'Get Info' on HD not displaying correct available space

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by igal27, May 5, 2013.

  1. igal27 macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    I have a MacBook Pro 15" retina with 750 GB SSD. There is currently 225 GB free (as shown in Disk Utility, as well as in About This Mac > More Info... > Storage) However, when I do "Get Info" on my HD, it tells me that the Capacity is 750 GB, Available 377 GB, and Used 373 GB... With just minimal changes made to the HD (e.g. downloads of no more than a few GBs, or deleting just a few GBs worth of files), the "Available" shown in the Get Info window for the HD will sometimes vary significantly (between the low 300's to the low 400's), when the actual amount available is still in the low 200's range... Why is it doing this, and is there a way to get the Get Info to display the correct available space (without having to check via About This Mac or Disk Utility)?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If you're wondering what "Other" category in the Lion/ML storage tab is about, this may help explain:
    For space issues not explained by the above, there are a few things you can try, some of which may or may not apply:
    Here are a few resolutions found by others with the same question:
    Freeing up space in Mac OS X

    How OS X and iOS report storage capacity
  3. igal27 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    Thanks, but there actually isn't any problem with the space being taken with the contents of the drive -- the difference between the 750 GB capacity and the 225 (real) available space is accounted for, I don't have a problem there.

    What I have a problem with is that doing "Get Info" on the HD shows me the incorrect available space (instead of showing 225 GB, it varies between 300 to about 430 GB available space). The actual available space stays pretty much constant (at least I can account for any changes), but I can't for the life of me figure out the reason for the huge (artificial) fluctuations in the available space as displayed in the Get Info window for the HD...

    Does anyone have an idea?
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I suspect you are using Time Machine (?), and what you are seeing is the result of Time Machine's local backups. Time Machine temporarily stores some backup on the local drive and you can see that listed under the purple Backups section of the About this Mac screen you mentioned.

    You can see 3GB being used for this in my system below.


    Since OS X manages this space and will shrink it if the user needs the space for storage, the space used is not included in Finder or Get Info, but it is included in space used shown in About this Mac and Disk Util. Check both places and do the math with the purple backups space shown and it should add up... mine does.

    You can just ignore it and OS X will manage the space. If it is bothering you, you can turn Time Machine off then back on and it will zero the space.
  5. igal27 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    Ah, that seems to be it... Thanks for solving the mystery!

    One question though. I didn't take a screen shot of the "Storage" breakdown earlier, so I don't remember the exact numbers, but I had ~225 GB free, and some 180-something GB of "Backups" (which I now understand were local Time Machine snapshots). Then after reading your reply, I turned off Time Machine, and all the space under Backups disappeared (it went down to zero), but the total available space just went up slightly to 238 GB -- and "Other" went up from a low amount (don't recall exactly how much) to 184 GB -- i.e. most of the "Backup" was transferred into "Other".

    How do I now get rid of all this extra space in "Other"? I read the post you referred me to earlier about "Other" space and understand that it represents anything that doesn't fall into the pre-defined categories, but here, clearly, the bulk of "Other" is what was deleted from the Time Machine local snapshot when I turned off Time Machine. Where do I find this on my HD to delete it?

    Thanks again for the quick responses!
  6. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Just turning TM off then on should delete the space without moving it to Other. Try a reboot and then a Spotlight reindex to see if that clears up the readings.

    You can reindex Spotlight by entering the command below in Terminal. Wait for the reindex to finish then check again.

    sudo mdutil -E /
    If none of that works, try something like OmniDiskSweeper to try and find what is taking up space.

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