Lion eating up disk space

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by iMikeT, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #1
    I have had Lion installed for five days, I installed it this past Wednesday. Since then, I have noticed that Lion is slowly chipping away at my boot volume's free space. In the five days that I've been using Lion, it's chipped away nearly 3GB of disk space. All I have been doing is web surfing in Safari, using Mail and iCal, and occasionally using iTunes. Time Machine is turned off.

    I would assume that Auto Save and Versions are the culprits but is it realistic for the os to eat up that much space with that kind of light usage? Also, is anyone else experiencing this?
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    Oct 29, 2006
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    #2
    If you are using a portable, it's more likely the automatic Mobile Backup feature of Lion. I'm connected to my Time Machine drive 99% of the time, but there is still 6GB stored in local backup.

    The local backups are stored in /.MobileBackups
     
  3. iMikeT thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #3
    I should have provided a little more detail about my Mac. I am using a BTO 2011 27" iMac.
     
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #4
    AFAIK, mobile backups only occur on portables, but I'm not 100% sure on that point.

    You could just see if the folder exists. The easiest way is to use Terminal and the following command:

    Code:
    % ls -la / | more
    The "." prefix files should be at the top of the list. To end the listing, type "q", or just close Terminal.
     
  5. unobtainium, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011

    unobtainium macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    #5
    I had 20GB stored in "backups" so I turned off Time Machine and rebooted, hoping that would clear up the space. Instead, I now have an additional 20GB in "Other" and 0 KB in backups. And presumably no way to get rid of this huge chunk eating up my hard drive.
     
  6. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #6
    Are you guys serious? Lion is making unwanted backups on my hard drive? ( I got a MBP? )

    Anyway to disable it and remove the backup Lion has made? ( i really don't need or want this, all my backups are on my external hard drive. I rather use the free space for Apps and files )
     
  7. Mascots, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011

    Mascots macrumors 65816

    Mascots

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #7
    This only happens if you have Time Machine enabled. Basically, what Lion will do is make snapshots of your drive (what's changed since your last snapshot or backup to a disk) and save it all on the drive in a hidden folder. It does this in the background so you can still browse your immediate backup history and and keep an ongoing set of backups if not connected to your Time Machine drive.

    Don't worry about it, though. There are a few other things to consider:
    1. It will update your Time Machine drive with your snapshots the next time you connect (replicating them to your Time Machine disk but keeping them on your local disk).
    2. If you begin to run out of space (It determines this based on a percentage of used space to total space) it will wipe all of your snapshots to free up space.
    3. The snapshots only go back for about 2 weeks before clearing the oldest and replacing them with new ones. It does some hybrid saving/removing whenever a Time Machine drive is attached from time to time.

    You can see it if you enter the Time Machine UI: Local snapshots will be grey tabs in the time bar while Time Machine backups will be purple.

    Basically, it's just a technique to keep backups when you're not near or attached to your drive and managed in the background so it's nothing you need to worry about.
     
  8. unobtainium macrumors 68000

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    Mar 27, 2011
    #8
    It's a good idea in theory, but it was using a ton of space on my drive (20GB). That seems a bit ridiculous.
     
  9. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    Jan 16, 2008
    #9
    I have used over 100g of disk space on my Timemachine since Lion's install - so its doing something wrong
     
  10. iMikeT thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Well after a week into having Lion installed on my iMac's main boot volume, it has officially chipped away well over 3GB of data while only using it lightly with non-critical tasks (same tasks as my original post).

    To a point, I'm glad that things are getting saved locally but what's the point of having an external hard drive for back-ups (Time Machine) and/or critical data?
     
  11. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #11
    Yep I noticed something odd about my back ups now. Even if I do not use my MBP all day, when I turn it on in the evening it will back up over a gig of data. WTF is it backing up since the last update, the machine was OFF. It isn't random either, it is every back up. Since installing Lion I have used almost 50 gbs of space on Time Machine and I only have 200 gigs of data on my two internal drives, some something isn't right.
     
  12. fullenglish macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    #12
    Not Time Machine

    I do not have Time Machine enabled, and yet I am losing 3gb while doing small tasks on MacBookPro. How can I stop this local backup?
     

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