What's taking up all the space on my MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Apple!Fre@k, May 23, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2006
    Is there any way to find out what's taking up most of my hard drive on my MBA? I have opened the Finder and selected All My Files and sort by Size and there's no more than a few gigs of files that show up there. As you can see from this screenshot, 92.75GB is being taken up by "Other." Does anyone have any idea what "Other" could be or how I can find out??

  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Pick up a copy of omnidisksweeper and it will provide a sorted list of folders/files. This will give you the detailed info you're looking for
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2006
    Thanks! Turns out my MobileSync folder was 65GB so I deleted some of my iTunes iPhone and iPad backups. But oddly after cleaning up all but 1 backup, that folder is still 20GB big.

    And it says I only have 48GB now available out of my 120GB HDD. I started with 13GB available so only freed 35GB. The MobileSync folder going from 65GB to 20GB would be 45GB by my math so I'm not sure what happened to the other 10GB I deleted that isn't reflected?

    Also, 6GB is in a folder called Private > var > vm > sleepimage. Any idea what that is?
  4. macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2012
    I guess i've heard of some time-machine feature included in lion, which performes some kind of local backup on the internal ssd!

    sleepimage sounds like an image that is made every time you put your mac into sleep mode / close the cover! this may be more or less a copy of your ram (to safe battery - powering ram uses more energy).
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2006
    Makes sense! Thanks ref540!
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2012
    The ‘sleepimage’ file is what your Mac had in it’s memory when the machine last went to sleep. So it is essentially an image of your Mac’s previous memory state. When your Mac wakes from sleep, the content of sleepimage is placed back into active memory, and your Mac is returned to the state that it was in prior to sleeping.
  7. macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area
  8. macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    Thank you!
  9. macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2009
    London, UK
    Obviously according to your screenshot your local SSD has not been indexed in a while - it is done automatically by OSX, don't know how to force it. That's why you see so much "other".

    - TimeMachine local cache is eating plenty of memory (but will be deleted by OSX if you reach a state of low disk space)
    - Local RAM image for sleeping/hibernation mode is eating as much memory as installed RAM - and OSX keeps the "last successful state" in case wakeup fails so you'll likely end up with 2-3 time the amount of RAM installed in hibernation file.
    - Have you checked your recycle bin ?
    - iTunes helps you deduplicate songs (File/show duplicates)
    - IPhoto and iMovie libraries can be rebuilt - iMovie even has an option to "save disk space"
    - Dropbox/Mobileme accounts are replicated on your computer... some cleanup might be useful

    just my 0,02...
  10. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If you're wondering what "Other" category in the Lion storage tab is about, this may help explain:
    For space issues not explained by the above, there are a few things you can try, some of which may or may not apply:
    Here are a few resolutions found by others with the same question:

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