Startup drive mysteriously filling up

Discussion in 'macOS Mojave (10.14)' started by dpfenninger, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. dpfenninger macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    #1
    Recently, I have been getting iCloud error messages saying that I don't have enough local storage to keep full copies of my Photos library, despite having well over 200 GB showing free on my startup disk (a 1.15 TB BYO Fusion drive) according to the About This Mac storage window. I then noticed that when looking in Disk Utility and when doing a Get Info on the disk in Finder, that there was significantly less space showing on the disk, and it seems to be shrinking for no apparent reason.

    Last night, I was having issues upon reboot as well...with the Finder and all startup items seemingly freezing up. I noticed once I was able to get to the desktop that Spotlight seemed to be re-indexing, so I added my startup drive to be excluded in Spotlight prefs, thinking that maybe the Spotlight database had ballooned out of control, causing the drive space to shrink and the slowdowns that I experienced. But so far, that space isn't reclaimed, so I wonder if there is something else that's filling up my drive in the background.

    Any ideas? Any help is greatly appreciated!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #2
  3. dpfenninger thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    #3
    Yes, but I guess my question is...why the discrepancy between what About This Mac is telling me and what Disk Utility and Finder are saying (see screenshot). Also, I’m not sure what is suddenly using up that space, as I had been hovering around the same amount of space free for months and was not even close to full.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    OP --
    Do you use Time Machine?
    Are "local backups" and "local snapshots" (or whatever it's called) clogging up your drive?
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    https://www.macobserver.com/tips/how-to/macos-purgeable-storage-hard-drive/

    It is because of the way those two views report on the "purgable" space used. Here is an article that explains a bit.
     
  6. dpfenninger thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    #6
    Thanks for the link. Ok, this is starting to make sense to me. So basically About This Mac is wrong...I looked at the Get Info window on the drive in Finder, and is saying 277.88 GB available (208.03 GB purgeable). The difference between those two numbers, 69.85 GB, is exactly what is showing as free in Disk Utility.

    So bottom line, the "purgeable" stuff (mainly my Photos library) simply shows as free space in About This Mac despite that it is still physically taking up space on my drive. This seems deceptive to me. Why not simply report the actual space taken/free, and then give folks the suggestion/option to purge via iCloud, instead of leading them to think free space is more spacious then it actually is?
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    I agree it is very confusing the way macOS displays all this.
     
  8. dpfenninger thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    #8
    And what if you need to upgrade your iCloud storage space to accommodate all this purgeable data? The more I'm processing this, the more Microsoft-y it all feels to me. Wonder how Steve would feel about this. Seems Apple is getting increasingly complex and not user-centric in how it handles these sorts of things. Just my $0.02.

    In any event, looks like I'm going to be looking into adding a bigger SSD to my system...don't want to keep my Photos library solely in the cloud. I have a monthly data cap with my internet provider and don't want that to become an issue anytime I have to access a larger video.
     
  9. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #9
    For irreplaceable things like photos you need 3 backups. An SSD is a waste of money if you are just using it for backups.
     
  10. dpfenninger thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    #10
    No, the bigger SSD will be my main system drive. I also have two external HDDs, one as a Time Machine backup and the other to do a full system clone. I also have Backblaze backups of my system drive and external storage/video drives. So I'm covered. :) I just meant I don't want to have my photos/videos solely in the cloud and have to redownload them every time I want access.
     

Share This Page

9 July 7, 2019