Private folder taking up space?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by duranduranie, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    #1
    I know this has been asked before and I asked it once too, but I don't understand all these technical terms and nothing I did worked. I've now got over 20GB in this "private" folder as I saw in Disc Inventory X.

    I cannot find this folder anywhere when I search and I cannot delete it.

    Please advise me on what to do in as simplest way as possible.

    Thanks so much, sorry.
     
  2. macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #2
    dont delete it! the private folder is a hidden folder in the root directory. you can access it my entering "/private" in Finder's "Go To Folder…" or by entering cd /private in Terminal.

    /private houses Apache, Cups, Samba etc. which are backend Unix stuff and also holds your virtual memory in /private/var/vm which is the size of how much RAM you have. 20 GB is pretty steep unless you have like an insane amount of RAM.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    #3

    Nothing comes up when I search for that. I cannot find the folder. I am not sure what RAM means, I'm sorry. I know I should have a lot more space than this, my computer is at Zero GBS now, and I've deleted everything, even all my songs. When I cleared like 10GBS of space, the next day it was all gone even though I didn't save anything.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #4
    RAM (random-access memory) is a storage device like your hard drive but is very fast and so can hold the stuff you currently have open. think of it as short term memory and your hard drive as long term memory where you save files for later.

    in Finder press command+shift+G and paste this in "/private/var/vm/" click on sleepimage and press command+I to see how big your virtual memory is.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    #5


    Thank you! It worked now,
    it shows a folder called "app_profile" and
    white files called swapfile1, 2, 3 and 4.


    I can't open any of it because it says I don't have sufficient privileges ergo I can't delete them.

    The thing is I don't have anything on my computer, no pictures, songs, movies, nothing. Everything I have that I know of and want is in my external hardrive.

    Does that mean it would be okay to delete this? If so, how?

    Thanks a lot for your help.
     
  6. macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #6
    i dont have app_profile so that should be safe to delete. drag everything in private to the Trash, enter your password, reboot and then empty your Trash.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    #7


    It's only going to clear a few MB. What I want is to delete everything. What exactly would it change? I have no files on my computer, only in my external hardrive like I said. I should have over 30Gbs.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #8
    you said youve got 20GB of data in private and the only folder that would house that much data would be the virtual memory folder.

    [​IMG]

    so if that folder is not the culprut im really not sure what would be. you could try looking around in Disk Inventory X again for more folders. really the easiest thing to do would be to reinstall OS X again as you dont have any valuable data. just insert your first install, open the installer, click restart and follow the OS X installer directions.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #9
    I am still confused...

    I have read this thread and a few other threads on the internet about the private folder. I understand it is virtual memory being backed up or whatever but i don't how to stop it from eating up all my HD space. I have a MBP 2.16 GHz core 2 duo with 2 gigs of ram with 120 gig HD. I have 56 gigs of free space when i boot up but after 3 days of not downloading anything and only really using Safari and using iTunes, i now have 46 gigs. It is all in the Private folder. Before, I wouldn't restart my computer for weeks and it would be fine but lately, it seems i need to restart every 2 days. Can anyone give guidance to my situation? Thanks.
     

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