Finder Shows Incorrect Free Hard Drive Space

djshack

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 11, 2010
186
5
Boston, MA
I noticed tonight that Finder is displaying what I believe is an incorrect (and too high) amount of free space on my mid-2009 MacBook Pro's hard drive. This computer usually has around 110-120 GB free.

I've attached an image showing Finder's reading vs. the "About This Mac" app's reading. FWIW, Disk Utility shows the same amount as About This Mac.

Any ideas or suggestions? Just one more bug making me miss Snow Leopard....

EDIT: Well, I realized Finder is showing the free space NOT including the backups. Perhaps this is because the backups will be deleted when needed to make room for more space? I've never noticed this amount of free space so high before, though. Weird.
 

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Last edited:

djshack

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 11, 2010
186
5
Boston, MA
Alright, I'm still convinced Finder is doing something screwy in its free space calculations. First off, I was always used to having 100-120 GB or so free.

Now Finder says I have 177 GB free (on a 250 GB hard drive), which is about 10 more GB than yesterday.

I opened the About This Mac app again, and see the following readings:

Audio: 78.91 GB
Movies: 1.91 GB
Photos 20.9 GB
Apps: 6.23 GB
Backups: 100.64 GB

Thus, my audio, movies, and photos alone total 101.72 GB. 250-101.72=148.28 GB free. This does not include apps or the OS.

Where is Finder getting this mysterious 177 GB free from? It's a very odd and screwy bug if you ask me.
 

yeah

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2011
945
104
Alright, I'm still convinced Finder is doing something screwy in its free space calculations. First off, I was always used to having 100-120 GB or so free.

Now Finder says I have 177 GB free (on a 250 GB hard drive), which is about 10 more GB than yesterday.

I opened the About This Mac app again, and see the following readings:

Audio: 78.91 GB
Movies: 1.91 GB
Photos 20.9 GB
Apps: 6.23 GB
Backups: 100.64 GB

Thus, my audio, movies, and photos alone total 101.72 GB. 250-101.72=148.28 GB free. This does not include apps or the OS.

Where is Finder getting this mysterious 177 GB free from? It's a very odd and screwy bug if you ask me.
Repair the disk (disk utility)?
 

ArchiMark

macrumors 6502
Feb 2, 2003
263
0
Silicon Valley
Maybe disk directory or volume structure is a bit wonky....ie, corrupted....

Best bet is to run DiskWarrior and/or TechTool Pro and see what they report and if it reports problems, let it fix them....then check again....
 

lohp75

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2011
6
0
Onyx is another good one for maintenance repairs. You could also shut it down, fire it back up and hold command + R which will take you to recovery. Then click on disk utility/macintosh HD, repair, then in the bottom right click on verify disk and see if anything comes about in red. If something does then click repair disk :)

Sent from my ADR6325 using Tapatalk
 

djshack

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 11, 2010
186
5
Boston, MA
Onyx is another good one for maintenance repairs. You could also shut it down, fire it back up and hold command + R which will take you to recovery. Then click on disk utility/macintosh HD, repair, then in the bottom right click on verify disk and see if anything comes about in red. If something does then click repair disk :)

Sent from my ADR6325 using Tapatalk
Thanks, I'll have to give this a shot later. I had DiskWarrior way back in the day for my G4 iBook, but haven't kept it up to date (it's too damn expensive).
 

djshack

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 11, 2010
186
5
Boston, MA
I have not resolved it, but I'm not entirely sure I want to disable local snapshots (as most of my laptop use occurs at school without my Time Machine drive attached). I'm just wondering if Finder will be smart enough to actually stop allowing me to put more stuff on the potentially full hard drive...
 

treichert

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2007
398
156
Aachen, Germany
I have not resolved it, but I'm not entirely sure I want to disable local snapshots (as most of my laptop use occurs at school without my Time Machine drive attached). I'm just wondering if Finder will be smart enough to actually stop allowing me to put more stuff on the potentially full hard drive...
Then don't.

Everythings perfectly fine, Finder does not count local snapshots and therefore shows more free space, as local snapshots will be deleted as soon as your disk runs low on disk space.

Just keep it like is, no problems here.
 

djshack

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 11, 2010
186
5
Boston, MA
Then don't.

Everythings perfectly fine, Finder does not count local snapshots and therefore shows more free space, as local snapshots will be deleted as soon as your disk runs low on disk space.

Just keep it like is, no problems here.
But that's not actually the case. Finder is showing that I have about 50 more free GB than I really do... Not including the backups. If I add up the space my Music, Photos, etc. take up, that alone leaves less free space than Finder shows, not including the apps or the OS (or the backup snapshots). I should have about 100-120 GB free, not 177 GB. There's definitely some miscalculation going on.
 

treichert

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2007
398
156
Aachen, Germany
But that's not actually the case. Finder is showing that I have about 50 more free GB than I really do... Not including the backups. If I add up the space my Music, Photos, etc. take up, that alone leaves less free space than Finder shows, not including the apps or the OS (or the backup snapshots). I should have about 100-120 GB free, not 177 GB. There's definitely some miscalculation going on.
But not in Finder. Finder calculates (amount of snapshots)+(actual free disk space).
 

djshack

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 11, 2010
186
5
Boston, MA
But not in Finder. Finder calculates (amount of snapshots)+(actual free disk space).
It's not on my computer. That's the issue. I've attached a screenshot for your calculating pleasure.

My total disk space minus Audio, Movies, Photos, and Apps, equals 140.98 free GB. That does not include the backups, and that is what Finder should be reporting.

Of course, based on that, my total free space should be 40.5 GB, not the 76.78 About This Mac is reporting.

Maybe the Audio, Movies, and Photos calculations INCLUDE the backups and that utility is not showing space utilization correctly? Regardless, something is screwy between the two readings, and the issue should be fixed. I don't know if I have 40 GB free, 77 GB free, or 177 GB free. It should not be so complicated.
 

Attachments

treichert

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2007
398
156
Aachen, Germany
Ok now I see what you're getting at and I compared it with my readings.

Something's screwy with your readings :D

On my Macbook it always adds up to the value of Backups + free space no matter which way I'm calculating.

File a bug report at bugreport.apple.com, they can at least explain how this is meant to work.
 

djshack

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 11, 2010
186
5
Boston, MA
Well, I'm not sure what happened, but today, my Finder free space reading shows 121.51 GB available. Back to normal....
 

calstars

macrumors newbie
Sep 13, 2007
7
0
I had a similar situation. I turned off Time Machine and now Finder reports the correct space left on the disk.
 

ac3320

macrumors regular
Aug 20, 2011
127
0
CA
do like the one guy said and reboot into recovery HD and then "Repair Disk." That solved the problem for me. I too had tried everything previously mentioned.
 

Leschy

macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2012
8
2
Bavaria (Germany)
I had the same problem and I did the following:

disable automatic backups from time machine
reboot and repair ssd (I have only one partition)
reboot again
enable time machine

now finder shows the correct free space.
 

Lahmy88

macrumors member
May 14, 2011
82
15
Shepparton, Victoria, Australia
I had the same problem and I did the following:

disable automatic backups from time machine
reboot and repair ssd (I have only one partition)
reboot again
enable time machine

now finder shows the correct free space.
I can back this method up as it worked for me ;)

I turned off automatic backups and rebooted
Finder then reported the correct free space available.
I decided reboot with CMD + R anyways and use the disk utility to repair both partitions (even though it was just my Users partition which was incorrectly reporting free space)
Then rebooted again - correct report of free space
Switched on automatic backups again - correct report
Rebooted and again still looks all good!

I'll be the first to post back though if it does regress :mad:

I'm not sure how many people this affects, but I've only just had this problem and I only just recently starting using Time Machine :rolleyes:
I also know that the Users partition briefly ran out of space since I've had Time Machine enabled - is it possible this triggers the incorrect reporting from thereafter? (I didn't notice incorrect free space reporting before that max out of space, but then again, that's not to say it didn't, I simply don't know whether it did or not)

Geez just when you think stuffing around with Windows problems is all behind you moving over to the Macs, I gotta say, there's still a need for 'power users' on Macs, coz at the end of the day, it's still a computer and computers just bloody play up sometimes, plain and simple - I don't think that'll ever change :rolleyes:
 

Efrem

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2009
112
15
I had this same problem since upgrading to 10.8. The available space shown in the Finder grew, by steps, from 390+ GB of a 512GB SSD to 460+ GB. There is no possible way that my apps, data, etc., occupy only 50GB.

I turned off Time Machine, restarted normally, and the Finder's concept of my free space is now back to a realistic 392GB. (TM is now back on, of course. I'm not crazy.)

If it happens again, I'll see if turning off Time Machine matters and will post the results here.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,337
10,099
California
I had this same problem since upgrading to 10.8. The available space shown in the Finder grew, by steps, from 390+ GB of a 512GB SSD to 460+ GB. There is no possible way that my apps, data, etc., occupy only 50GB.

I turned off Time Machine, restarted normally, and the Finder's concept of my free space is now back to a realistic 392GB. (TM is now back on, of course. I'm not crazy.)

If it happens again, I'll see if turning off Time Machine matters and will post the results here.
What you are seeing is normal and is from Time Machines local backups. Give this a read.
 

k1121j

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2009
823
534
New Hampshire
It's not on my computer. That's the issue. I've attached a screenshot for your calculating pleasure.

My total disk space minus Audio, Movies, Photos, and Apps, equals 140.98 free GB. That does not include the backups, and that is what Finder should be reporting.

Of course, based on that, my total free space should be 40.5 GB, not the 76.78 About This Mac is reporting.

Maybe the Audio, Movies, and Photos calculations INCLUDE the backups and that utility is not showing space utilization correctly? Regardless, something is screwy between the two readings, and the issue should be fixed. I don't know if I have 40 GB free, 77 GB free, or 177 GB free. It should not be so complicated.
same problem in finder it shows i have 1.55TB free i only have a 750Gb HD ut happened after i reinstalled yosemity from the app store while trying to restore my restore partition that is for some reason not there

yep turning off auto backups then back on did the trick thanks for the tips
 
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