How much actual storage from 128GB is free to use?

Abaganov

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Original poster
Jun 30, 2016
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Thinking of getting the 128gb model, my question is How much actual storage from 128GB hard disk is free to use?
 
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auxbuss

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Feb 18, 2014
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It depends on which apps you choose, obvs. Base Mojave (with one user) is about 10Gb, then apps on top of that.
 

saulinpa

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Jun 15, 2008
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Other big programs get installed like Garage Band and iWork apps like Keynote. You need to get someone who just bought one to report on free space.
 

redheeler

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Oct 17, 2014
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I would imagine the amount of free space available after the OS, apps, Recovery OS, and formatting / partitioning is somewhere around 100 GB.

The OS and other apps build up cache between restarts and having less than 30-45 GB of free space can potentially cause problems. So that's about 70 GB left for file storage.
 

auxbuss

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Feb 18, 2014
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I would imagine the amount of free space available after the OS, apps, Recovery OS, and formatting / partitioning is somewhere around 100 GB.
Do folk just make up random stuff here?

Base macOS install plus Apple apps is no more that 15 Gb. So, at a minimum, 110 Gb free. (There's a 2 Gb VM/swap partition also. See `diskutil list`)

The OS and other apps build up cache between restarts and having less than 30-45 GB of free space can potentially cause problems. So that's about 70 GB left for file storage.
This is nonsense. Really complete rubbish. What in heaven's name do you think requires 30-45 Gb of free space? Do you know how long it takes to write that amount of data?

Until you're down to your last 2 or 3 Gb, macOS will be fine. Sure, i wouldn't want to cut it that fine, but there's a ton of headroom.
 
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redheeler

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Oct 17, 2014
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This is nonsense. Really complete rubbish. What in heaven's name do you think requires 30-45 Gb of free space? Do you know how long it takes to write that amount of data?

Until you're down to your last 2 or 3 Gb, macOS will be fine. Sure, i wouldn't want to cut it that fine, but there's a ton of headroom.
I assume you have experience using a Mac with less than 30 GB of free space? I do; my iMac has been below 30 GB in the past, and I had to restart it on several occasions because the OS and apps simply ran out of space and stopped working correctly. (I put it to sleep most of the time instead of restarting frequently, like most people do these days.)

Looking at the MacOS disk management utility now, System is showing 78.15 GB used. Advising someone that it's ok to have less than 30 GB of free space on a boot drive is really not a good idea.
 

EugW

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Jun 18, 2017
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For me a standard install ranges from about 15-30 GB depending upon the applications and support files installed. So unless you have lots of applications installed you should expect more than about 100 GB left over.

However, typically it is recommended that for SSDs one should have about 20% free to ensure proper drive wear so realistically that leaves about 75 GB.

In addition, stuff like archived iPhone backups can take up a lot of space. As in anywhere from 5 GB to 50 GB or more.

It really depends on how you use your laptop but 128 GB can be limiting even with relatively light usage. However if you know your usage is light and you are meticulous about keeping your drive clean, 128 GB is fine. For me though, 256 is the sweet spot for a laptop.
 

raqball

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Sep 11, 2016
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Do folk just make up random stuff here?

Base macOS install plus Apple apps is no more that 15 Gb. So, at a minimum, 110 Gb free. (There's a 2 Gb VM/swap partition also. See `diskutil list`)
I guess so....

Was at the Apple Store today and checked a few different 128GB (Air and Pro) machines on display... All bone stock'ish and all in the 99-100 GB free range...
 
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EugW

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Jun 18, 2017
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Wrong. Out of the box, my brand new, 128GB 2018 Air showed 94 GB free. So I traded it back in and got the 256GB model. Mojave takes about 30GB of space.
Mojave itself does not take 30 GB. Not anywhere close that in fact. It’s the extra software. I assume you have all the Apple software installed, like GarageBand. That extra software eats up lots of space.

If you don’t use that software you can simply delete it. But like I said for myself I find 256 GB is the sweet spot, partially because with 256 I don’t have to be as stingy with use of my storage space.
 
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auxbuss

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Feb 18, 2014
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I guess so....

Was at the Apple Store today and checked a few different 128GB (Air and Pro) machines on display... All bone stock'ish and all in the 99-100 GB free range...
Sure, but: What apps were installed? How large had the various caches become? Was there more than a single user? Had the store loaded images, videos, music, etc. Any Timemachine caches. And so on.

This is not a hill I want to defend much, but a store demo machine is hardly a pristine vanilla install, imo.

I need to reinstall a 128 Gb machine in the next couple of weeks, so will play this game then.
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I assume you have experience using a Mac with less than 30 GB of free space? I do; my iMac has been below 30 GB in the past, and I had to restart it on several occasions because the OS and apps simply ran out of space and stopped working correctly. (I put it to sleep most of the time instead of restarting frequently, like most people do these days.)

Looking at the MacOS disk management utility now, System is showing 78.15 GB used. Advising someone that it's ok to have less than 30 GB of free space on a boot drive is really not a good idea.
Okay, we'll have to agree to disagree – although I wasn't advising anyone, but stating an opinion based on my experience. I still have no idea why you think it's necessary to always have 30 Gb free on a boot drive.
 
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