Empty trash EATS space instead of freeing it up

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by WolfBenz, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. WolfBenz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    #1
    The starkest things just happened:
    I had just done a few installs (on my new MBP) and decided it was time to clean stuff up.

    Before "empty trash": 126 GB available
    After "empty trash": ... (wait for it) : 94 GB available!

    So I actually LOST space by emptying the trash??? !

    In the trash were big files (some > 30 GB).

    How on earth is this possible?
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Where are you looking at space used? Finder?

    If you have Time Machine turned on, emptied trash does not really get emptied... it gets moved to a hidden /.MobileBackups folder and is purged off as the disk approached 80% full. You can read about it here.

    Code:
    sudo du -hs /.MobileBackups
    If you run this command in Terminal it will show how much space is being used by that folder. If you briefly turn Time Machine off then back on it will empty that folder.
     
  3. WolfBenz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    #3
    To go into the questions:
    1/ Indeed, to determine the space, I was looking in the status bar of a Finder window
    2/ Your command gave this feedback:
    49G /.MobileBackups


    3/ Meanwhile, just half an hr later, I see I have 156 GB free.
    It seems to be a floating journey ;-)

    Do I get it right, from yr respons, I actually have 156 + 49GB free now?
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    It sounds like the OS was in the process of purging some of that /.MobileBackups stuff, hence the different readings.

    You sort of have 156 + 49 "available" now but not empty/free. If you tired to copy over a large file that needed this space, the OS would purge off some of the 49GB to make room for it. So that 49GB is space used right now, but at the same time available for you use should you need it.

    If you briefly turn TM off then back on, and run that command again, you will see it goes down to almost zero.

    From what I am seeing here you have nothing wrong and this is working as intended.
     
  5. WolfBenz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    #5
    "From what I am seeing here you have nothing wrong and this is working as intended."
    Indeed. It was just confusing at first. Perhaps Apple could optimise a bit the labelling / real time feedback. ;)
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Yeah... it is confusing as all get out and a common question on the forums. If you look at Finder it does not account for that hidden space, but the About this Mac storage tab and Disk Utility do.
     

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