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fourthtunz

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
1,725
1,196
Maine
I've deleted a bunch of files from my 2018 mini's hard drive and but it doesn't give me
disk space what gives?
 

Honza1

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2013
933
432
US
Space will show up later - eventually. Not because you likely have is SSD, but because Macs are always storing "snapshots" - even when not using TimeMachine. They store deleted files (even when you empty the trash) in the snapshot until it ages out - or until system needs to space. Typically in 24-48 hours snapshots will be deleted and then space will show up.
If you start running out of space, snapshots should be deleted when necessary.
 

fourthtunz

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
1,725
1,196
Maine
Space will show up later - eventually. Not because you likely have is SSD, but because Macs are always storing "snapshots" - even when not using TimeMachine. They store deleted files (even when you empty the trash) in the snapshot until it ages out - or until system needs to space. Typically in 24-48 hours snapshots will be deleted and then space will show up.
If you start running out of space, snapshots should be deleted when necessary.
Thank you! I saw that somewhere but never found out how to delete the snapshots.
So where do I go to delete the snapshots?
 

planteater

Cancelled
Feb 11, 2020
892
1,679
Thank you! I saw that somewhere but never found out how to delete the snapshots.
So where do I go to delete the snapshots?
Commands to list them, and then to delete them by name if you find them and want them gone.

tmutil listlocalsnapshots /
sudo tmutil deletelocalsnapshots 2021-02-15-00000
 
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Project Alice

macrumors 68020
Jul 13, 2008
2,013
2,080
Post Falls, ID
I just happened to come across this thread and saw the comments about snapshots taking up space.
I just wanted to add that I didn't even know about this, and my 'free space' always reflects when emptying the trash immediately. I have never had the problem OP is describing. On Mojave, or Catalina.
 

svanstrom

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2002
787
1,744
??
Thank you! I'll give it a shot!
Friendly reminder:

Don't mess with things you don't completely understand unless you absolutely have to; and when in such territories it's good to give the forum more context.

As an example, in this case we don't know if the actual problem is you simply wanting to see different numbers, if you assume you can't do something because not enough free space, if you've failed to do something due to lack of space, or if you by "permanently delete files" actually meant that you are trying to securely delete some data.

Those are all different things, and might have given you completely different advice from us here.
 
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fourthtunz

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
1,725
1,196
Maine
Friendly reminder:

Don't mess with things you don't completely understand unless you absolutely have to; and when in such territories it's good to give the forum more context.

As an example, in this case we don't know if the actual problem is you simply wanting to see different numbers, if you assume you can't do something because not enough free space, if you've failed to do something due to lack of space, or if you by "permanently delete files" actually meant that you are trying to securely delete some data.

Those are all different things, and might have given you completely different advice from us here.
Good advice thank you!
I executed some of the commands and there weren't any backups.
I had assumed that something was going on with time machine.
I guess its as some of the other folks had mentioned, that it can take a few days for extra space to showup
or your SSD. I had deleted a number of videos in iTunes and I did't get any extra space on my drive from it.
There still seems to be about 200 gigs of data in my user folder that I cannot account for.
Thanks!
 
Last edited:

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2008
3,480
1,904
UK
I just happened to come across this thread and saw the comments about snapshots taking up space.
I just wanted to add that I didn't even know about this, and my 'free space' always reflects when emptying the trash immediately. I have never had the problem OP is describing. On Mojave, or Catalina.
Do you have APFS volume for your boot disk?
 

hg.wells

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2013
990
714
How is your photo library set up? Both photos and iPhoto have an option to reference photos and keep them in their current location.
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2008
3,480
1,904
UK
I dunno I moved my iPhotos collection of my drive 3 days ago and I still don't have the space,
and the amount that the system is taking up is growing!
I moved 225gb of data to a different ssd, in chunks of ~50gb, and each time space came back after 3 days once the snapshot was deleted (as Honza1 noted).
I have TechTool Pro, which lets me select how many days (3 in my case) snapshots are kept, and also let's me delete them at will.
Don't know what the MacOS default is.
 

madrich

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2012
589
102
World Class City of Chicago
Commands to list them, and then to delete them by name if you find them and want them gone.

tmutil listlocalsnapshots /
sudo tmutil deletelocalsnapshots 2021-02-15-00000
I think that if you delete all your snapshots you will cause the spotlight to re-index from scratch, and this could time consuming. I recommend you keep the latest one for safekeeping.
 
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fourthtunz

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
1,725
1,196
Maine
How is your photo library set up? Both photos and iPhoto have an option to reference photos and keep them in their current location.
Thank you, I'll check that out!
I deleted some of those snapshots and freed up about 100 gigs!
Not sure why Apple doesn't make deleting these or at least managing these snapshots
a little easier.
 

Honza1

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2013
933
432
US
I deleted some of those snapshots and freed up about 100 gigs!
Not sure why Apple doesn't make deleting these or at least managing these snapshots
a little easier.
This is easy answer. Because it should not be necessary and Apple likes to make stuff which "just works".
As I noted early in this chain, these snapshots are (when all works fine) deleted after few days OR when necessary, so user has always enough space.
In other words, if you are running out of space, snapshot should be deleted by system and you should have all space you need (and physically have). You should not have to know about these snapshots to use your computer. I have seen this snapshot business going wrong may be once in years it is used. It seems relatively stable and reliable. So just ignore this and you should be fine.
Unluckily, there is big group of people in between the "general user" (those who do not even know how much empty space they have until they run out = majority of Apple users) and experts (those who know what snapshots are and how they are managed = tiny fraction of Apple users). This group "in between" sees numbers they do not understand and get scared and start calling for help (in better case) or yelling that "Apple is bad"...
 
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madrich

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2012
589
102
World Class City of Chicago
In other words, if you are running out of space, snapshot should be deleted by system and you should have all space you need (and physically have). You should not have to know about these snapshots to use your computer.
I agree that is what Apple’s instructions say, but in reality it does not always work that way. Although I have an old Time Machine (Capsule) I found that as I get closer to my maximum TM space it is better to manually delete old snapshots to free up space; otherwise my TM gets stuck/freezes and I have to erase the whole TM disk and start my backups all over.
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2008
3,480
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UK
Personally I don't have any issues with large snapshots.
I have multiple drives backed up to TM, currently my total snapshots (for both TechTool and TM) are 820mb, as they only last for 3 days.
If you move/delete things a lot then you will have bigger snapshots.

I'm wondering if other people may have a hfs volume instead of apfs, which may cause the issues.
 

Honza1

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2013
933
432
US
I agree that is what Apple’s instructions say, but in reality it does not always work that way. Although I have an old Time Machine (Capsule) I found that as I get closer to my maximum TM space it is better to manually delete old snapshots to free up space; otherwise my TM gets stuck/freezes and I have to erase the whole TM disk and start my backups all over.
Hm...
different subject. OP was asking about snapshots made on system drive, those which are done always (even when TM is switched off) by system and "take up" space on main drive of the computer. NOT TM snapshots.
TM pruning and deleting of old records is different thing and while it mostly works, sometimes TM hangs and fails. I eventually gave up and once TM disk starts running out of space, I file it and keep as backup and get a new one. I use 8-10TB disks for ~4TB of running disks (1TB system + 4TB external for data which is also included in TM) and 8TB backup drive lasts few years before it actually fills up. Then I file it, get a new drive and go from there. These are all HFS formatted drives and in my experience they have tendency of failing due to file system issues after few years anyway. That filing system seems complicated and fragile.
Do not have experience with APFS TM drives yet.
 
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