Deleting files decreased available space

Böhme417

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 11, 2009
598
642
I was cleaning out old files to free up some space on my hard drive. I found four old movies/videos that were downloaded to my hard drive that are also in iCloud, so I deleted them. They totalled about 5.6 GB. Before I started this, the Macintosh HD Info window reported 91.15 GB available. I deleted the files and emptied the trash. The space available didn't change, so I restarted the computer. After restarting, the Info window now reports only 84.47 GB free.

Um, what?

How did I lose more space after deleting these large files?
 

konradsa

macrumors regular
Aug 25, 2014
189
10
Really, that's not obvious to you? Clearly, the files you deleted were taking up negative space! ;)
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,207
9,911
California
I thought about that, but the computer was connected to the time machine drive all day, so it had be doing hourly backups. And, wouldn't any of those snapshots have been purged after a backup and restart?
No... they will stay there until the drive approaches 80% full, then they will start to purge off. Or, you can briefly turn TM off then back on and they will all be deleted.

Before you do that though, if you are curious, run the command below in Terminal and it will show you how much space is being used by the local snapshots.

Code:
sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /.MobileBackups
 

Tesla1856

macrumors member
Jul 25, 2017
91
28
Texas, USA
Try Resetting your TimeMachine backup. Worked for me. This is from my notes.

----------

Time-Machine Backup - Reset and Start-Over (good to do any time OS is upgraded)

Note: DO NOT just toggle TimeMachine Backup OFF, and then just delete files from Backup_500. They will go to Trash and there will be too many to delete later. Erase drive instead.

If you have a "Archive and Backup Files" folder on it (in root) that you manually copy stuff too, copy it to desktop or somewhere
safe temporarily until this procedure is finished.

Toggle Time-Machine Backup OFF from Top-Menu (uncheck Backup Automatically).
Click "Select Backup Disk" button and Unselect existing drive
Use SpotLight Search or otherwise start Disk Utility
Select the TimeMachine hard drive (top level) from the left menu, then choose the “Erase” tab
Select format type “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”, give it a logical name (like Backup_500), and choose “Erase”, confirm to erase at the next screen.
After it finishes, if you select Partition tab, you will see it is one large Partition, the Map Scheme is GUID Partition Table
- and other options you just selected
Quit Disk Utility

Start TimeMachine
Be sure "Old Drive" is unselected
Select new drive (Backup_500) from Available Drives, and click Use Disk button
Turn on TimeMachine (be sure Backup Automatically is checked)
Within a few minutes, it will start backing up "Macintosh_HD" to "Backup_500".
- This initial backup might take a while because its backing-up everything.
Yes, "Backup_500" must-be/should-be excluded from backup because if not, it would try to backup itself in a loop.

As a final test (and one reason TimeMachine was erased and reset in the first-place) be sure that the
Used space of Apps (usually first in blue on the bar) is ballpark-correct in About This Mac/ Storage.

Copy "Archive and Backup Files" folder back to root of drive.

Done and working.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,207
9,911
California
Try Resetting your TimeMachine backup. Worked for me. This is from my notes.
I'm not sure what problem you had that you had to go through all that, but turning TM off then back on will most definitely empty /.MobileBackups. You can run the command I gave before and after to see.

I think you had something else going on, or tried to delete items from /.MobileBackups manually perhaps.
 

Tesla1856

macrumors member
Jul 25, 2017
91
28
Texas, USA
> I'm not sure what problem you had that you had to go through all that, but turning TM off then back on will most definitely empty

Yes, I tried that first, but it did not help. I also tried some other things that didn't work. Thanks, I will keep a note of your MobileBackups fix if it happens again.

Resetting the TimeMachine is not hard.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Weaselboy

Similar threads

  • NeonTigerOfficial
0
Replies
0
Views
171
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.