2 Replies Latest reply: May 13, 2013 10:41 AM by Linc Davis
rcomizio Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have a Mac-mini and the storage information has a cateogory of "other" that is basically the entire anount of disk space.  Is there anyway to understand what that is, and then potentially free up some memory?


Mac mini
  • 1. Re: Mac-Mini Storage - "Other"
    --A--C-- Level 2 Level 2 (290 points)

    When I clean up to free disk space, I always use this app:

    http://whatsizemac.com/

    very useful. check it out.

    you can easily see what files/folders take most of your diskspace

    and decide which ones you don't longer need (you can trash them from this app)

    or move them to an external disk.

  • 2. Re: Mac-Mini Storage - "Other"
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,715 points)

    First, empty the Trash if you haven't already done so. Then reboot. That will temporarily free up some space.

     

    According to Apple documentation, you need at least 9 GB of available space on the startup volume (as shown in the Finder Info window) for normal operation. You also need enough space left over to allow for growth of your data. There is little or no performance advantage to having more available space than the minimum Apple recommends. Available storage space that you'll never use is wasted space.

       

    To locate large files, you can use Spotlight. That method may not find large folders that contain a lot of small files.

     

    You can more effectively use a tool such as OmniDiskSweeper (ODS) to explore your volume and find out what's taking up the space. You can also delete files with it, but don't do that unless you're sure that you know what you're deleting and that all data is safely backed up. That means you have multiple backups, not just one.

        

    Deleting files inside an iPhoto or Aperture library will corrupt the library. Any changes to a photo library must be made from within the application that created it. The same goes for Mail files.

     

    Proceed further only if the problem isn't solved by the above steps.

     

    ODS can't see the whole filesystem when you run it just by double-clicking; it only sees files that you have permission to read. To see everything, you have to run it as root.

     

    Back up all data now.

     

    Install ODS in the Applications folder as usual. Quit it if it's running.

     

    Triple-click the line of text below to select it, then copy the selected text to the Clipboard (command-C):

    sudo /Applications/OmniDiskSweeper.app/Contents/MacOS/OmniDiskSweeper

    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:

     

    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

     

    ☞ In the Finder, select Go ▹ Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

     

    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the icon grid.

     

    Paste into the Terminal window (command-V). You'll be prompted for your login password, which won't be displayed when you type it. You may get a one-time warning not to screw up. If you see a message that your username "is not in the sudoers file," then you're not logged in as an administrator.

     

    The application window will open, eventually showing all files in all folders. It may take some minutes for ODS to list all the files.

     

    I don't recommend that you make a habit of doing this. Don't delete anything while running ODS as root. If something needs to be deleted, make sure you know what it is and how it got there, and then delete it by other, safer, means. When in doubt, leave it alone or ask for guidance.

     

    When you're done with ODS, quit it and also quit Terminal.