Deleting huge files, but not freeing up space!?

robodelfy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 13, 2018
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I moved to High Sierra a few months ago, and I was noticing some weird behaviour with what my storage space was showing.

I have a 1tb SSD in my MacBook Pro. I only have a few hundred GB of my own files. I just deleted about 200gb of files from my desktop, and there is no change in free space.

I've googled it and the Apple forums seem useless as usual, I've tried deleting local snapshots from Time Machine using terminal. I've re indexed Spotlight.

This is crazy, surely we need to be able to delete files and see the free space.

I've attached a screenshot. You can see system is taking up a huge amount, hundreds of GB. I just restarted and system went up 30gb from what you see in the photo. It doesn't make any sense

Any solutions to this, its driving me nuts?
Thanks
 

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robodelfy

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Jan 13, 2018
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I am sure that you did, but did you go to the finder and empty the trash? Or just put them in the trash can?

It has to be asked.
yeah I did! I'm not a computer wizard but Im quite tech savvy!
[doublepost=1535825429][/doublepost]
What command did you use to delete the snapshots? Cause system taking up that much space seems like TM snapshots to me.
I tried this, which was given to me on this forum when I posted about something similar recently to do with back up drives :
tmutil listlocalsnapshotdates / |grep 20|while read f; do tmutil deletelocalsnapshots $f; done

I also used one I found on another forum to trim down the time machine backups. I have no idea whats going on, but it seems many other people have similar issues, and Apple dont seem to proved any answers

But I have a 1tb drive which is nearly full when I'm barely using half !
 

casperes1996

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Jan 26, 2014
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yeah I did! I'm not a computer wizard but Im quite tech savvy!
[doublepost=1535825429][/doublepost]
I tried this, which was given to me on this forum when I posted about something similar recently to do with back up drives :
tmutil listlocalsnapshotdates / |grep 20|while read f; do tmutil deletelocalsnapshots $f; done

I also used one I found on another forum to trim down the time machine backups. I have no idea whats going on, but it seems many other people have similar issues, and Apple dont seem to proved any answers

But I have a 1tb drive which is nearly full when I'm barely using half !

Try running just tmutil listlocalsnapshots. Does it print any output?
[doublepost=1535826211][/doublepost]I also recommend diskutil apfs listSnapshots
 

robodelfy

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Original poster
Jan 13, 2018
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Try running just tmutil listlocalsnapshots. Does it print any output?
[doublepost=1535826211][/doublepost]I also recommend diskutil apfs listSnapshots
This is what it said with thise commands :

Alexs-MacBook-Pro:~ alexdelfont$ tmutil listlocalsnapshots

Usage: tmutil listlocalsnapshots <mount_point>

Alexs-MacBook-Pro:~ alexdelfont$ diskutil apfs listSnapshots

Usage: diskutil apfs listSnapshots|listVolumeSnapshots|snapshots

[-plist] <apfsVolumeDisk>

where <apfsVolumeDisk> = APFS Volume DiskIdentifier

List all APFS Snapshots, if any, on the given APFS Volume. The APFS Volume must

normally be unlocked and mounted.

Example: diskutil apfs listSnapshots disk5s1

Alexs-MacBook-Pro:~ alexdelfont$
 

casperes1996

macrumors 601
Jan 26, 2014
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This is what it said with thise commands :

Alexs-MacBook-Pro:~ alexdelfont$ tmutil listlocalsnapshots

Usage: tmutil listlocalsnapshots <mount_point>

Alexs-MacBook-Pro:~ alexdelfont$ diskutil apfs listSnapshots

Usage: diskutil apfs listSnapshots|listVolumeSnapshots|snapshots

[-plist] <apfsVolumeDisk>

where <apfsVolumeDisk> = APFS Volume DiskIdentifier

List all APFS Snapshots, if any, on the given APFS Volume. The APFS Volume must

normally be unlocked and mounted.

Example: diskutil apfs listSnapshots disk5s1

Alexs-MacBook-Pro:~ alexdelfont$

Sorry, I wasn't being clear enough. For the first one you need to enter the mount point / as an argument, and for the second one, you need to give it a device ID
 

robodelfy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 13, 2018
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Sorry, I wasn't being clear enough. For the first one you need to enter the mount point / as an argument, and for the second one, you need to give it a device ID
Sorry I shouldn't have said I was tech savvy, as I dont understand what you mean by entering a mount point/as an argument, or giving a device id
I dont know how to use terminal!

I did just run this command :
sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /

And I've attached the screenshot. It doesn't show system there but says Toal is 525 which probably is somewhere close to what I thought. But what about system, as it still shows in About this Mac/storage as being over 300gb
 

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casperes1996

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Jan 26, 2014
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Sorry I shouldn't have said I was tech savvy, as I dont understand what you mean by entering a mount point/as an argument, or giving a device id
I dont know how to use terminal!

I did just run this command :
sudo du -d 1 -x -c -g /

And I've attached the screenshot. It doesn't show system there but says Toal is 525 which probably is somewhere close to what I thought. But what about system, as it still shows in About this Mac/storage as being over 300gb

Haha, sorry. I'm a computer scientist ¯¯\O/¯¯.

"tmutil listlocalsnapshots /"

(You need the / to tell the command where to look for snapshots. / is the root of your SSD and thus that's where it'll look)

for the diskutil command we first need to run diskutil list.
Running "diskutil list"
will give you an overview of device IDs corresponding to all the block devices on your computer. Find your SSD and your macOS volume on the list, and note it's ID. This will be something in the form of "/dev/diskXsY" where X and Y are replaced by numbers.
Then run
"diskutil apfs listSnapshots /dev/diskXsY"
replacing X and Y with the location of your APFS volume.

If it shows any snapshots existing then that's likely what's taking up space. This space should be pursuable though, meaning that if you need the space macOS will automatically reclaim it
 

robodelfy

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Original poster
Jan 13, 2018
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Haha, sorry. I'm a computer scientist ¯¯\O/¯¯.

"tmutil listlocalsnapshots /"

(You need the / to tell the command where to look for snapshots. / is the root of your SSD and thus that's where it'll look)

for the diskutil command we first need to run diskutil list.
Running "diskutil list"
will give you an overview of device IDs corresponding to all the block devices on your computer. Find your SSD and your macOS volume on the list, and note it's ID. This will be something in the form of "/dev/diskXsY" where X and Y are replaced by numbers.
Then run
"diskutil apfs listSnapshots /dev/diskXsY"
replacing X and Y with the location of your APFS volume.

If it shows any snapshots existing then that's likely what's taking up space. This space should be pursuable though, meaning that if you need the space macOS will automatically reclaim it

Ha, how do you not get constantly stressed out! Computers are the bane of my life :)

Ok I've attached a screenshot. It seems that I did delete the snapshots earlier, as there are only these new ones, when earlier there were more.

But even if it will use the space, surely when I look at how much space I have left I need to see a correct number! Right now its showing that I have 900gb used, when I've deleted half of it. I am always monitoring disk space and trying to be efficient with it, so I really need this pretty basic feature

Are there no other solutions? Seems like something apple should address
 

casperes1996

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Jan 26, 2014
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Ha, how do you not get constantly stressed out! Computers are the bane of my life :)
Hehe, well, computer science isn't actually like using a computer. It's mostly theory, math and staring at a blob of text thinking "..... Why does this never get called when it should be executed after this loop?"

Ok I've attached a screenshot. It seems that I did delete the snapshots earlier, as there are only these new ones, when earlier there were more.
I think you forgot to attach.

Are there no other solutions? Seems like something apple should address
Hmmm. Well. If you use Get Info from Finder on your hard drive, it should show both free space as free + purgeable.

Since the snapshots were removed though, it may not actually be purgeable space that's keeping your System storage usage high.

You don't use Xcode do you?


Do you backup your iOS devices to your Mac?

Do you use Adobe apps?

System includes iTunes Backups of iOS devices, broken downloads, frameworks and libraries, Xcode Simulators, and caches. Adobe apps can create a lot of cache files.
 

robodelfy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 13, 2018
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Hehe, well, computer science isn't actually like using a computer. It's mostly theory, math and staring at a blob of text thinking "..... Why does this never get called when it should be executed after this loop?"



I think you forgot to attach.



Hmmm. Well. If you use Get Info from Finder on your hard drive, it should show both free space as free + purgeable.

Since the snapshots were removed though, it may not actually be purgeable space that's keeping your System storage usage high.

You don't use Xcode do you?


Do you backup your iOS devices to your Mac?

Do you use Adobe apps?

System includes iTunes Backups of iOS devices, broken downloads, frameworks and libraries, Xcode Simulators, and caches. Adobe apps can create a lot of cache files.
Ah, I think I don't have the brain for that kind of thinking! But Im glad people like you do :)

Sorry, Ive attached it now.

I do use adobe apps, dont use any of the other things you mentioned

It seems to me it must be something to do with local snapshots. Because I loaded up my computer with about 200gb of files the other day, left it for a few days, and just moved it to an external HDD and deleted it, which is when I noticed. But to be taking up hundreds of GB, surely only a local snapshot including those massive files could make sense? The other things you mentioned can add up to 500 gb can it?

I just dont know now if its just showing the wrong number or if the space is actually not there.

It seems such a basic feature, is this considered normal behaviour on High Sierra? The people on the apple forums are next to useless and just ask silly questions like 'Have you emptied your trash' or they link you to a useless apple article about freeing up space!
 

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casperes1996

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Ah, I think I don't have the brain for that kind of thinking! But Im glad people like you do :)

Sorry, Ive attached it now.

I do use adobe apps, dont use any of the other things you mentioned

It seems to me it must be something to do with local snapshots. Because I loaded up my computer with about 200gb of files the other day, left it for a few days, and just moved it to an external HDD and deleted it, which is when I noticed. But to be taking up hundreds of GB, surely only a local snapshot including those massive files could make sense? The other things you mentioned can add up to 500 gb can it?

I just dont know now if its just showing the wrong number or if the space is actually not there.

It seems such a basic feature, is this considered normal behaviour on High Sierra? The people on the apple forums are next to useless and just ask silly questions like 'Have you emptied your trash' or they link you to a useless apple article about freeing up space!

Seeing that all those snapshots are from today, it doesn't seem likely to me that they're the issue. Try using Maintenance or OnyX to clear caches and run maintenance scripts. I doubt it'll fix it, but it might.

The things I mentioned shouldn't on their own take up that much space, but if you combined all of them, it's possible they could, yeah.

If you Get Info on the System Folder at the root of your drive in Finder, how much space does it say it takes up?
 

robodelfy

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Jan 13, 2018
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Seeing that all those snapshots are from today, it doesn't seem likely to me that they're the issue. Try using Maintenance or OnyX to clear caches and run maintenance scripts. I doubt it'll fix it, but it might.

The things I mentioned shouldn't on their own take up that much space, but if you combined all of them, it's possible they could, yeah.

If you Get Info on the System Folder at the root of your drive in Finder, how much space does it say it takes up?
Its really strange, look at this screenshot of all the places where I can see space being taken up. If just got to MacintoshHD and get info on the system folder there, is that what you mean? Or isnt there a load of hidden stuff elsewhere? Because it doesn't add up ....
 

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casperes1996

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Its really strange, look at this screenshot of all the places where I can see space being taken up. If just got to MacintoshHD and get info on the system folder there, is that what you mean? Or isnt there a load of hidden stuff elsewhere? Because it doesn't add up ....

Yes, there are hidden files, but based on where macOS places data, I wanted to get an idea of what might be causing your System to take up that much space. Try getting info on the Library folder in the root. Does that take up loads of space? If yes, dig in, and try and figure out which folder inside that takes up a lot of space.
 

ivnj

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2006
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I have the same problem. Just got 2014 mini 1tb hd ( not fusion ) on august 30. Fresh high sierra. Probably corrupt preferences. It says zero items in folder for zero bytes. But thats not true. There are lots of files in there. Also I made backup image of another mac. I did it by mistake on the mini and not my external hd. So I coppied the image to an external. Then I deleted the image from my mini. After emptying then trash with 500gb image it still says 38gb left on mini. Should be about 500 now. Not 38 still.
 

Howard2k

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Mar 10, 2016
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What happens if you go to About This Mac and then Storage. Does the free space update?
 

ivnj

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2006
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What happens if you go to About This Mac and then Storage. Does the free space update?
I just got the mini 4 days ago. So not much stuff on it to backup. Hardly anything much. So I backed up and reformatted. Then Command + R and reinstalled the OS in recovery. This time formatted the drive and I split the hard drive in to 2 parts 500 each. 1 for high Sierra. And 1 so I can try the Mojave beta. After reinstalling the OS all is good now. It is behaving like its supposed to. Not all the free space back but pretty close to the original. Not like before with 100s of gb copped and hardly any back. Like on the second partition for example 499.35 originally when copping over the applications folder from high sierra just to test which is about 900mb. And now after emptying the trash 499.34. And on the main high sierra partition originally 484.43 out of 499.41. And now after emptying the trash 483.86 left. So not bad. A lot better than before.
 

robodelfy

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Jan 13, 2018
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Yes, there are hidden files, but based on where macOS places data, I wanted to get an idea of what might be causing your System to take up that much space. Try getting info on the Library folder in the root. Does that take up loads of space? If yes, dig in, and try and figure out which folder inside that takes up a lot of space.
Sorry for the slow reply, Ive been travelling..

How can I get info on the Library at root level?

You can see in this screenshot that the 4 main folders in MacintoshHD add up to about 600gb. Yet at the bottom (and everywhere else I look) it says only 112gb available, so I dont know what to believe or where that other 300gb has gone

Also this happened after putting huge files on my desktop for a while and then deleting them, so it surely has something to do with that?

[doublepost=1536133467][/doublepost]
What happens if you go to About This Mac and then Storage. Does the free space update?
No you can see in a earlier screenshot, its way off
 

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robodelfy

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Jan 13, 2018
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Yes, there are hidden files, but based on where macOS places data, I wanted to get an idea of what might be causing your System to take up that much space. Try getting info on the Library folder in the root. Does that take up loads of space? If yes, dig in, and try and figure out which folder inside that takes up a lot of space.

I also used Omnidisksweeper, you can see what it shows in the screenshot. It's just not reflecting that elsewhere on the system. Its so strange
 

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robodelfy

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Jan 13, 2018
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Did you do an upgrade or a clean install?
I cant remember now. I bought it used and it came ready with the setup screen...I just cant remember if that was for high Sierra, or if it was just Sierra and then updated instantly when I installed. Why?
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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OP:

SOMETHING (or perhaps more than one thing) in your user folder is "eating up all that space".

The OS (itself) does not look to be "out of the ordinary".
But your user folder is HUGE.

What happens if you "look deeper into it"?

It should reveal what the large files/folders are.
 

robodelfy

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Original poster
Jan 13, 2018
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OP:

SOMETHING (or perhaps more than one thing) in your user folder is "eating up all that space".

The OS (itself) does not look to be "out of the ordinary".
But your user folder is HUGE.

What happens if you "look deeper into it"?

It should reveal what the large files/folders are.
No thats about right for my user folder, I have a 1tb SSD so I can store a lot of stuff! It adds up....but the problem is my SSD is showing only 100gb free space, when there should be 400gb at least. So its not my user folder.

As I said it happened after having some very large files on my desktop which I deleted and emptied the trash, and the space never came back. This appears to be a common problem on High Sierra, yet apple doesn't provide a solution, and I cant find one anywhere else
 

casperes1996

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Jan 26, 2014
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No thats about right for my user folder, I have a 1tb SSD so I can store a lot of stuff! It adds up....but the problem is my SSD is showing only 100gb free space, when there should be 400gb at least. So its not my user folder.

As I said it happened after having some very large files on my desktop which I deleted and emptied the trash, and the space never came back. This appears to be a common problem on High Sierra, yet apple doesn't provide a solution, and I cant find one anywhere else
Is there a chance it's just a view error, and that what the system reports is just wrong?