5 Replies Latest reply: Apr 6, 2014 12:39 PM by ehmjay
ehmjay Level 1 Level 1

Here's my problem: over the past couple days I did a really good clean out of my computer and managed to free up several gigabytes of data and was hovering around 233+ gb of free space.


Then in the last couple of days I noticed my trash file was taking a really long time to empty (I don't know if this is part of the problem but wanted to mention it just in case).


Last night I noticed I was missing quite a lot of space on my drive, it was around 205 gigs now. I discovered I had accidentally set some large torrent files to be on my main drive instead of an external. No matter, I figured! I would just delete them and start them over on the external. But my disk space didn't seem to change. So I rebooted - after all I had recently used Photoshop and that tends to hog a bunch of space and I don't get it back until I reboot.


I rebooted and there was still the same ~205 gb of free space. I was very confused. I was even more confused when I checked "About My Mac" and saw that it was telling me that in actual fact I only had around 90gbs of free space. THE HECK!?


I did notice that my "backups" were surprisingly high - 119gb in fact. This was especially curious since I have a time machine drive (time capsule) thats supposed to be backing up hourly. I did get a message this morning telling me it was full, but isn't it supposed to clear itself out?


Running WhatSize (it's still running by the way) I see that my .MobileBackups folder is a gargantuan 134gb! I thought these were temporary! For when I'm not connected to Time Machine (WHICH I AM!)


What in the **** is going on? How did I magically lose close to 25 gigs? And how the **** do I get it back?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3), 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5, 8gb Ram
  • Eric Root Level 9 Level 9
    Mac OS X

    Time Machine disk full - see C4 in the first link.


    Time Machine Troubleshooting


    What might be taking up your space.


  • ehmjay Level 1 Level 1

    So a little more digging lead me to think it was the local backups so I ran


    sudo tmutil disablelocal



    which removed the MobileBackups folder. Popped open "About this mac" to look at the storage section" and...



    It's still showing only 90 gbs free (with my Finder window showing 209).



    And here's the REALLY crazy part, the portion that used to be taken up by "mobile backups" is now filled be the "other" block.



    Now I'm completely confused.

  • Eric Root Level 9 Level 9
    Mac OS X

    Try reindexing Spotlight. Sometimes it can sort out problems like what you are seeing.


    Spotlight – Re-index

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    There's usually no need to disable local snapshots. They're deleted automatically when storage space is low. When you delete files, they're retained temporarily in local snapshots. The space is marked as "available" by the Finder, and that's how you should regard it.

  • ehmjay Level 1 Level 1

    Just a note that this is happening again on a new machine.


    About a week ago I watched my disk space fluctuate from ~715 GB up to a whopping 775+ GB. I knew that COULDN'T be right but a week later it dropped to 693 GB.


    Obviously I still have tonnes of space on my machine but I like to KEEP it that way, so I'm pretty anal about this sort of stuff. I'm just confused as to how/why my space would be fluctuating so much. Again, I'm presuming it's local backups or something since I know for a fact I didn't add over 75 GB of material to my machine in the last week (I've barely even used it). So what the heck is going on here?