10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 10, 2012 2:56 PM by macjack
cheyebba Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi there

I've finaly decided to get rid of some movies from my MBP early 2011 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 running Mountain Lion since the System Info told me I had only 53.63 GB free and arond 100GB of movies. After backing up and deleting ALL the movies (but for a few short clips in iPhoto library) I was shocked to find that not only did the free disc space not go up much (67.88 GB) but that the movies still take up 97.94 GB on the HD. I emptied the trash and I can find no traces of video files on the mac. What's more the Activity Monitor tells me that there is 70.33 GB free space - maybe not a big difference from the System Information data but still. I can't go to the genius bar (I'm travelling and there are no apple stores where I am now) so you are my only hope.

MacBook Pro, iOS 5.1
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,545 points)

    I'm betting you have Time Machine turned on, in which case those movies were simply moved from the Movies category in System Info to the Backups category. Time Machine will keep what are called local snapshots, which are temporary backups (kept for one week) stored on your internal hard drive. When you delete (or change) something, it is kept for one week in those local snapshots, and System Info won't report that space as being free yet.


    However, if space starts to get too tight, those local snapshots will start to get deleted. So the Finder will report free space as if the local snapshots don't exist, since they can all be deleted to make room if necessary.


    For more information, see:


    The Storage Display

    What are Local Snapshots?

  • cheyebba Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't have the TM turned on.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,545 points)

    In that case, I'd have to assume that whatever movies you deleted weren't actually taking up 100 GB, or they didn't actually get deleted.

  • cheyebba Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


    a) where are they? Truly, I can't see them anywhere (apart from the external HD). They all landed in the trash which is now empty.

    b) what takes up that space and why it's shown as movies?

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,545 points)

    It's impossible to do more than speculate at this point, without being able to examine the machine. If the System Info storage display says you have 97.94 GB of movies on your hard drive, that means that somewhere (could be anywhere) on your hard drive, you still have movie files adding up to that size. I don't know what you deleted, but it obviously either wasn't actually deleted or was only a small fraction of the total.


    Try this: in the Finder, choose File -> New Smart Folder. In the window that appears, make sure the Search setting is "This Mac", then click the + button at the right edge of that Search bar. In the new bar that appears, set it to Kind is Movie:


    Screen Shot 2012-11-10 at 8.03.15 AM.png


    This should list all the movie files on the hard drive that are anywhere that Spotlight will search (which does not include system folders and other similar places).

  • cheyebba Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I did what you advised me to do and you were right. There were some video files I forgot about simply because they were in my iTunes library: one season of a show and some iTunesU podcasts. I deleted most of it (there are 17 (out od 30) GB left - according to iTunes) but still I'm down 70BG of movies which seems to be impossible even including some short vids that are probably hiding in iPhoto libary (which is around 95GB and I hardly ever take vids). And again what System Information tells me does not agree with Activity Monitor report 114GB vs 133GB of free space (in addition to getting rid of the movies I uninstalled a lot of programs and apps I no longer use). Where does this descrepancy come from? And thene there SI shows me I have 68GB of 'other' stuff. What the heck can 'other' be?

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,545 points)

    The first link I referred you to above explains what "Other" is.


    As to the discrepancies, there are often discrepancies between the storage display in System Information and the reports given in other places. Why this may be I'm not sure, but it's not something I would spend too much time worrying about. If you find yourself needing to worry about every last gigabyte, you probably should simply upgrade to a larger internal drive. That's just not something you want to have to be doing all the time.

  • vkehayas Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    If you'd like a visualization of your disk space I suggest you try Disk Inventory X.

    You might find something that you could't pick-up easily before.

  • BobHarris Level 6 Level 6 (16,005 points)
  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,650 points)

    Could be local snapshots?

    Never mind...see Thomas has been there and you've ckecked that.