10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 15, 2014 11:34 AM by FLpad
Nedlian Level 1 (0 points)

I used these instructions to free up the backup used by Time Machine (Thanks! ) but a large "Other" file remains of 75+ GBs.  How do I determine if that much space is needed for Other and how can I delete it? 

Should Time Machine backups not be done automatically, but rather scheduled?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • John Kitchen Level 3 (645 points)

    It's not clear what you are saying and asking.


    What "instructions"?


    Why are you destroying your Time Machine backups?


    What is the name of the "Other" file and where is it?


    Time Machine is automatic, in other words, scheduled.  It's the same thing.

  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 (25,855 points)

    Other consists of everything that can't be categorized in the other, more defined categories.  "Other" contains OS X, system files etc.  You can download OmniDiskSweeper to see if it can find any large unnecessary files.  Time Machine backup frequency is up to a users preference.

  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 (25,855 points)

    John Kitchen wrote:


    What is the name of the "Other" file and where is it?



  • Nedlian Level 1 (0 points)

    Apparently my question didn't get displayed where I intended....sorry.  The link I was commenting on is https://discussions.apple.com/message/17029873#17029873

    I had used those instructions to remove the backups that are already stored on an external TM.  It looks to me like a "belt & suspenders" situation.  The information I cited are those displayed under "About my Mac" and within the "Storage" tab.  My disk space was shrinking alarmingly and that above-mentioned solution worked.  However, I still have a large allotment in "Other" of 75 GBs+ and no clue about the contents of that file.  I was hoping someone could enlighten me and have an idea of how to adjust appropriately. 


    Why do I need Omnidisksweeper and why can't I simply view the contents of the "Other" folder?  Seems strange I need to pay to view my folders.  I've never had problems like this in the past with my MCP.

  • John Kitchen Level 3 (645 points)

    "Other" is neither a file nor a folder.  It is a category of storage, just as Audio, Movies, Photos, Apps and Backups are categories.  This helpful categorization is new with Lion.  Look at the pondini.org in the post above yours.

  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 (25,855 points)

    Nedlian wrote:



    Why do I need Omnidisksweeper and why can't I simply view the contents of the "Other" folder?  Seems strange I need to pay to view my folders.


    OmniDiskSweeper is free.

  • FLpad Level 1 (0 points)

    I see this is an older post but wanted to share what I have figured out as I was having the same issues.


    I have my back ups in Time Machine but on an external hard drive. But if you leave Time Machine on, it will take snap shots and store them as "Other". What I did with that situation was move my Time Machine back-up to the external drive and then turn off Time Machine.


    I have seen in posts that people say that there are aslo Pages/Numbers/PDF files stored as other. I do not think that is correct. I believe the documents are stored within the application and will explain later.


    And for the biggie, at least for me seems to have been iTunes. I have also put it on it's own external hard drive to free up most of the hard drive. My iTunes is over 300G and my laptop is 500G.


    So the best way I found to remove the items that are stored as other has been with a 3rd party wipping tool. I use BCWipe. It wipes all of the files you select. You can select the trash, free space, individual files, and the complete hard drive if you are selling or trashing the computer/hard drive.


    What no one has been able to tell me and I just happened to notice this. I travel a lot and I will normally load some movies from my iTunes to the iPad for the flight. Then "delete" them from the iPad by deselecting them in iTunes when I re-sync.


    I would normally have 30-40G as the other files or more. Then one day while I had the iPad synced up to iTunes, I was doing a wipe of my trash and happened to see it the BCWipe window. A lot of iTunes files with .trashes extenstions. So after everything was done I went back to disk utility and the storage display, now my backups AND other was 0. (See Below)


    Disk Utility.jpg

    As you can see as far as the back-ups, once you turn off Time Machine and then re-start your computer that will clear. I still have a lot of Pages/Numbers/PDF documents in my documents folder but as you can see, there is zero KB as "Other" but the Apps has 27.2 GB.


    I forgot to mention that I only turn on Time Machine when I plug in my Time Machine external hard drive to do a back-up. After the back-up is complete, Time Machine goes off.

  • FLpad Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry but I just caught the mistake about the Time Machine back-ups. They are not stored as other but as back-ups of course.


    And I also just wanted to mention that I am using MacBook Pro with Mavericks.