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Losing a lot of hard disk space after syncing ipad and iphone

15130 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Oct 24, 2013 5:21 PM by Chris CA RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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powerdonk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 4, 2010 9:44 AM
Does anyone have the same problem?

Each time I sync either my ipad or iphone, i see my hard disk space dramatically go down till my start-up disk is full. Is there a problem with my itunes?
MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPad
  • OrangeMarlin Level 5 Level 5 (5,130 points)
    powerdonk wrote:
    Does anyone have the same problem?

    Each time I sync either my ipad or iphone, i see my hard disk space dramatically go down till my start-up disk is full. Is there a problem with my itunes?

    The hard disk on your computer? I've never heard of that issue.
    MacBook Pro i7, 17". iPhone 4 (32GB). iPad 3G (64GB). Magic Trackpad., Mac OS X (10.6.4), No Windows here
  • IrinaD Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I experience the same problem. I really do not understand where >200GB of my disk space went!
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • araym Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I really do not understand where >200GB of my disk space went!

    200GB? An iPad backup would not account for anything of that order of magnitude.

    Go into Finder (assuming you have a Mac) and start right-clicking on your folders and select "Get Info". That will help you track down where you're using your disk space.
    13" 2.4GHz Aluminum Macbook, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPod touch 2G 16GB, iPad 3G 16GB
  • Rick Hawkins Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am getting the same issue. I had 5GB+ free space before I hit sync, then halfway through the "backing up iPad" phase everything ground to a halt because my startup HD was full.
    I had to delete some old podcasts just so that I could get Chrome to look on the web to find out if it was a known issue.

    @araym - Are you serious? solve the problem by manually going through every folder on the disk and looking at the info! er. I think I'll try another approach.

    Message was edited by: Rick Hawkins
    MacBook 13", Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Rick Hawkins Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    For some reason can't edit my message twice so reply to myself...

    OK. so running Grand Perspective shows a lot of data going into the ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync directory.

    Judging by the file sizes the big files would seem to be a copy of every video file I had loaded onto the iPad to play in the VLC player although scanning over the other files it's clear that other media assets (images, PDFs in iBooks etc.) are also being copied.

    This data is getting copied every time a sync operation is being carried out!!

    A quick workaround to free some space is to remove old backups in the preferences pane of iTunes but it's not going to help if you have - as I do - some 10GB of media on the device and only 5GB of free disk space on the start up disk.
    MacBook 13", Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7 (25,430 points)
    maybe a long shot but check out this support article anyways: _*Photo Sync creates iPod photo Cache*_.


    27"iMac11,1/2,8GHz/12GB/i715"MBP3,1/2,4GHz/4GBMini3,1/2.26GHz/2GB, Mac OS X (10.6.4), TC 'sim-d' 500 GBAEBSn2x AX (b/g)ATV 40 GBTouch 2G iOS 4iPad wifi 16 GB
  • Rakand Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks a lot buddy, I have been trying to figure out why my HD kept getting full when i Sync my iPhone 4. I have a feeling the folder contained old backups even from my old iPhone 3g. The folder had 50 Gigs of files. I just got so frustrated that I deleted all the files in the MobileSync directory lol.
    MacBook Pro
  • Salinay Calculating status...
    Open your hard disk icon on the Mac desktop. Go up to view->options. Click show all sizes, list mode. Click on size. Now the biggest folders will come to the top. Open them, their biggest components will come to the top. It's a quick way to find the bloat.

    Message was edited by: Salinay
    iPad, iOS 4, 4.2 Upgrade
  • David M Brewer Level 6 Level 6 (9,185 points)
    Rick, there a rule of thumb to how much you should fill up a startup disk. Usually 10 to 15% of free space should left on a startup disk. If you fill up your hard drive it could freeze up or have a failure. You say that your startup disk has only 5 gig left of free space. You should look into an additional hard drive or and external hard drive to where you can move some of the data off of your startup disk.
    G-4 1.2 GIG, 1.5 GIGs of Ram, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Quicktime 7.6.4, FCS2, nano 5th, iPad and a bunch of other stuff...
  • Graham Outterside Level 4 Level 4 (2,910 points)
    i don;t have the problem however download GrandPerspective to your mac and get it to analyse your hard disc - it will give you a visual map of the hard disc and you can more easily spot areas that are more than they should be - and 200Gb will be a big area !
    iMac 27", MacBook Pro 15", iPhone 3GS, iPod Nano, Mac OS X (10.6.5), Time Machine - just say no.
  • Ayazic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This issue is caused due to the iTunes creating a huge backup file on the hard disk only way of handling this issue is to either keep your hard disk huge for iTunes to keep backing up your device (it really helps when you loose the data or the device) or secondly just delete the file from below folder, this will clear the space but you will be under the risk of loosing the data when you loose the device or accidentally restore the device.

    Below is the location of the file just replace USERNAME with yours, for example "Mark Joyner"
    C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
    iPhone 4, iOS 4
  • Janis1974 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    The same problem with my PC. I have 30 GB HDD (C). It is not that I do not hav emore free space, I usually use this HDD only for programs. For libraries I have created other HDD. Usually I have 10-15 GB free on this HDD (C). Not until I began using I-Tunes. Now I have 36 MB free, my I-Tunes sync will not finish because the HDD is full and I do not even know how to free the space on this HDD. Can someone help out here? Sorry guys, I have to admit, as much as I like my I-pad and I-phone I hate I-Tunes.
    PC, Windows 7
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,410 points)
    From the iPad user manual to delte old backups...

    " *Removing a Backup*
    You can remove an iPad backup from the list of backups in iTunes. You may want to do this, for example, if a backup was created on someone else’s computer.
    Remove a backup:
    1 In iTunes, open iTunes Preferences.
    Mac: Choose iTunes > Preferences.
    Windows: Choose Edit > Preferences.
    2 Click Devices (iPad does not need to be connected).
    3 Select the backup you want to remove, then click Delete Backup.
    4 Click *Delete Backup*, to confirm you wish to remove the selected backup.
    5 Click OK.
    Mac mini (mid 2010) - 2 GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.6), silver mini, blue mini, green shuffle, iTunes 10.1.1, 32GB wifi iPad
  • Oj1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for this post.  It absolutely solved my problem (what the original poster described).  Thanks again.

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