Try Grand Perspective It gives you a visual breakdown of what is taking up the most space on a Drive in a user friendly way http://grandperspective.en.softonic.com/mac . Just had this recommended to me by a friend and have got rid of a few things I never ever used but didn't realise were still on the drive in a random system folder! Joost From years back for instance had a 2.5gb file still in the library!! Best to all!
Part of it is your 'trash'. I was 'sharing' to be able to move nearly 2000 photos from my MacBookPro to my iMac. I got warnings that I was low on storage or when I dragged photos to iPhoto, not quite all would complete the movement into iPhoto. Anyway, everytime I dragged a large sized group of photos or movies to iPhoto, I would then delete the original file and then empty the trash. My 'other' size dropped from 119GB to 90GB and I'm still working. Hop this helps!
In terms of OmniDiskSweeper, how do I know what's safe to delete?
Rules of thumb:
• If you don't know what it is, don't delete it.
• If it's not in your home folder, don't delete it.
There are exceptions, of course. See Where did my Disk Space go? for some things you don't need that can take up space.
Also, is deleting the time machine backups off the computer safe? How would I even go about doing this?
Assuming you mean Local Snapshots, there's no reason to do that. They're "expendable" -- they'll be deleted automatically if your HD gets more than 80% full; otherwise, they're "thinned" to one per day for a week, then deleted. That's one of the things mentioned in the above link.
I also have a late 2009 MacBook Pro and have had a similar problem since upgrading to Lion. I just ran the OmniDiskSweeper and have now found 68.2GB in the library folder - 41.1GB is made up of the application support which is then mostly from the mobilesync backup area. Not sure if I can delete these or should? I also think I need to delete the mail stuff too. I only have 15 GB free on the hard drive and it's killing me how slow things are running.
I fixed this issue by doing two things.
First thing (saved 18.5 GB):
I used to have multiple users on the machine, so I kept lots of stuff in the "Shared" folder (iTunes Library, iPhoto Library, iMovie Library, etc.). It turns out that this folder gets classified as "other." Also, it turns out that that libraries can take up more space than needed if they are in that folder.
Steps I took
- Went down to one user
- Moved libraries in shared folder into user folder (iTunes library was 33GB in shared folder...it was only 29.95GB in my user's "Music" folder, similar shrinking phenomena with other libraries).
- (After libraries were in user folder) I deleted the libraries from the shared folder (since moving them only really "copies" them into new location).
- Empty trash
- Forced Spotlight to re-index.
- Reboot into recovery mode (restart, hold command+R after boot chime).
- (from recovery mode) Choose Disk Utility
- (from disk utility) Click my harddrive ("HD" top left)
- (from disk utility) Choose Repair permissions
- (from disk utility) Choose Repair Disk
- Restart (from Apple logo, top left).
Without deleting any files (just moving them repairing hard-drive), this saved 18.5GB of data total. No idea why.
Second Thing (saved 25GB)
I used Omnidisksweeper to find abnormally large files in my "Users" folder (NOT "usr" folder!). I found a handful of folders that belonged to apps that had deleted ages ago (e.g., PDF-Compress). Apparently, they stored stuff in the hidden "libraries" folder without notifying the user. Deleting these files saved another 25GB.
Do NOT mess with anything you don't normally see, unless you fully understand it, or as noted here -- such items are hidden for a very good reason! They'recritical system stuff. Deleting the wrong thing can make your system unusable!
Instructions on how to update to the most recent operating system (10.9) are on Apple's website here: http://www.apple.com/osx/how-to-upgrade/
Just so you know. Updates between operating systems (e.g., from 10.7... to 10.8...) require backing up, checking to make sure your third party software is compatible with the new operating system, and a relatively lengthy download and install process (at least an hour, but it will depend on your internet connection and computing power).
Updates within operating systems (e.g., 10.7.1 to 10.7.2) require backing up, but usually do not require checking software compatibility, and usually download and install relatively quickly (a few minutes).
I wish you the best!