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MacBook pro memory suddenly full

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I opened my MBP today and the memory had gone from 60 GB to almost 120. I cannot find any large files in my storage.
 

Raz0rEdge

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Just a point of clarification, what you are referring to is the storage of the device and not memory. Memory is used to represent RAM of which you likely have 4 8 or 16GB likely and the usage of that resets back to 0 every time you restart the device. Storage, on the other hand, doesn't reduce by just restarting.

For starters, how much total storage do you have on your device? Can you reboot your device (not just put it to sleep) and see if you can get up to a reasonable state? You should keep at least 20% of your drive free for optimal performance and for the ability to fix issues without constantly running into warning messages.
 

IWT


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As an addition to Ashwin's excellent advice; do you use Time Machine for backups?

If so, which Operating System (OS) do you have? If macOS High Sierra or macOS Mojave, then local snapshots may be accumulating on your MBP, particularly when the Time Machine External Hard Drive is not mounted (connected).

These snapshots can take up a lot of space.

Ian
 
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And maybe provide some useful info about your MBP? Size? Year? OS version?
 
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@paulmcisaac...

A bit off topic here, and I see you have been a member for a good number of years and only three posts, but I thought I should mention that it is not recommended, if it really is, to use your email address as a member name.

Spam Bots do an awful lot of harvesting for just such items.

If your member username you use here is not a legitimate email address, then by all means leave it as is.

I just thought I would mention the fact that's not good policy to post one's email address in the wild and forums etc.



- Patrick
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Rod


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What Patrick says is true "way back when" it probably wouldn't have mattered on a legit site but nowadays I'm even regretting using my name rather than an avatar of some sort. Who'd have thought the world wide web would become such a dangerous place?
Given you've only lodged 3 posts maybe you could afford to open a new account, unless as said, its not a current email address, in which case its a pretty good avatar.
 

Rod


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Back to topic, if what Ian says is the problem and your storage is filling up with Time Machine snapshots then connecting your Time Machine backup drive and performing a backup should remove them except for the most recent.
If you don't use Time Machine for backups then you can switch it off thus preventing it from performing backups and taking snapshots of your system.
 
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I opened my MBP today and the memory had gone from 60 GB to almost 120. I cannot find any large files in my storage.
I hate when that happens! And unfortunately I've seen it several times before. It can be caused by any of a number of things.

Try running one or more of these free utilities, which might help you find out what is taking up all of your free disk space (they all work a bit differently, so it might be worth downloading and trying more than one:

DiskInventory X (free)
Disk Inventory X
or
GrandPerspective (free)
GrandPerspective
or
OmniDiskSweeper (free)
OmniDiskSweeper and OmniWeb - The Omni Group
or
jdiskreport (free)
JDiskReport Downloads – JGoodies

The most common cause of this sort of problem (in my experience) is that your OS is detecting a software error (which might be minor),
and that error is being written to an error log over and over continuously, causing the log to balloon in size until it consumes all of the free space on your hard drive.
Out-Of-Control Cache or Log File.
You can test to see if this is the problem, and in the process clear out the offending log, by downloading:

ONYX (free)
https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/onyx.html
and use it to clear out all of your log files using:
Maintenance --> Scripts
and/or
Cleaning --> Logs

See if that helps.

If it doesn't, other possibilities are that:

- Time Machine is creating backups on your main drive itself
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYXOuP6_PSQ
http://osxdaily.com/2011/09/28/disable-time-machine-local-backups-in-mac-os-x-lion/

- Dropbox (if you have it) is automatically syncing files to your computer
(Go to the Dropbox gear wheel which is at the bottom right of the Dropbox drop down menu. In the window that opens, choose Advanced. Next to the title Selective Sync:. click on Change Settings. Uncheck all the folders/files you do NOT want automatically synced to your computer. )

- Your laptop is creating and storing a huge "sleep image"
http://www.macworld.com/article/53471/2006/10/sleepmode.html

See:
https://web.archive.org/web/20170321110308/http://Pondini.org/OSX/DiskSpace.html
for the mother of all suggestions on where your hard drive space may have gone.

Please let us know what ultimately solves the problem for you. Good luck.
 

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Thread moved to better area (notebooks).

- Nick
 
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Try running one or more of these free utilities, ...

Great useful post Randy, and some great useful apps, but if I recall correctly, some all of the free ones, just like a Stopight (aka Spotlight) search doesn't show all items in all places as the linked article mentions, but the commercial version of WhatSize.app does.

But so can the version of Find Any File (FAF) using general searches for anything over a certain size, like "1GB" etc. or whatever size would seem reasonable for the user to search for.
Thomas Tempelmann - Find Any File

And no, I don't have any affiliation with the software or the developer other than I did help with some beta development/testing many years ago!!! :Smirk:



- Patrick
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