1 2 Previous Next 18 Replies Latest reply: Mar 26, 2013 8:45 PM by MichelPM
dancetoday07 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

My 500G Mac is suddenly almost full.  I checked and it has 250G of other!  I don't know what this is or how to find out. I need to delete some stuff but don't know how to go about it, especially since over half of the storage is taken up by something unknown.  I ran disk permissions and repairs. I did Clean My Mac.  But I am down to only about 14G and it is running very slowly.  Suggestions? 

iMac Intel, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • 1. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (60,125 points)

    See Pondiini's The Storage Display, for starters.  Also, update your product info. 10.5.7 doesn't have a storage display, only Lion and ML.

  • 2. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,495 points)

    First, empty the Trash if you haven't already done so. Then reboot. That will temporarily free up some space.


    According to Apple documentation, you need at least 9 GB of available space on the startup volume (as shown in the Finder Info window) for normal operation. You also need enough space left over to allow for growth of your data. There is little or no performance advantage to having more available space than the minimum Apple recommends. Available storage space that you'll never use is wasted space.


    To locate large files, you can use Spotlight as described here. That method may not find large folders that contain a lot of small files.


    You can also use a tool such as OmniDiskSweeper (ODS) to explore your volume and find out what's taking up the space. You can delete files with it, but don't do that unless you're sure that you know what you're deleting and that all data is safely backed up. That means you have multiple backups, not just one.


    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 see everything, you have to run it as root.


    Back up all data now.


    Install ODS in the Applications folder as usual.


    Triple-click the line of text below to select it, then copy the selected text to the Clipboard (command-C):

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

    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.


    Paste into the Terminal window (command-V). 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. If you see a message that your username "is not in the sudoers file," then you're not logged in as an administrator.


    I don't recommend that you make a habit of doing this. Don't delete anything while running ODS as root. If something needs to be deleted, make sure you know what it is and how it got there, and then delete it by other, safer, means.


    When you're done with ODS, quit it and also quit Terminal.

  • 3. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    Lasiowski5 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I ran in to this very issue! Before deleting anything consider backing up your computer via TimeMachine and an external hard drive.

    What programs do you use heavily? I.e. I use Final Cut Pro and I make copies of all my events which uses huge portions of space on my hard drive under "other."

    After you back up your computer sit down and get rid of a lot of useless files, for example the bootcamp manuals preloaded on macs come in over 50+ languages so you can delete those if you only need the English manual, per say.

    Make sure you empty your trash regularly and you restart your computer often otherwise the data isn't technically deleted, after a restart it's written over.


    P.S. the more available HD space the better, your computer will slow dramatically if space is limited.

    Best of luck!

  • 4. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    dancetoday07 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    It won't let me mark all as helpful, sorry. Right now I'm reinstalling the OS . I looked at all folders to see if anything had an unusual amount of gigs in it, and none did. I will try the suggestions above when it is through reinstalling.  Even if being at 14G isn't what is making it run so slowly (it's almost unusable), I don't want to be that low, especially with unknown stuff. So I need to see what it is that is taking up so much room.

  • 5. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    dancetoday07 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Oh, about backing up....time machine doesn't really back up everything does it? I've never been sure what it actually backs up.

  • 6. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (8,080 points)

    Do you use iTunes to sync and backup any Apple iDevices?

    The "other" category can include all of the backups,  data, preferences and apps that are on your iDevice/s

    If you have multiple iDevices, this category can add up to lots of GBs of data.

  • 7. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    dancetoday07 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    The closest I use to Final Cut as far as big files is just uploading a lot of small videos. But those are listed as movies and not other, I assume. I had about 70G as movies.

  • 8. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    dancetoday07 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Yes, I do. Hmmmm... How do I see how much is stored as itunes backup? I backup iPhone, iPad and sometimes my sons iPod.

  • 9. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (8,080 points)

    This is where your "other" data comes into play.

    Your backups are stored here:


    iTunes places the backup files in the following places:

    • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/


    Reinstalling the OS was really unnecessary.

  • 10. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    dancetoday07 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Michel, I thought you must have the answer, but so far that hasn't been it.  I went to Library/Application Support.  There was no mobile Sync folder but there was one just called Backup under Application Support, but it only had 471 KB in it. The whole Application Support folder just has 4.5G.  After reinstalling the OS and deleting a few odds and ends I now have 39G free but I still have 235 G in "other."  So I am still wanting to find what that is, or at least a majority of it. 


    I am going to try some of the things Lync and Baltwo described above. I am still under Apple Care and so far they haven't done much to help.  The Apple guy is the one that told me to reinstall the OS and then he was supposed to call me back when it should be done and he didn't. 

  • 11. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (8,080 points)

    There are more one Library.

    Did you check the one that is under your own Home/user location?

  • 12. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    dancetoday07 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Just did.  That one didn't list Mobile Sync either.  Odd. But the Application Support folder had only about 500KB in it there.  Sigh.....it's got to be somewhere!  Will sleep on it and try some more tomorrow. 

  • 13. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    MichelPM Level 6 Level 6 (8,080 points)

    Are you still on OS X 10.5.8?

    Try this method.


    Try opening Finder, then go to Go>Go to Folder, paste

    ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

    into the path box and click Go.


    It should be there. If it still doesn't show up after trying this, hold down the option key before you click the final Go.

  • 14. Re: 250 G of "other!"
    dancetoday07 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    No I have 10.7.5. Will try in the morning, thanks.

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