About this Mac question...

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I have a 3 year old MacBook Air with a 120GB drive and About My Mac shows the following:

Audio-52 mb

Movies 20.3 GB

Photos 11.9 GB

Apps 7.47 GB

Backup 228.5 MB

and OTHER- 20.4 GB

Totaled 60 Gigs used, 60 Gigs free.

My question(s) are:

1) What is OTHER and how may I reduce it?

2) I have NO movies on this machine that I know of, certainly not 20 gigs worth. Please suggest the best way to track down these "movies" :)

I'd like to reduce the OTHER if possible and also get rid of the movies....I find that the less I store on this little machine the faster it runs.

TIA, as always!

Cheers!

Pat
 
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Hello Pat - basically, the 'Other' represents files on your computer that do not fit into the named categories (the list is long and many relate to the OS) - review this Apple Support Article for more information.

Now, deletion of 20 GBs of movies would clear up some storage! :) I'm assuming that you've looked in the Movies folder in Finder and found none? Also, check your trash if not recently emptied. In addition, you could use a 'Disk Usage Utility', such as Disk Inventory X or WhatSizeMac (which is on my Macs) to track down their location on your HD.

Finally, you might want to do some 'house cleaning' (e.g. clearing out browser caches, old messages, etc.) - if so, Onyx is recommended on the forum (just DL the correct version for your OS X) - beware of using other 'cleaners' or ask here first - Dave
 
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Download and run Onyx, getting the version for whatever operating system you are using which you have not shared otherwise would have provided a link.
 
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Thanks, Rad_ Dave and harry.

I am sorry for not including my OS-- 10-9.5 Mav. Doh! Another Homer Simpson moment.

Dave..I got to looking through the Finder and I did have a "secret file" with a lot of Go Pro movies I've shot and I could have sworn I moved them off onto external drives but they must have 'copied' instead.

Trash is empty. Found a ton of downloaded photos off the net and cleaned them all off and my OTHER file shrank about 2.5 gigs. And re-emptied the trash.

Curiously, after moving the 11 gigs of hidden movies and the 2.5 gigs of jpegs, I am still only showing 60 gigs free...and something else occurred.

Originally I posted I had 228 megs of backups. After cleaning up things, emptying the trash, (and Harry, I did a complete backup BEFORE starting any of this, onto an external drive), About my Mac is now telling me I have 20 GIGS of backups onboard now. WTH happened there? :)

It seems every time I come here with one question, it gets answered quickly and usually completely but it always leads to more questions. :)

I do have Onyx (forgot about it) and will dust it off now and look around a bit.

Thanks again, you two!

Cheers!

Pat
 
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I am sorry for not including my OS-- 10-9.5 Mav. Doh! Another Homer Simpson moment.

Dave..I got to looking through the Finder and I did have a "secret file" with a lot of Go Pro movies I've shot and I could have sworn I moved them off onto external drives but they must have 'copied' instead.

Trash is empty. Found a ton of downloaded photos off the net and cleaned them all off and my OTHER file shrank about 2.5 gigs. And re-emptied the trash.

Curiously, after moving the 11 gigs of hidden movies and the 2.5 gigs of jpegs, I am still only showing 60 gigs free...and something else occurred.

Hi again Pat - so, are the 'hidden' movies & JPEGs off of your HD? If so, you should be showing more 'free' space; you might want to re-boot the computer and then use 'Disk Utility' to see how much free space is now available.

Originally I posted I had 228 megs of backups. After cleaning up things, emptying the trash, (and Harry, I did a complete backup BEFORE starting any of this, onto an external drive), About my Mac is now telling me I have 20 GIGS of backups onboard now. WTH happened there? :)

Not sure about your 'backups' expanding that much unless all of those movie & pics files are still on your HD in another category - but check that again & see what happens after a reboot - Dave :)
 
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Try hitting Erase Free Space in Disk Utility.
 
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Where are you backing up TO? (bad grammar but you know what I mean) External? What backup software (TM? CCC? Other?)
 
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Try hitting Erase Free Space in Disk Utility.

Hi Harry - your suggestion piqued my interest, so I went to DU on my MBPro and went to 'Erase' and was presented the image below w/ most of the options 'greyed out' - now I'm an Administrator and was not asked to enter a password - curious why? Dave :)
.

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 6.33.58 PM.png
 
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Why not password, or why greyed out? The answer to the first is that you haven't done anything requiring access, yet. All you've done is get to the panel. Greyed out is because ALL of those actions cannot be changed on the drive from which your are booted. You have one drive, so it's the boot drive and unchangeable.

EDIT: Changed some to ALL.
 
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Why not password, or why greyed out? The answer to the first is that you haven't done anything requiring access, yet. All you've done is get to the panel. Greyed out is because ALL of those actions cannot be changed on the drive from which your are booted. You have one drive, so it's the boot drive and unchangeable.

Thanks Jake - SO, I'd have to boot my CCC clone and then use 'Disk Utility' on my laptop's HD - just wanted to clarify the issue for the OP since I'm assuming that he might be unaware of this need?

Now, another question - if done, what does 'Erase Free Space' accomplish - still trying to learn - Dave :)
 
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Erase Free Space is supposed to overwrite all "empty" space on the drive so that erased files are not recoverable. And it should be un-greyed, so you CAN do that from the boot drive, apparently (at least in Yosemite). I don't know why Harry suggested it to the OP, as it only touches the "empty" space on the drive. Empty space shows as empty (d'oh) and therefore isn't going to touch any space that is showing as being used. What I suspect is happening (and it's just a guess) is that the OP is using Time Machine and the backup drive is not connected, or not mounted, so when TM is scheduled to make a backup (default is once per hour), it cannot find the drive so it makes a "snapshot" on the drive to hold until it can find the backup drive again. There are two solutions, if that is the problem: 1. Connect and leave connected the backup drive or 2) turn off Time Machine when the drive is not connected and only turn it on for the backup when connected. There are also third party products that let you adjust the time between backups to more than the 1 hour max TM permits. I use one to turn on TM twice a day, noon and midnight, for backups, and my backup drive is always attached and mounted.
 
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Erase Free Space is supposed to overwrite all "empty" space on the drive so that erased files are not recoverable. And it should be un-greyed, so you CAN do that from the boot drive, apparently (at least in Yosemite). I don't know why Harry suggested it to the OP, as it only touches the "empty" space on the drive........

Hi again Jake - sorry to be a bother on this issue but just trying to understand the behavior on my MBPro - the reason my options are 'greyed out' in Disk Utility is because the computer has an SSD drive and the feature has been disabled by Apple; I suspect our OP's MBAir also has a flash memory drive and erasing 'free space' is just not a choice; information HERE for those interested. Dave :)
 
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Dave, I have an SSD as boot drive and a second one installed in the optical bay, and the option is NOT greyed out on my machine on the boot SSD. Must be something else going on in your machine. I'd never use it on an SSD as it just wastes writes, but it's there. What is interesting is that as I said on my boot SSD it's not greyed out, but it is greyed out on the other, non-bootable SSD.
 
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Dave, I have an SSD as boot drive and a second one installed in the optical bay, and the option is NOT greyed out on my machine on the boot SSD. Must be something else going on in your machine. I'd never use it on an SSD as it just wastes writes, but it's there. What is interesting is that as I said on my boot SSD it's not greyed out, but it is greyed out on the other, non-bootable SSD.

Hi Jake - a mystery - I re-read my link - just a brief quote below - I guess that Apple decided to disable this feature is some of their SSDs, perhaps the newer ones? My MBPro is a spring 2013 model - Dave :)

To avoid these problems and to keep your SSD as fresh as possible for the long term, Apple has disabled Disk Utility's secure erase option for some SSD devices.
 
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MacInWin

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Maybe. I put the SSDs in after my AppleCare expired, never noticed the phenomenon before now. I'd never use it, as I said, and I understand, sort of, why Apple disabled it for some SSDs. But it's working for one and not the other. They are two different brands, but I have NO idea how Apple controls it. Sweet Mystery of Life, I suppose.
 
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Hi again Pat - so, are the 'hidden' movies & JPEGs off of your HD? If so, you should be showing more 'free' space; you might want to re-boot the computer and then use 'Disk Utility' to see how much free space is now available.

Hi, Dave!

No, even though I removed ALL the "hidden" videos (actually I just moved them onto an external HD), I double checked to see if the .MOV files were actually gone from the MBA (they are), and I made sure to empty the trash AND rebooted (twice), the amount of free space I show is almost exactly the same as it was before I started moving everything.

As I said before, I also removed 3 gigs of photos from my download files and yet the available space remains the same.

And I think MacInWin helped me with one thing.... I use TM to do occasional backups to an external drive. (I do have CCC too--a valuable tip harry gave me months ago) but have only used it once or twice. I don't use this machine for anything other than e-mail, surfing and viewing Go Pro videos I shoot or editing pictures from my cameras....all "heavy lifting is done with my iMac). I did leave TM on (another DOH moment) instead of turning it off. I also disconnect my external drive(s) when finished backing up to reduce the clutter on my small desk down here in the living room.

And harry! I did try and erase the empty space using Disk Utility but it was greyed out and not useable.



Not sure about your 'backups' expanding that much unless all of those movie & pics files are still on your HD in another category - but check that again & see what happens after a reboot - Dave :)

Dave: I did double check to see if any of the 'stuff' I moved off they machine was still residing somewhere but all searches for miscellaneous .MOV files and .jpg's came up empty.

One more question for y'all..... I am still showing a large block (20 gigs) of backup files. How can I remove those since I have some very fresh backups available on my external drive???

You guys rock! Thanks again for all the help and suggestions.

Cheers!

Pat
 
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Wow!

After turning OFF Time Machine and rebooting, I just gained over 20 gigs of free space!

All's well here now!

Thanks, ya'll!

Cheers!

Pat
 
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Wow!

After turning OFF Time Machine and rebooting, I just gained over 20 gigs of free space!

Hi Pat - congrats! Sometimes amazing what a reboot can do! :D Dave
 
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Dave this is news and must only apply to SSDs installed prior to shipping. Mine sure works but then shows as OWC and not Apple.
 

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