theory these local snapshots are removed if the internal drive gets too full or when the external Time Machine drive is reconnected but the deletion doesn't happen immediately.

    See here for a description of when the snapshots are removed.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
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  6. #6
    Try these 5 things i do.
    1. Empty Your Trash Cans
    2. Uninstall Unused Applications
    3. Clear Temporary Files
    4. Analyze Disk Space
    5. Remove Language Files

  7. #7
    How to free up disk space on a Mac
    vansmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosario1990 View Post
    Delete unusual file from your Mac. Thus you can save disk space.
    I'd be careful with this - a lot of things appear "unusual" but are necessary for the operation of your Mac. For example, there's a kernel extension at /System/Library/Extensions/ called "Dont Steal Mac OS X.kext/." That kext is responsible for decrypting a whole collection of Apple provided software (crucial stuff like the Dock) so getting rid of it would be damaging. That's just one example.
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  8. #8
    How to free up disk space on a Mac
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Ditto. I meant to mention that in the other post.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  9. #9
    I have about 14 GB available and used 304 GB. I decided to get WhatSize after playing with the trial version a bit. Now how do I tell what files are needed and what aren't. For example, do I need previous systems.localized? There are at least 4 Libraries in different places. Are they all needed? Any advice on how to sift through all this info?
    Thanks!!

  10. #10
    How to free up disk space on a Mac
    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLVB32 View Post
    There are at least 4 Libraries in different places. Are they all needed? Any advice on how to sift through all this info?
    Yes, they have different purposes. Rule number one on deleting things: If you don't know what it does, leave it be!

  11. #11
    How to free up disk space on a Mac
    Spellbinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toMACsh View Post
    ...Rule number one on deleting things: If you don't know what it does, leave it be!
    Excellent advice. This advice applies to PC an GNU/Linux distributions as well.
    “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” - Frank Zappa

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  12. #12
    How to free up disk space on a Mac
    joema's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLVB32 View Post
    I keep getting a message that the disk is full on my Mac running OSX. More than half of the disk space is occidental by "other." What is "other?" How can I free up some disk space?
    Here's a brief podcast explaining how to use the built-in OS X tools to find where your hard drive space is going: MacMost Taking a Hard Drive Inventory

    I have also used Araxis Folder Size Explorer, which is simple to use: Araxis Folder Size Explorer

  13. #13
    How to free up disk space on a Mac
    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLVB32 View Post
    I have about 14 GB available and used 304 GB. I decided to get WhatSize after playing with the trial version a bit. Now how do I tell what files are needed and what aren't. For example, do I need previous systems.localized? There are at least 4 Libraries in different places. Are they all needed? Any advice on how to sift through all this info?
    Thanks!!
    Read this whole thing - twice - before you do anything below.

    I would strongly encourage you to backup your hard drive prior to doing anything.

    After you empty the trash, downloads folder... and are using WhatSize or one of the other similar apps.

    When you are running out of space on a drive, removing stuff that takes up MB of data does not help you - removing localization files that take up 1 GB of space does not help you. You need to get rid of 50-80 GB of stuff.

    Quit looking at system data - if you don't know what it is - you are not going to touch it
    And besides that, by the time you have a full drive, none of it takes up the amount of space you need to free up.

    You are going to have to delete personal data that "you" installed and know what it is...

    e.g. unused applications, games, movies, music, documents, etc.

    If you bought the newest version (6) of WhatSize, use the "Browser" view and head for the folders with the most space being used. In mine I can find WoW taking 30 GB, a couple of Steam games taking over 50 GB, a guitar lesson app taking 10 GB, GarageBand taking up 17 GB... Because I have well over 120 apps installed, I could probably find at least 10 apps taking 1 GB each that I haven't used in the past year.

    Also head for the lock at the top right of the Window and click on that, put in your password and have it run as administrator instead of user - you may need to click on the 'remeasure' button after doing so.

    Need to look in the root "Applications" folder and in your home folder...
    Applications
    Movies
    Music
    iTunes library
    Documents

    There are a few applications that install their data into the home folder/Library/Application Support
    Steam is the biggest culprit I've found of doing this, but, there are others.


    I will occasionally look at, but I do not use the cleaner, delocalizer nor the duplicates finder in WhatSize nor in any other app (except OnyX) that does those things - you are only asking for problems with your system at some point in time by using them.

    If you have no personal data you want to get rid of - then it is time for you to purchase a new larger drive to install in your computer.
    Last edited by bobtomay; 02-13-2015 at 06:06 AM. Reason: spelling
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
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  14. #14
    How to free up disk space on a Mac
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    Read this whole thing - twice - before you do anything below.

    I would strongly encourage you to backup your hard drive prior to doing anything.

    Quit looking at system data - if you don't know what it is - you are not going to touch it
    And besides that, by the time you have a full drive, none of it takes up the amount of space you need to free up.

    You are going to have to delete personal data that "you" installed and know what it is...

    e.g. unused applications, games, movies, music, documents, etc.


    If you have no personal data you want to get rid of - then it is time for you to purchase a new larger drive to install in your computer.
    Ditto. Can't stress this enough.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  15. #15
    How to free up disk space on a Mac
    Rod's Avatar
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    I agree wholeheartedly with all of the above. In my experience the files using up the most space are media files in particular movies and large games. These can easily be moved to an external drive as movies are mostly self contained files. Games, although they have lots of associated files should mostly be in a single folder. After getting files onto an external drive do a search to ensure you don't have copies in other formats of the same file, e.g. a movie in mp4 as well as avi format.
    Although some members frown on memory cleaning apps and rightly so because there are some very harmful ones out there I personally can recommend CleanMyMac 2. I have been using it since inception in 2009 on 5 consecutive Mac Book's with never a problem. It is a pay for app but I have found MacPaw (the developers) very good with updates and easy to deal with in general especially support. It has some very handy features such as listing large files in order of size and how long since they have been used. It also can remove leftovers from previously removed apps. It can clean up iPhoto duplicates, broken preferences, updated files, and remove unwanted language files as well(if desired). In total it has removed 286.64 Gb of unwanted stuff from my current 2012 MBP. You can have complete control of what this app does but I now use it on Auto Clean without concern.
    It is true that what CMM2 does can be done manually but if you want an easier way and you don't wish to learn a lot of new skills this is definitely the simple way. But first BACKUP everything.
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