6 Replies Latest reply: Oct 10, 2012 12:45 PM by Elizabeth Kley
Elizabeth Kley Level 1 (30 points)

I keep getting error messages saying my startup disk is full, so I delete a bunch of things, look in about this Mac, it says I have multiple GB available and then over time they disappear and I get the error message again. earlier today I had 8 GB, they all disappeared, so I deleted a big iphoto album and got a new 13 GB, now 45 minutes later it is down to 10GB....

MacBook Air (11-INCH, MID 2011), Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • Kappy Level 10 (266,041 points)

    Freeing Up Space on The Hard Drive



    You might consider turning off Time Machine snapshots:


    Open the Terminal in the Utilities folder and enter or paste the appropriate command line. Press RETURN and enter your admin password when prompted. It will not be echoed.


    To turn them ON: sudo tmutil enablelocal


    To turn them OFF: sudo tmutil disablelocal


    Note that turning them OFF will also delete all existing snapshots.


    OS X Lion- About Time Machine's "local snapshots" on portable Macs

  • Elizabeth Kley Level 1 (30 points)

    Hi, sorry, but my time machine is not on....does that matter? I started to do what you suggest and I got a warning that I might delete important files, which scared me I am wondering if my problem has something to do with this quoted below from another thread I found, but I can't figure out how to show the hidden files: 


    I have no idea why your startup disk is full, but I will relate what happened to mine in the even that it may help you.  I happened to notice, after my grandchildren were on my Mac, that they had tried to send a large Photo Booth video file via my email to their Mom's email.  The file was too large and as such the "send" failed.  A few days later, I started getting the pop-up indicating my "startup disk was full...", and letting me know I should delete some files ASAP.  That was odd, in that I have a 500GB hard drive and had never used more than about 1/5th of it in the past.  I started reading "full disk" mysterious issue on this Community Board and found many other with a similar issue which related to recovered mail messages.  I had no way to see what apps or folders/files were hogging my Hard Drive so after reading some posts, downloaded a freeware program (disk inventory X).  This showed me that my Mail Messages were now occupying approx.  395 GB of my Hard Drive.  I tried for quite some time to follow the advice of other folks posts and find and delete the offending files.  Many posts told me I should downloaad some other freeware apps that would allow me to see "Hidden Files" on my Mac and thus delete the Recovered Message file.  I found another Community Post that told me to select the show hidden folders and files in my Finder, but I couldn't see such a choice.  Then I found out if you change "All Files..." and instead select "Other" in the finder choices it will indeed show the hidden folders/files and allow you to delete them if you dare.  I was able to find the Recovered Message folder in my Mailbox (USER.>Library>Mail>etc. etc. etc. and then delte the file.  I now have over 400GB available on my Hard Drive.

  • Kappy Level 10 (266,041 points)

    Obviously I would have no idea if that story relates to you. Surely you can follow the instructions to find out.


    The warning you received only relates to shapshots that may remain on your drive. Deleting them will not delete any files other than the snapshots.

  • Elizabeth Kley Level 1 (30 points)

    thanks for your reply...I got a clarification from the person that wrote the above on how to get to "other" so I did make it to recovered mail and found a 30 GB folder lurking, which I deleted.....hopefully that will work, best ek

  • Fransformer Level 1 (0 points)



    Can you let me know how you get to "other" exactly as I have the same problem! Thanks in advance

  • Elizabeth Kley Level 1 (30 points)

    you go to finder preferences, and the open the drop down window that says "new finder windows open" and at the bottom wil be "other"