6 Replies Latest reply: Sep 15, 2011 11:48 AM by JfNY
Ssabrina Kapp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have a 2008 MBP with 250 GB hard drive. I've been getting messages sporadically that my startup disk was almost full, and have been backing up (Time Machine), copying files to an EHD, deleting unnecessary apps and files, etc. Just happened again and I have just over 1 GB free.

What am I missing? I've moved and deleted thousands of photos, emptied iPhoto trash and emptied the Trash. Deleted apps that were old versions and have since been updated. Am I really that full, or am I missing something else that I should be doing when trying to free up space? I am using the 'secure empty trash' function, if that is important to know.

As always - thanks in advance from a Mac-loving user who understands little about how they work!

MBP, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • 1. Re: Startup Disk Almost Full
    Clio1 Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
    Be sure you have emptied your Trash. Putting files in the Trash does not delete the space they use until you Empty the Trash.

    Secure Empty Trash may cause the OS to report the space still in use. This is not correct and should be fixed by restarting the computer. There is no need to use Secure Empty Trash unless you are removing sensitive information.

    You should think about a larger HDD for your computer. It's wise to allow at least 10% of the HDD's capacity or 10 GBs, whichever is greater, for free space. OS X needs to have sufficient free space during normal use.
  • 2. Re: Startup Disk Almost Full
    Ssabrina Kapp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you! This is a work computer and while much of what I'm deleting is NOT sensitive, some things are. I will follow your suggestions and cross my fingers. Sounds as though I should change the Empty Trash settings and simply use the Secure function at specific times. Good to know.

    And yes, will be looking into a larger HDD!
  • 3. Re: Startup Disk Almost Full
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    If you're in doubt about the amount of space used (there's more used than you think should be), see [Where did my Disk Space go?|http://web.me.com/pondini/AppleTips/DiskSpace.html].
  • 4. Re: Startup Disk Almost Full
    adamgrinfeld Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Guys, I'm getting the same message, disk almost full, I've been deleting files like crazy and managed to free up about 20GB, but then within a couple of hours it fills up again, it feels like a virus but no anti-virus indicates that there's a virus.. As well, I've initially thought it's the hard drive, so I went to disk utility and repaired it, there was something wrong with it but now it says it's fine... please someone help me here, I'm completely clueless...
  • 5. Re: Startup Disk Almost Full
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Have you tried the things in the link in my post?

    Something being written to the /Volumes folder, or in your logs, is the most likely suspect.
  • 6. Re: Startup Disk Almost Full
    JfNY Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same problem. Whenever I free space, I can watch it fill up again. Anyone any suggestion?