"System" Taking Alot of Space

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by jsawy3r, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. jsawy3r macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #1
    Hey!

    I just got a new MBP and have been comparing it to my iMac 5k.

    Something I've noticed is "System" takes about 35Gb on my MBP but takes up over 70Gb on my iMac.

    I get the feeling that something is amiss with my iMac, but can't figure out where all that data is stored or what it is. I've check the size of numerous folders and it's not adding up. All the threads I've found deal with "other" not "system". Thoughts?
     
  2. designerdave72 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    #2
    This:

    When a file gets deleted without any Time Machine backup, MacOS has a feature of a local Time Machine backup, which saves the file into the System section as shown in the About This Mac> Storage. The purgeable space is saved for whenever a local time machine backup needs to occur if in case any file had been deleted accidently from the system by the user. There is a way to disable this local time machine backup. Here are the following steps:

    1. Open terminal
    2. Type "df -h". This will show you a volume of MobileBackups if it was enabled and if this does apply to your system.
    3. To disable your Mobile Backup, type "sudo tmutil disablelocal". When prompted for password then type in your password.
    4. Check your Storage and see that the purgeable space has been deleted plus the System section has also shrunk to just contain the OSX.

    To enable/re-enable the local Time machine backup:

    1. Open Terminal
    2. Type "sudo tmutil enablelocal". When prompted for password then type in your password. This will then start making a local time machine backup in the system. This will take a while. If you want a quick backup then type "tmutil snapshot".
    3. Check your Storage to see that the backup has been made with minimal amount of purgeable space since the snapshot was made. Note that the system section has also increased at this point too to include the previous backup but this time without the space for the purgeable space reserved for this size.
     
  3. jsawy3r thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #3
    Thanks for the detailed reply!

    I'll give this a test when I get back home, but the iMac is networked to a Time Capsule and backs up hourly. Not sure if this is the culprit.

    I'll update when I've tested your solution.
     
  4. designerdave72 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    #4
    I found this on an Apple Developer forum and it does work but, only if you really need TM back up frequently. These days I don't use TM anymore and manually archive my Mac content to an external SSD. Post and share your results if it works. This system storage hogger is a ball ache.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204015

    Your problem is not Time Machine's local backups since that feature is not enabled on iMacs. It is only enabled on Mac portables.

    That readout gets its data from the Spotlight index, and sometimes that index gets corrupted making the readout all wrong. Try running the command below in Terminal to reindex Spotlight and see if that helps. Give it half an hour or so to finish.

    Code:
    sudo mdutil -E /
     
  6. jsawy3r thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #6
    This turned out to be the solution.

    Thank you everyone for the help!
     
  7. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816

    ScottNWDW

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    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    #7
    "System is taking up almost half of my entire hard drive (1TB) on my iMac 2014 running macOS Sierra.
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    Did you try reindexing Spotlight like I mentioned in post #5.
     
  9. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816

    ScottNWDW

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    Jul 10, 2008
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    Orlando, Florida
    #9
    Yes I have and it brought it down by a few GB, it was at 515GB, now it is at 490 GB
     
  10. designerdave72 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 18, 2010
  11. jsawy3r thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2014
    #11
    Looks like I spoke too soon. After I ran the command it looked good for about half an hour. When I looked again today it's back where I started.
     
  12. RadioGaGa1984 Suspended

    RadioGaGa1984

    Joined:
    May 23, 2015
    #12
    For some reason it seems on macOS Sierra most iTunes files are being counted as system storage.
     
  13. burgman macrumors 68000

    burgman

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #13
    My 2015 Macbook is showing 86GB system and 95GB ITunes 45 GB music rest are Movies. So it is showing my ITunes files in both ? That would make sense, I have tried the tips here, no change.
     
  14. RadioGaGa1984 Suspended

    RadioGaGa1984

    Joined:
    May 23, 2015
    #14
    On my 2015 the only files showing for my iTunes is iOS apps the rest of my iTunes is showing as system files.
     
  15. burgman macrumors 68000

    burgman

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #15
    Because i'm bored I just did a clean install of El Capitan :). System was 11.5GB, I updated to Sierra. System went to about 12.5GB now downloading music and a couple of movies, want to see what ends up in storage details.
     
  16. RadioGaGa1984 Suspended

    RadioGaGa1984

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    May 23, 2015
    #16
    Wow, :) Im not that bored. I still have plenty of free space so Im not that concerned really, it's just kinda strange.
     
  17. greciasoria macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2017
    #17
    Hi!, excuse me, is that code enough to do the job? I typed it on the terminal and get the response "Indexing enabled" but nothing happened with my system storage... What does this exactly means?
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #18
    Yes... that code will start a reindex. It can take a half hour or so for it to finish. You can hit command-space and start typing something in Spotlight... and if it is not finished you will see a blue line beneath the search bard showing "indexing".
     
  19. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a

    dianeoforegon

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    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    Oregon
    #19
    According to this KB, even desktops formatted as APFS stores Time Machine backups. Even though I have my Time Machine drive always attached, I can check local backups on my Mac and find I often have several backups. Time Machine is just not working as expected in High Sierra.

    How local snapshots use storage space
    Time Machine in macOS High Sierra stores snapshots on every APFS-formatted, all-flash storage device in your Mac or directly connected to your Mac. Time Machine in earlier macOS versions stores snapshots only on the internal startup disk of Mac notebook computers.

    To make sure that you have storage space when you need it, snapshots are stored only on disks that have plenty of free space. When storage space gets low, snapshots are automatically deleted, starting with the oldest. That's why Finder and Get Info windows don't include local snapshots in their calculations of the storage space available on a disk.

    Published Date: Sep 26, 2017
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204015
     
  20. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #20
    I understand that, but that is only with now with High Sierra. What I wrote in that post in November 2016 was correct at the time. There is no way that person's issue is from local snapshots because iMacs (in 2016 pre-HS) did not use local snapshots.
     
  21. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a

    dianeoforegon

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    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    Oregon
    #21
    Didn't see the original post date. Nowdays info goes out of date way too quickly.
     
  22. marbaque macrumors newbie

    marbaque

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    Jan 25, 2018
    #22
    this worked for me, thanks!
     
  23. Timx1170 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    #23
    My mac says
    disbalelocal: Unrecognized verb.
    What do i do?
     
  24. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
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    California
    #24
    I'm guessing you have upgraded to High Sierra? That command is no longer valid in High Sierra.
     
  25. Timx1170 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    #25
    Yeah I have High Sierra, anything I can do about it then?
     

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