Desperately need assistance clearing storage.

filmanthology

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 27, 2013
4
0
I am in big trouble in the sense that I have nearly run out of room and yet need to download 23 lectures for a class I am taking. I have no idea what is on my drive that is taking up so much space in a relative sense. Other than the apps I run there is nothing to speak of on the drive that I need--can anyone suggest or even hold my hand through cleaning-up my drive and freeing-up as much space as possible?

Again, the only real concern is my apps and as far as anything else I can simply store on an external drive which I have.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Mac storage October 2017.jpg


Perhaps an unrelated question but does anyone know if my iBooks app which has upwards of 300 epub titles in it is making-up a considerable amount of the ‘other’ storage as indicated in the above image of my storage situation?

I deleted all the epub titles and it made no difference on my system’s storage whatsoever. I did however turn-off time machine and that freed-up some storage. I also deleted iCloud back-up for the phone which oddly freed up a ton of memory... that I do not understand one bit but again I do not understand storage on some basic level apparently... I deleted a small number of movies which again freed-up some more memory/storage but I am at a loss as to what is occupying so much of the ‘other’ storage.

I almost want to wipe the entire system clean as if I was preparing to sell the unit. What’s important to me given the machine is so old is that I am able to utilize it only for my studies and browse the net when I have the free time... its a bit of a puzzle to me obviously. I am a humanities guy with little interests in the machine other than its durability and functionality.
 
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madrich

macrumors 6502
Feb 19, 2012
381
55
World Class City of Chicago
I am in big trouble in the sense that I have nearly run out of room and yet need to download 23 lectures for a class I am taking. I have no idea what is on my drive that is taking up so much space in a relative sense. Other than the apps I run there is nothing to speak of on the drive that I need--can anyone suggest or even hold my hand through cleaning-up my drive and freeing-up as much space as possible?

Again, the only real concern is my apps and as far as anything else I can simply store on an external drive which I have.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.View attachment 727030

Perhaps an unrelated question but does anyone know if my iBooks app which has upwards of 300 epub titles in it is making-up a considerable amount of the ‘other’ storage as indicated in the above image of my storage situation?

I deleted all the epub titles and it made no difference on my system’s storage whatsoever. I did however turn-off time machine and that freed-up some storage. I also deleted iCloud back-up for the phone which oddly freed up a ton of memory... that I do not understand one bit but again I do not understand storage on some basic level apparently... I deleted a small number of movies which again freed-up some more memory/storage but I am at a loss as to what is occupying so much of the ‘other’ storage.

I almost want to wipe the entire system clean as if I was preparing to sell the unit. What’s important to me given the machine is so old is that I am able to utilize it only for my studies and browse the net when I have the free time... its a bit of a puzzle to me obviously. I am a humanities guy with little interests in the machine other than its durability and functionality.
Why not delete all the movies since you have them already backed-up? Alternately, buy an external scan disk memory card and save your lectures on it.
 
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kohlson

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2010
1,986
537
Use an app such as Disk Inventory X (free). It takes about a minute to graphically represent your files. Big rectangles of a certain color are large user files, like movies. It helps identify what can be removed, and what can stay.
 
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RedTomato

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2005
4,014
312
.. London ..
ePub files take almost zero space.

'Other' - probably your operating system (ie OSX itself).

- Disk Inventory X
- Grand Perspective
- Omni DiskSweeper

these three apps are all free and work roughly similarly to show you the largest files on your HDD. Try them out, see what the largest files you can safely delete are (probably movies).

Three ways of getting more space:

1
128GB Mini USB3 flash drive that you put in and leave eg
https://www.amazon.co.uk/SanDisk-Ultra-Fit-Flash-Drive/dp/B01BGTG2A0/
- cheap, gets hot, sticks out a bit, shortens battery life even if you're not using it.
(I have this, I don't use it any more)

2
128GB expansion card that goes in the slot on the side of your MBA eg
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Transcend-JetDrive-Lite-Storage-Expansion/dp/B00K73NT0S
- more expensive, stays cool, invisible, doesn't affect battery life when not using.
(I have this, love it)

3
Update to OSX 10.13 High Sierra, and pay per month for 200GB or 2TB of iCloud storage. Works really well with OSX 10.13 to automatically offload unused stuff into iCloud. Needs a bit of setting up (ticking boxes in System Prefs / iCloud) and a few days to upload stuff, but so far it's working well for me. Not good if you spend most of your time away from wifi access.
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,150
The 'other' is presumably largely the system files themselves.

The most "opportunity" appears to be the movies in that you can free up 30+ GB (note that if you are using the Photos App, like iPhoto, you have to delete these files twice to remove them from the hard drive.) No differently than with the internal SSD, if you move these files to live permanently on an external hard drive, you should back them up to at least one other separate external drive, flash drive/SD card, or cloud storage, because storage mediums fail all of the time.

I agree the JetDrive Lite is a great option for cost-effective internal flash storage (at the expense of it being slower than the SSD.) There are also 250 and 512 SSD upgrades for your model.
 

filmanthology

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 27, 2013
4
0
I want to thank each of you that have taken the time to make some suggestions... I am a certain to follow one or all of them a bit later tonight when I delve deeper into the mac--thank you all very much. I have done some deleting of files that I could careless about and plan to make even more sweeping changes in the days to come--but again thanks to each one of you. Time is the most precious thing each of us has in our own possession and I know that--I have attached a small peak at the results of my changes to the storage problem so far--the cloud idea sounds like something I can take up later as at the time being I am only concerned with movable content and only reliant upon it for the immediate and determinate amount of time... but again, the cloud was not something that I immediately thought of and yet seems like a more viable solution in my future efforts and growing library of projects currently sitting in the external drive... take care.
 

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RedTomato

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2005
4,014
312
.. London ..
I want to thank each of you that have taken the time to make some suggestions... I am a certain to follow one or all of them a bit later tonight when I delve deeper into the mac--thank you all very much. I have done some deleting of files that I could careless about and plan to make even more sweeping changes in the days to come--but again thanks to each one of you. Time is the most precious thing each of us has in our own possession and I know that--I have attached a small peak at the results of my changes to the storage problem so far--the cloud idea sounds like something I can take up later as at the time being I am only concerned with movable content and only reliant upon it for the immediate and determinate amount of time... but again, the cloud was not something that I immediately thought of and yet seems like a more viable solution in my future efforts and growing library of projects currently sitting in the external drive... take care.
Don't forget you absolutely must have a backup of every important file on your laptop in case it gets lost or stolen or broken. The general rule is 3 copies in two different places:

1 copy is on my laptop.
1 copy is in my Time Capsule, which automatically backs up via Time Machine every hour while I am at home. (Some people keep their Time Machine external drive in the office).
1 copy is in iCloud, which backs up any changed files instantly as long as I am connected to wifi. This counts as a different place (in case my home burns down or both my laptop and time capsule are stolen in the same robbery).

Some people prefer to use Dropbox or Google Drive instead of iCloud. All have their good and bad points.