8 Replies Latest reply: May 10, 2014 12:45 AM by khanahmed123
AroseArtist Level 1 (0 points)

My Mac is telling me that my startup disc is too full. But I still have 542GB of storage UNUSED in my 750GB disk! What do I need to do to keep that message from telling me it's too full. And more importantly, why is it confused?


Screenshot 2013-10-16 17.59.00.png

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.5)
  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,377 points)

    What is the exact, complete text of the warning, and what are you doing when you see it?

  • AroseArtist Level 1 (0 points)

    It reads: And has come up both while typing in Word, and while browsing the net (no downloading, just reading).



    Your startup disk is almost full.


    You need to make more space available on your startup disk by deleting files.


    [] Do not warn me about this disk again



  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,377 points)

    Problems such as yours are sometimes caused by files that should belong to you but are locked or have wrong permissions. This procedure will check for such files. It makes no changes and therefore will not, in itself, solve your problem.

    First, empty the Trash.

    Triple-click anywhere in the line below on this page to select it, then copy the selected text to the Clipboard by pressing the key combination command-C:

    find ~ $TMPDIR.. \( -flags +sappnd,schg,uappnd,uchg -o ! -user $UID -o ! -perm -600 -o -acl \) 2> /dev/null | wc -l

    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). The command may take a noticeable amount of time to run. Wait for a new line ending in a dollar sign (“$”) to appear.

    The output of this command, on a line directly below what you entered, will be a number such as "41." Please post it in a reply.

  • iheartapple1970 Level 3 (670 points)

    you may need to reindex the hard drive so that it recalculates what's on it and that may stop the message from popping up. the following article tells how to do this using spotlight:



  • EliasM Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello, I've been having the exact same issue. 500 GB HD, more than 300 empty. I have checked this with OmniDiskSweeper, which gives me the same number.


    I have copied the line you gave in Terminal, which gave me the numer 79 as a result. I have no idea what to do next.


    Also, while Terminal was busy, it repeatedly showed me the message "Low Disk Space. Terminal has detected that the system disk is running low on swap space. Scrollback buffers may automatically be trimmed to conserve memory.  OK"


    Help would be much appreciated.

  • Adambr Level 1 (5 points)

    Same issue here. I have a 500 GB HD, with about 127 GB used, with 4 GB of RAM. Running 10.9.1


    Today, I suddenly started to get this error message: "Your startup disk is almost full. You need to make more space available on your startup disk by deleting files."


    I've Googled for solutions and tried various fixes. Examples:


    After emptying the trash and fixing permissions (and rebooting) I downloaded and ran Omnisweep (from root using Terminal). No huge file identified. But then I saw a new message: "Terminal has detected that the system disk is running low on swap space. Scrollback buffers may automatically be trimmed to conserve memory."


    I also found and deleted a "recovered messages" folder in Mail (and rebooted).


    Activity Monitor says: Physical Memory: 4GB, Memory Msed: 3.99 GB, Virtual Memory: 4.94 GB, Swap Used: 0 bytes. That Terminal command mentioned above gave me the number 214.


    Oh, I also deleted user caches.


    No joy—still getting the error.

  • EliasM Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Adam,


    In the end I called AppleCare, back in November. They had me try all kinds of things, but nothing worked. In the end, they advised me to reinstall the OS, which I did. And which solved the problem. Obviously, you want to make sure you've got a good backup first.

  • khanahmed123 Level 1 (0 points)

    Even can't open safe mode  I tried thousand times.


    I have MBP late 2011 13"

    The issue now is the active disc that contains OS is full with no single byte free and doesn't mount or load OS to computer run and always a grey bar appears upon starting the PC.

    I tried to increase Macintosh HD space by partition but it says you can not change because the disc is locked. When tried to unlock disc from disc utility and than startup disc the PC stands still or hangs up.

    I don't have Mac OS disc or any apple shop in me area.

    Please help me as soon as possible

    Thanks indeed

    Can't go to safe mode

    Can't unlock startup disc

    Can't modify oration , says disc is locked