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View Full Version : Storage Space: what is "Other"




onthecouchagain
Jul 23, 2011, 02:23 PM
When checking out my "About THis Mac" section, under storage, I have over 13 gigs of "Other" which I can't account for. How would I discover what it might be? And it's def. not the system because it's 13 gigs of the 121 gigs (out of grand total of 128 GB).

THis is the new 13".



MattZani
Jul 23, 2011, 03:29 PM
I have 21Gb of Other! I'm guessing its all the system etc.

mkelly
Jul 23, 2011, 03:34 PM
"Other" would include the operating system, any virtual-memory swap files on your drive, etc. In other words, "other" is all the stuff that enables your computer to operate.

Those virtual memory files can be large - usually the same size as the amount of RAM in your machine. For instance, my 2010 11" MBA has a 4.0 GB vm file in /private/var/vm/sleepimage.

Also, any application data files will appear under "Other". I use Parallels to run a few Windows programs, and my Windows virtual machine file is approximately 40 GB in size, which explains why my "Other" category shows up as 56 GB in size.

onthecouchagain
Jul 23, 2011, 06:02 PM
Hm, but isn't that what the discrepancy between the "usable" storage space and actual storage space is? Isn't that difference for the system and whatnot?

For example, I got the 128 GB, but only 121 GB is usable. Then I suppose my question is, what is taking up 7 GBs from 128 to 121?

MattZani
Jul 23, 2011, 06:15 PM
It seems like the right amount for formatting, but from SL onwards it was counted correctly so a 128Gb drive would have 128Gb or usable space.

sporadicMotion
Jul 23, 2011, 06:20 PM
Hidden built in Lion restore partition? I wasn't paying attention to the pre release lion stuff but I recall mention of apple implementing this on the new macs.

allyjones17
Aug 2, 2011, 09:42 AM
Can you be rid of the partition?

Gemütlichkeit
Aug 2, 2011, 09:44 AM
it's file extensions that aren't can't be categorized as movies,photo's,music, etc.

i had a large MKV file that I deleted and it brought "OTher" down because the OS didn't recognize it as a movie file.

h00ligan
Aug 2, 2011, 09:53 AM
Hidden built in Lion restore partition? I wasn't paying attention to the pre release lion stuff but I recall mention of apple implementing this on the new macs.
More than that.
Can you be rid of the partition?
Don't get rid of it, it's less than 700 mb, you will be glad you don't have to wait through a 4-5 hr reinstall later.
it's file extensions that aren't can't be categorized as movies,photo's,music, etc.

i had a large MKV file that I deleted and it brought "OTher" down because the OS didn't recognize it as a movie file.

Good call, it's still not a very accurate representation of what is taken.. if it only recognizes native file types :/

Lord Appleseed
Aug 2, 2011, 09:56 AM
Can you be rid of the partition?

Don't. It's your only backup on the MB Air.

Cynicalone
Aug 2, 2011, 09:59 AM
Hm, but isn't that what the discrepancy between the "usable" storage space and actual storage space is? Isn't that difference for the system and whatnot?

For example, I got the 128 GB, but only 121 GB is usable. Then I suppose my question is, what is taking up 7 GBs from 128 to 121?

Part of the 7GB's is lost to the SSD for garbage collection.

allyjones17
Aug 2, 2011, 10:14 AM
I have over 40GB in 'Other' on my 250GB MBP...what the heck could it be...??!!

zulumonk
Aug 13, 2011, 12:13 PM
I'm also seeing a large portion of my SSD being taken by "Other" files. Does 48GB seem too much?

jsolares
Aug 13, 2011, 12:35 PM
My virtual machines show up as other

GGJstudios
Aug 13, 2011, 12:40 PM
I have over 40GB in 'Other' on my 250GB MBP...what the heck could it be...??!!
Use Disk Inventory X (http://www.derlien.com/) or Grand Perspective (http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/) to see how space is being used on your drive.

qwerf123
Aug 13, 2011, 12:44 PM
I noticed this earlier, I've got 121Gb of other and can't rid off it even after indexing.

Would anyone have any suggestions on what it could be and getting rid of it?

I've tried programs suggested above and it doesn't help and AppleCare were useless
Otherwise thinking of reinstalling Lion

GGJstudios
Aug 13, 2011, 12:45 PM
I noticed this earlier, I've got 121Gb of other and can't rid off it even after indexing.

Would anyone have any suggestions on what it could be?
Otherwise thinking of reinstalling Lion
You're saying you used one of the apps I mentioned and they show the 121GB as "other"?

qwerf123
Aug 13, 2011, 12:52 PM
You're saying you used one of the apps I mentioned and they show the 121GB as "other"?

No. Strangely, that app states I have about 100GB free but Mac OS fails to say the same and claims my HD is full in the 'about this mac' section and with constant reminders when I try to do anything

I've know for certain it can't be full so I am stumped with how to fix it.

Is there a feature like 'system restore' for windows on Macs so you can turn the computer back to previous settings/installations?

GGJstudios
Aug 13, 2011, 12:56 PM
No. Strangely, that app states I have about 100GB free but Mac OS fails to say the same and claims my HD is full in the 'about this mac' section and with constant reminders when I try to do anything
Have you emptied your Trash? Have you restarted your Mac?

Cynicalone
Aug 13, 2011, 01:05 PM
No. Strangely, that app states I have about 100GB free but Mac OS fails to say the same and claims my HD is full in the 'about this mac' section and with constant reminders when I try to do anything

I've know for certain it can't be full so I am stumped with how to fix it.

Is there a feature like 'system restore' for windows on Macs so you can turn the computer back to previous settings/installations?


Use Disk Utility to "Erase Free Space" that will probably fix it.

EDIT: Nevermind you can't use "Erase Free Space" on the new MacBook Air's.

qwerf123
Aug 13, 2011, 01:11 PM
Have you emptied your Trash? Have you restarted your Mac?


Done this, restarted and allowed it to index but still nothing as changed. I am just gonna reinstall Lion i guess then.

Think I will try out the Lion Recovery Disc Assistant!

babyblues197669
Jul 24, 2012, 06:49 PM
"Other" would include the operating system, any virtual-memory swap files on your drive, etc. In other words, "other" is all the stuff that enables your computer to operate.

Those virtual memory files can be large - usually the same size as the amount of RAM in your machine. For instance, my 2010 11" MBA has a 4.0 GB vm file in /private/var/vm/sleepimage.

Also, any application data files will appear under "Other". I use Parallels to run a few Windows programs, and my Windows virtual machine file is approximately 40 GB in size, which explains why my "Other" category shows up as 56 GB in size.

my "other" is 81.69GB? is that normal? i have been trying to figure out what it is, why it's SO much, and how get more of my storage back?

GGJstudios
Jul 24, 2012, 06:59 PM
my "other" is 81.69GB? is that normal? i have been trying to figure out what it is, why it's SO much, and how get more of my storage back?
If you're wondering what "Other" category in the Lion storage tab is about, this may help explain:
What is this "Other" in the storage tab? What is eating my space (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=14103154&postcount=1)
For space issues not explained by the above, there are a few things you can try, some of which may or may not apply:
Begin by restarting your computer as a first step. This sometimes resolves issues.


For Time Machine users on notebooks running Lion, space may being consumed by Time Machine local snapshots, which can be disabled (http://toti.posterous.com/hidden-local-backups-with-mac-os-x-lion-filli).
OS X Lion: About Time Machine's "local snapshots" on portable Macs (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4878)


Check to see if some of the space is being used by your sleepimage (http://osxdaily.com/2010/10/11/sleepimage-mac/) file.


Search with Finder to see if the space is being consumed by a very large file or several large files. Adjust the 50GB in the illustration to whatever size you deem appropriate.
http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=316547&d=1324232637
Use OmniDiskSweeper (http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omnidisksweeper/), JDisk Report (http://www.jgoodies.com/freeware/jdiskreport/), Disk Inventory X (http://www.derlien.com/index.html), DaisyDisk (http://www.daisydiskapp.com/) or GrandPerspective (http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/) to see how space is being used on your drive. Some of these apps may show more detail than others, so try several.


Check your drive with Disk Utility: Using Disk Utility to verify or repair disks (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1782)


Try re-indexing your drive: Spotlight: How to re-index folders or volumes (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2409)
Here are a few resolutions found by others with the same question:

Encrypted drive (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1331617)
Time Machine backup files and needed disk repair (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1327443)
App filling log file (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1323490)
App or file was 89GB (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1327832)
Drive needed to be re-indexed (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1326965)
Time Machine backup file (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1322806)
Large app cache file (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1319720)
Garageband files and video podcasts (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1313090)
Oversized email being duplicated (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1310158)
Another email issue (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=831784)

babyblues197669
Jul 24, 2012, 07:37 PM
If you're wondering what "Other" category in the Lion storage tab is about, this may help explain:
What is this "Other" in the storage tab? What is eating my space (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=14103154&postcount=1)
For space issues not explained by the above, there are a few things you can try, some of which may or may not apply:
Begin by restarting your computer as a first step. This sometimes resolves issues.


For Time Machine users on notebooks running Lion, space may being consumed by Time Machine local snapshots, which can be disabled (http://toti.posterous.com/hidden-local-backups-with-mac-os-x-lion-filli).
OS X Lion: About Time Machine's "local snapshots" on portable Macs (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4878)


Check to see if some of the space is being used by your sleepimage (http://osxdaily.com/2010/10/11/sleepimage-mac/) file.


Search with Finder to see if the space is being consumed by a very large file or several large files. Adjust the 50GB in the illustration to whatever size you deem appropriate.
http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=316547&d=1324232637
Use OmniDiskSweeper (http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omnidisksweeper/), JDisk Report (http://www.jgoodies.com/freeware/jdiskreport/), Disk Inventory X (http://www.derlien.com/index.html), DaisyDisk (http://www.daisydiskapp.com/) or GrandPerspective (http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/) to see how space is being used on your drive. Some of these apps may show more detail than others, so try several.


Check your drive with Disk Utility: Using Disk Utility to verify or repair disks (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1782)


Try re-indexing your drive: Spotlight: How to re-index folders or volumes (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2409)
Here are a few resolutions found by others with the same question:

Encrypted drive (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1331617)
Time Machine backup files and needed disk repair (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1327443)
App filling log file (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1323490)
App or file was 89GB (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1327832)
Drive needed to be re-indexed (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1326965)
Time Machine backup file (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1322806)
Large app cache file (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1319720)
Garageband files and video podcasts (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1313090)
Oversized email being duplicated (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1310158)
Another email issue (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=831784)


i dont use time machine (never have and it's off) and i tried to delete the sleepmage, but it just reappears? i am going to restart my macbook but this problem i have had probably since i updated to snow leopard? when you upgrade to a new operating system does it override the space the previous system used? or do i have to delete it manually? i will try the disk repair also! thank you SO much for helping me! as you can probably guess i am NOT a pro at this computer stuff! thank you again! :)

babyblues197669
Jul 24, 2012, 09:54 PM
If you're wondering what "Other" category in the Lion storage tab is about, this may help explain:
What is this "Other" in the storage tab? What is eating my space (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=14103154&postcount=1)
For space issues not explained by the above, there are a few things you can try, some of which may or may not apply:
Begin by restarting your computer as a first step. This sometimes resolves issues.


For Time Machine users on notebooks running Lion, space may being consumed by Time Machine local snapshots, which can be disabled (http://toti.posterous.com/hidden-local-backups-with-mac-os-x-lion-filli).
OS X Lion: About Time Machine's "local snapshots" on portable Macs (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4878)


Check to see if some of the space is being used by your sleepimage (http://osxdaily.com/2010/10/11/sleepimage-mac/) file.


Search with Finder to see if the space is being consumed by a very large file or several large files. Adjust the 50GB in the illustration to whatever size you deem appropriate.
http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=316547&d=1324232637
Use OmniDiskSweeper (http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omnidisksweeper/), JDisk Report (http://www.jgoodies.com/freeware/jdiskreport/), Disk Inventory X (http://www.derlien.com/index.html), DaisyDisk (http://www.daisydiskapp.com/) or GrandPerspective (http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/) to see how space is being used on your drive. Some of these apps may show more detail than others, so try several.


Check your drive with Disk Utility: Using Disk Utility to verify or repair disks (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1782)


Try re-indexing your drive: Spotlight: How to re-index folders or volumes (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2409)
Here are a few resolutions found by others with the same question:

Encrypted drive (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1331617)
Time Machine backup files and needed disk repair (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1327443)
App filling log file (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1323490)
App or file was 89GB (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1327832)
Drive needed to be re-indexed (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1326965)
Time Machine backup file (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1322806)
Large app cache file (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1319720)
Garageband files and video podcasts (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1313090)
Oversized email being duplicated (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1310158)
Another email issue (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=831784)

i dont use time machine (never have and it's off) and i tried to delete the sleepmage, but it just reappears? i am going to restart my macbook but this problem i have had probably since i updated to snow leopard? when you upgrade to a new operating system does it override the space the previous system used? or do i have to delete it manually? i will try the disk repair also! thank you SO much for helping me! as you can probably guess i am NOT a pro at this computer stuff! thank you again! also how do i restart? should i back up first? or will it be safe and not delete anything?

babyblues197669
Jul 24, 2012, 10:25 PM
If you're wondering what "Other" category in the Lion storage tab is about, this may help explain:
What is this "Other" in the storage tab? What is eating my space (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=14103154&postcount=1)
For space issues not explained by the above, there are a few things you can try, some of which may or may not apply:
Begin by restarting your computer as a first step. This sometimes resolves issues.


For Time Machine users on notebooks running Lion, space may being consumed by Time Machine local snapshots, which can be disabled (http://toti.posterous.com/hidden-local-backups-with-mac-os-x-lion-filli).
OS X Lion: About Time Machine's "local snapshots" on portable Macs (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4878)


Check to see if some of the space is being used by your sleepimage (http://osxdaily.com/2010/10/11/sleepimage-mac/) file.


Search with Finder to see if the space is being consumed by a very large file or several large files. Adjust the 50GB in the illustration to whatever size you deem appropriate.
http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=316547&d=1324232637
Use OmniDiskSweeper (http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omnidisksweeper/), JDisk Report (http://www.jgoodies.com/freeware/jdiskreport/), Disk Inventory X (http://www.derlien.com/index.html), DaisyDisk (http://www.daisydiskapp.com/) or GrandPerspective (http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/) to see how space is being used on your drive. Some of these apps may show more detail than others, so try several.


Check your drive with Disk Utility: Using Disk Utility to verify or repair disks (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1782)


Try re-indexing your drive: Spotlight: How to re-index folders or volumes (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2409)
Here are a few resolutions found by others with the same question:

Encrypted drive (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1331617)
Time Machine backup files and needed disk repair (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1327443)
App filling log file (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1323490)
App or file was 89GB (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1327832)
Drive needed to be re-indexed (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1326965)
Time Machine backup file (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1322806)
Large app cache file (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1319720)
Garageband files and video podcasts (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1313090)
Oversized email being duplicated (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1310158)
Another email issue (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=831784)


so i used the omni disk sweeper thing and the data is different? what does this mean?

GGJstudios
Jul 25, 2012, 01:03 AM
i tried to delete the sleepmage, but it just reappears?
sleepimage – the Mac OS X sleepimage file explained (http://osxdaily.com/2010/10/11/sleepimage-mac/)
when you upgrade to a new operating system does it override the space the previous system used? or do i have to delete it manually?
No, you don't have to manually delete an OS when you upgrade to a newer version. The older version is replaced by the newer version.
also how do i restart? should i back up first? or will it be safe and not delete anything?
Restarting your computer is accomplished by clicking  on your Menu Bar at the top and selecting "Restart". It simply shuts down your computer and starts it up again. It doesn't delete anything and is perfectly safe to do. Naturally, it's always a good idea to have current backups, but it's not necessary just to restart your computer.
so i used the omni disk sweeper thing and the data is different? what does this mean?
It means that some of those utilities shows more detail than others, which is why it's a good idea to run several, in case some miss items that others find.

babyblues197669
Jul 25, 2012, 05:30 PM
sleepimage – the Mac OS X sleepimage file explained (http://osxdaily.com/2010/10/11/sleepimage-mac/)

No, you don't have to manually delete an OS when you upgrade to a newer version. The older version is replaced by the newer version.

Restarting your computer is accomplished by clicking  on your Menu Bar at the top and selecting "Restart". It simply shuts down your computer and starts it up again. It doesn't delete anything and is perfectly safe to do. Naturally, it's always a good idea to have current backups, but it's not necessary just to restart your computer.

It means that some of those utilities shows more detail than others, which is why it's a good idea to run several, in case some miss items that others find.
I am SO glad you helped me with all this! i still haven't figured out why my "other" folder is at 79GB? but i did manage to lower it a bit by erasing things here and there? and i backed up all my photos and movies to an external and erased them so i would have more room to download the Mountain Lion system today. i did a disk repair thing and it did need repair so i did that, but it didn't change my GB count in "other" that dang "other" folder drives me NUTS lol someday i hope to figure out what is in there!

GGJstudios
Jul 25, 2012, 05:33 PM
I am SO glad you helped me with all this! i still haven't figured out why my "other" folder is at 79GB?
Did you read all of the post I linked?
What is this "Other" in the storage tab? What is eating my space (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=14103154&postcount=1)

Juggernault
Sep 30, 2013, 09:11 PM
I have 308gb of other space being taken up by I have no clue. I have ran the aforementioned disk sweepers and i am only taking up like 50gb as a user. (Rough estimate.)

I am now running the disk utility deleting the free space i check my other category and now it says 335 gb used.

I called Applecare. They do not have a clue what is wrong with it. I am running on LION. (Waste of 300$)

My local Mac store in Michigan said it was time machine snapshots. However, I have TM disabled and even disabled them in terminal. They said after a while after you disable them the old ones will disappear. There are NO snapshots on my CPU.

Anyone help me out now?

I have tried everything.

Movies and music are all on my External.

silvershamrock
Oct 1, 2013, 01:58 PM
I have 308gb of other space being taken up by I have no clue. I have ran the aforementioned disk sweepers and i am only taking up like 50gb as a user. (Rough estimate.)

I am now running the disk utility deleting the free space i check my other category and now it says 335 gb used.

I called Applecare. They do not have a clue what is wrong with it. I am running on LION. (Waste of 300$)

My local Mac store in Michigan said it was time machine snapshots. However, I have TM disabled and even disabled them in terminal. They said after a while after you disable them the old ones will disappear. There are NO snapshots on my CPU.

Anyone help me out now?

I have tried everything.

Movies and music are all on my External.

Some other possibilities:


If your emails are being stored on your computer rather than on the server, the mail messages (and their attachments) will appear as "Other" ... which can eat up a big chunk of hard drive especially if you get lots of media files as mail attachments
If you have deleted any apps, there's usually some orphan files left behind, which will also appear as "Other". This will often include the app data which can be quite large.

Hope this helps :)