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CanBritGirl Level 1 (0 points)

I have a 750GB internal HD but film a lot of movies. To free up space, I have moved my iMovie clips off to a secondary hard drive, but I have not seen my free disk space free up on my Macbook pro. Why is this? I moved, not copied the files. They only show now on the external hard drive.


I am looking at the free space in Finder > Get Info.


I have easily moved a few hundred GB off to the new drive, but my internal HD still shows as over 500Gb used.



MacBook Pro
  • AnaMusic Level 9 (57,110 points)
  • CanBritGirl Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, but i've tried a lot of that. Each time I remove a file from my internal HD, the used space actually increases and shows me LESS free space. Before I started moved all my video clips offline it showed me close to 400 GB free, and now it shows only about 150GB, but I've moved most of my videos off the internal HD. it looks like the movie used some space - perhaps for some sort of working copy - but neved released it.


    And yes, I restarted my computer after the move

  • Shootist007 Level 6 (16,660 points)

    Are you sure you moved them and not just copied them to the external.


    Have you emptied the trash?


    Do you have Time Machine running? It takes hourly snapshot of your files and stores them on the internal drive if a TM external is not connected to the computer.

  • CanBritGirl Level 1 (0 points)

    I verified that I moved not copied

    - they do not appear on my internal HD in iMovie events in Finder

    - they only appear in iMOvie when my external HD is connected

    - I held command when I moved them


    I emptied trash (and iPhoto trash for good measure)


    Time Machine is running, but is connected to my external HD. But how would i check where time machine is pointing to and backing up?


    (Did I mention I am new to Mac?)

  • Shootist007 Level 6 (16,660 points)

    Get a real search program, EasyFind, and do a wildcard search for the extension used in those movies (*.movie file extension) and see what it turns up. You could try using Spotlight but I it doesn't accept wildcards and doesn't search everywhere on your drive, useless IMHO.



    To check TM open Sys Preference then Time Machine. Not sure where or how it saves the Snapshots it takes. I have that turned off and only turn time machine on when I'm going to do a backup.

  • fane_j Level 4 (3,660 points)

    CanBritGirl wrote:


    how would i check where time machine is pointing to and backing up?

    When you post, you should mention what version of the OS you are using.


    If you're using Lion, see



  • Wayne Contello Level 6 (17,583 points)

    When you move files from the internal hard drive to an external hard drive by dragging one or more files what you are really doing is making a copy of the files.  If you REALLY want to move the files from the internal hard drive to an external one then you should hold the option key.  This is really a good thing because it errs on the side of preserving data and making YOU be conscious of making a copy on an external drive, then deleting the originals.


    Finally... when and if you do put files in the trash remember to empty the trash

    I hope this help.

  • fane_j Level 4 (3,660 points)

    Wayne Contello wrote:


    If you REALLY want to move […] then you should hold the option key.

    You mean the ⌘ (command) key, not the ⌥ (option) key. ⌘drag moves across volumes, ⌥drag copies, within the same volume or across volumes.

  • Wayne Contello Level 6 (17,583 points)

    Yup.  Thanks fane_j,


    Option will modify the action of copying to "add" a new thing

    Command will copy then delete.  Thanks for clarifying.

  • Paldie Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the extract same issue. MacBook Pro with a 500gb internal drive. I have 17gb free space I spent the afternoon moving project and files to an external 1tb drive. My external show I have now used 200+gb of space and I only free up 6gb on my internal drive. Oh I am an IT tech I know the difference between move and copy.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 (16,660 points)

    As an It Tech then you have heard of OmniDiskSweeper? then open that up and look at what is takeing up all the space.

  • Chaz75 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same problem...on a new iMac running Lion.

  • Ridicoloso Level 1 (0 points)

    I have exactly the same problem on a MacMini running Lion. Moved not copied files to an external hard disk but the computer hard drive space is not freed up. Tried repairing permissions and a general cache clean with Onyx but no joy.

  • Paintedlevis Level 1 (0 points)

    I am stuck with the same thing.. I have a regular desktop mac and move all to an external hard drive and then deleted all my files...   funny thing when I put them in the trash.. the trash automatically emptied right away...  files are no longer there but the drive is still full.. very frustrating

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