Hidden space taking up 260gb.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 6, 2007
In the past day something has taken up 260GB of space on my hard drive. I used daisy disk to find what it was and initially it just said it was "hidden space" then I found out that it was macintosh HD/.mobilebackups/ but i can access that folder to clean it out. the reason this bothers me is that those 260gb accumulated over the corse of a few hours. In the morning I had 400gb available and by the afternoon I had 200gb. So why is this happening and how can I clean it up.

Last edited by a moderator:


Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
In the past day something has taken up 260GB of space on my hard drive.
That is Time Machine local backups. You can just ignore it and if you need the space OS X will shrink the space used my local backups on its own. If it is bothering you , you can turn Time Machine off then back on and the space will be zeroed out.

Turning local backups off can be a bad idea. It creates these backups when you are away from a Time Machine destination so if you accidentally delete a file you can get it back from the local backup. It does no harm to leave it on.


macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
I have a similar problem, though I don't think it's from local snapshots... If anyone can help it would be much appreciated!


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:
  • Begin by restarting your computer as a first step. This sometimes resolves issues.

  • For Time Machine users on notebooks running Lion or later, space may be consumed by Time Machine local snapshots, which can be disabled.

  • Check to see if some of the space is being used by your sleepimage file.

  • Check the System Memory tab in Activity Monitor to check page outs and swap used. If swap used is significant, restart your computer and track that value under your normal workload. If you have significant page outs under normal use, you could benefit from more RAM.

  • Search with Finder to see if the space is being consumed by a very large file or several large files. Adjust the 50GB in the illustration to whatever size you deem appropriate.
  • Use OmniDiskSweeper, JDisk Report, Disk Inventory X, DaisyDisk or GrandPerspective to see how space is being used on your drive. Some of these apps may show more detail than others, so try several.

  • Check your drive with Disk Utility: Using Disk Utility to verify or repair disks

  • Try re-indexing your drive: Spotlight: How to re-index folders or volumes
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


macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
Perth, Western Australia
FYI, even though the space is "consumed" it will be re-claimed by the OS if needed - and as a result does not show up when you do get info on your hard drive.
i.e., if you have a 500gb drive with 150gb used and 260gb of time machine backups, you could then copy 300gb to the drive and it would work - the time machine data would be automatically wiped.

My advice: just ignore it. You get the benefit of your otherwise unused space being able to get you out of the poo if you destroy/damage/overwrite/lose a file between time machine backups to external storage.

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