6 Replies Latest reply: Oct 9, 2012 6:25 AM by Linc Davis
YanivWolf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have a MacBook Pro early 2008 2.4GHz with 4GB memory and a 500GB hard drive, running Mountain lion 10.8.


When I entered the "Storage" section in "About This Mac", I found out that 261GB are in some yellow bar called "Other", and another 85GB are in the "Backups" category. This is srtrange because I don't have any backups on my computer, and I've never backed up my computer using time machine or any other software.


44GB are movies, apps, photos, etc...


I ran the OmniDiskSweeper and it only found 137GB in my hard drive. That means it didn't find 255GB of storage.


How can I reduce this "Other" storage? and where can I find those backups?


Thank you,



MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
  • 1. Re: "Other" storage 261GB, how can I reduce this?
    clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (28,675 points)

    See this article - http://pondini.org/OSX/LionStorage.html.


    If you've never turned on Time Machine then you shouldn't have the "Backups" on your machine - these are local snapshots used by Time Machine. You can disable local snapshots through a Terminal command, but they shouldn't really be there if you're not using TM.


    Check out the Pondoni article - it offers some insight into what the Storage tab actually means.



  • 2. Re: "Other" storage 261GB, how can I reduce this?
    YanivWolf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I checked the time machine, and it was on, so I turned it off.


    The Backups are now 2.4mb, but the Other jumped up to 347GB! and I still have the same amount of free memory as before.


    How can I find the missing 255GB?



  • 3. Re: "Other" storage 261GB, how can I reduce this?
    clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (28,675 points)

    See http://pondini.org/OSX/DiskSpace.html.


    Turn off Time Machine and make sure that local snapshots are disabled. In Terminal, copy and paste:


    sudo tmutil disablelocal


    This will disable local backups.


    If you had Time Machine turned on, and then turned it off, the local snapshots - "Backups" - space should now be free. As to 'Other', you may want to try starting up in Recovery mode and repairing both permissions and your hard drive to see if you can regain the space shown in Storage.


    It's still a great idea to have a backup strategy of some sort. If you're really not using Time Machine, or any sort of backup method, you should consider buying an external drive for backup purposes. I have two externals devoted to Time Machine backups and one external that I use to clone my internal drive. Redundant backups are a necessity.



  • 4. Re: "Other" storage 261GB, how can I reduce this?
    YanivWolf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Strange I restarted my computer and now Backups are 0kb and Other 246GB.


    I just noticed a bunch of invisible files named ".DS_STORE", these are small backup files. Can removing them reduce memory? if so how?



  • 5. Re: "Other" storage 261GB, how can I reduce this?
    clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 Level 7 (28,675 points)

    .DS_Store files are in every directory on your computer - they store information on the contents of the directory and they should be rather small files. DON'T delete them. You're not going to free up any storage space and they will just be recreated.



  • 6. Re: "Other" storage 261GB, how can I reduce this?
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,110 points)

    First, empty the Trash if you haven't already done so.


    Use a tool such as OmniDiskSweeper to explore your volume and find out what's taking up the space.


    Proceed further only if the problem hasn't been solved.


    ODS can't see the whole filesystem when you run it just by double-clicking; it only sees files that you have permission to read. To really see everything, you have to run it as root.


    Back up all data now.


    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:


    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)


    ☞ In the Finder, select Go ▹ Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.


    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the icon grid.


    After installing ODS in the Applications folder, drag or copy — do not type — the following line into the Terminal window, then press return:

    sudo /Applications/OmniDiskSweeper.app/Contents/MacOS/OmniDiskSweeper

    You'll be prompted for your login password, which won't be displayed when you type it. You may get a one-time warning not to screw up.


    I don't recommend that you make a habit of this. Don't delete anything while running ODS as root. When you're done with it, quit it and also quit Terminal.