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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 5, 2015
I'm on a mac 10.6.8 with 2GB RAM, capacity of startup disk is 159.7 GB.

Every week or so, mysteriously over night, the startup disk will go from having around 60GB of free space to 0GB.

I regularly delete all downloads/documents, empty my trash, and empty my browser history. Not using an external drive. I've disabled the mail app, time machine is turned off, and I have run repair disk permissions in disk utility and rebooted a number of times. I also downloaded and tried omnisweeper but still couldn't find the source of the mysterious files/folders taking up so much space. When I go through every folder on the drive and compare it to another computer with an identical image, I get the same sizes, so I can't figure out what is taking up the space. HELP ME!


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


macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
I recommend you download the free app "DiskWave":

The "graphic" displays of other apps can be confusing.
DiskWave will give you a -list- of folders/files by names and sizes.
Much easier to work with.

Are you running Time Machine?
If so, TURN IT OFF for a few days, and see if things improve.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 5, 2015
Startup disk full

Thanks both of you for the advice. I've already restarted numerous times, searched with finder, and used omni disk sweeper/disk utility repair. Time machine has been off the whole time.

Some of the links you provided may prove to be useful. I'll check them out.


macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2020
Apparently random files are being duplicated on my iMac. They are filling my storage. This problem began when I was using High Sierra. I'm now using Big Sur and it continues. In additon,
"other storage" is filling my computer and I have had my Empty Trash running foir two dfays and it is still going. How can I stop this unwanted file duplication? How can I stop filling storage (I have usually kept up with emptying trash)?
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