How to delete Mac OS Update files

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by lish55, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. lish55 macrumors newbie

    lish55

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2016
    #1
    I have an old Macbook Pro, currently running OS X El Captain Version 10.11.3. I tried to update it to OS Sierra, I downloaded Sierra, but the update failed many times so I decided to just cancel the update since this is not my main computer anyway. I no longer want to continue with the update, but the problem is, now I keep getting the error message that says "Your startup disk is almost full. To make more space available on your startup disk, delete some files."

    I think the Sierra download is taking up most of the space so I would like to find and delete those files. Does anyone know how to find the downloaded files for an OS update?
     
  2. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #2
    The Sierra updater should be in your /Applications folder.
     
  3. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #3
    OP: Look for "Install macOS Sierra" in the Applications folder. It should be a app that is about 4.97 Gb.
     
  4. lish55 thread starter macrumors newbie

    lish55

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2016
    #4
    Thanks, I tried searching for "Install macOS Sierra" on This Mac and in the Applications folder and nothing came up. I also can't see it by manually looking through the Applications folder. Do you know of any other folder it could be in? I'm starting to think it's not on my Mac anymore, but I remember freeing up enough space to download the update and since then I have hardly any storage space left.
     
  5. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #5
    The Installer app automatically deletes itself after the install has been completed. Since the Sierra update failed, I do not know where pieces of the install might be. I have not had a OS install failure. It sounds like you did not really have enough room to perform the update. I think at least 8 Gb free space is recommended. Going forward, I would recommend freeing up at least 10% or more space on your internal drive for normal operations.

    My recommendations:
    1. Restart your computer, then check to see if you have more disk space back. Temporary, invisible install files that are marked for deletion might be removed after a restart.
    2. The largest file in the installer app package is "InstallESD.dmg" which is 4.95 Gb. Search to see if it was left somewhere due to the failed install.
    3. Probably the best option, but the more extreme, is to restore your internal drive from a backup made before trying to install Sierra.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    There's a free utility app called "DiskWave".
    You can find it here:
    https://diskwave.barthe.ph

    Just download it and open it.
    You'll see what to do next.
    It will help you find out what's eating up your disk space.

    TIP: set it up to make invisible files visible.

    If your drive is nearly full, you should consider deleting or off-loading some files, in any case.
    Drives that are nearly full will almost always run more slowly.
    Drives that fill up too much won't let the Mac boot at all.
     
  7. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #7
    There may be a folder left behind at the main level of your disk, called "OS X Install Data". If you have that folder, remove it. I'd suggest then updating your computer to 10.11.6 and install the ensuing security updates to be sure you're getting all the latest bug fixes for El Capitan. The Sierra update may work better once 10.11.6 is on the computer, but it may also just be failing because of the lack of disk space on your computer.
     

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