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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 22, 2013
This is really weird and I have no idea what could be causing it, but space on my hard drive has just been slowly vanishing over a long period of time. After all the applications I use and have on my MacBook now were installed, I had over 30GB free. That was several months ago. Now I have just over 10GB free with nothing since being downloaded or installed. When editing videos, I just keep all footage/project files on my external hard-drive. If I ever have files ACTUALLY stored on my MacBook itself, I will always delete them after the whole project is done and exported, then empty the trash. At first it's just not very noticeable, because space just disappears so slowly... But I've been through every folder, checked everywhere, and there is NOTHING on my MacBook that I didn't have on it when it had over 30GB free. How is this happening? I'm scared that down the road it'll just go down to nothing. And it's not because of updates either, because I've kept track of all updates I've made on all applications and the total amount of space taken from updates hasn't even been 1GB. So how is 20GB just gone!? PLEASE HELP! This is driving me crazy!


macrumors 6502
Dec 16, 2008
This may not be true but it is for you to keep in mind or research more into.

I have heard that when you delete items from your hard drive, the contents may look like they are gone, but the hard drive keeps the address to the location of that content hidden until IT HAS to overwrite it.

It could also be cached data from installed apps.

This is all me brainstorming right now, but maybe I helped spark some ideas. Hopefully you find a cure.


macrumors 68000
Jan 1, 2009
Try those disk space analyzer (Disk Inventory X).

Is it Time Machine back up image that is taking up space?


macrumors 6502a
Sep 28, 2009
This is the most common problem

Is it Time Machine back up image that is taking up space?
- this is really common

Look at: Apple Menu-> About this mac -> Storage ->
Is there a purple section called backups - this will be between time machine backups and these can be quite big, particularly if you haven't used Time Machine for some time.

If you aren't using Time Machine, then the screen will give you some clues as to where your hard disk is going without buying new programmes.

Also run disk utility to check for any errors and run a TRIM command for your particular SSD if you are using a SSD.

There may be some big cache files somewhere for those videos and these will often be quite big.

HTH SSM & Seasons Greetings


macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
If you're wondering what "Other" category in the 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 being consumed by Time Machine local snapshots, which can be disabled by entering the following command in Terminal: sudo tmutil disablelocal.
  • Check to see if some of the space is being used by your sleepimage file.
  • 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 drive space in Mac OS X
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