4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 26, 2013 2:19 PM by iheartapple1970
MikeH92131 Level 1 Level 1

While not huge space eaters, I also don't know what Audio/Movies/Photos I have taking up space. I keep all of those files on an external (which is currently not hooked up).


I use Dropbox but only have about 3.5 GB of files there.


Any ideas how to A.) remove those media files that I don't use and B.) figure out what is in the "Other" category?


FYI, I am still in my Mac Rookie year, so forgive me if this is an easy fix. Thanks for any help!


Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 10.05.30 AM.png

MacBook Air (13-inch Mid 2012), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4)
  • nbar Level 5 Level 5

    First, empty your trashcan.


    See here for more information on clearing out the other space:

    How to find and delete pesky 'other' data in OS X

    DaisyDisk is a viable alternative as well to Omnidisksweeper.


    Do you have time machine on? If so, local backups can take up a fair amount of this 'other' space. You can use a terminal command below to disable local backups:


    sudo tmutil disablelocal


    This will not interfere with backups to your external harddrive. Just the local snapshot backups accumulated on your internal drive.


    To remove media files you don't use, you can use finder to query each type of media, for example, see below. Search paramters for all .jpeg images:



    Untitled 2013-08-26 at 1.19.00 PM.png


    Check your finder sidebar as well and search in your 'favorites' folders, such as Pictures. If you have your photos in iPhoto, you will need to delete the images in iPhoto directly. Then empty iPhoto's trash.


    Delete any unused applications from your /Applications/ folder. Do the same with your ~/Pictures, ~/Movies and ~/Music folders.


  • MikeH92131 Level 1 Level 1

    Trashcan is empty (I was in the habit from my old Windows days)


    Not using Time Machine. Had not one, but two separate devices fail (My final purchase from Best Buy, by the way. Apple replaced the first one, but when the second also failed Best Buy would not take it back since the serial numbers didn't match).


    Deleted apps already. Deleted all photos from the hard drive itself, although some appear to be in my email and my Dropbox.


    Will try the disk repair link you suggested. Thanks.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    Ignore the incorrect instructions in this thread to run a shell command.


    Empty the Trash if you haven't already done so. If you use iPhoto, empty its internal Trash first:


    iPhoto Empty Trash


    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 on this page 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.

  • iheartapple1970 Level 3 Level 3

    if you have ios devices these backups are part of the "other" category. also includes documents, downloads, anything that isn't in the other headings basically.


    i would also recommend checking the size of your user mail folder in the finder window because sometimes it can become full of recovered messages that just keep eating up your HD space. if you see that it's abnormally large and does contain recovered messages you can delete these and empty the trash to free up space as well.


    also after removing a lot of items from the mac may be good idea to reindex the HD, the easiest way to do this is using spotlight. the following article tells how to do this:




    hope this w/ all the other suggestions helps out!