Where has deleted file gone?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Matt-London, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Matt-London macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2009
    I purchased a new Mac Book Pro a couple of months ago and have been copying files over from my old iMac with no problems. My wife is set up with a separate user account and i copied her photo library over which was approx 33Gb. In order to open the photos they all had to be converted to work with latest iPhotos app on MBP.
    When I was browsing through the HD in finder I could see she was left with 2 photo libraries on her account (the old one and the new converted one). To save space I right clicked on the old library and selected 'move to trash' and then emptied trash.
    The size of her user account has gone down by the right amount (approx 33Gb) but the overall HD size has stayed the same as if the old photo library is still around somewhere.
    If I add up the Users (223GB), Applications (14GB), System (8GB), & Library (6GB) it is 33GB less than the total HD size (284GB) so my question is, where has the old iPhoto library gone? I have checked my trash and its empty and so is my wifes.
    Grateful for any help.
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Do you have Time Machine backup turned on? If you do, when you delete a file, then empty the trash, that files gets moved to a hidden /.MobileBackups folder that is called local snapshots. The OS manages that space and will start to shrink it if the disk approaches 80% full.

    That space is shown in Disk Utility but not in Finder, hence the difference you are seeing.

    You can just ignore it and let the OS manage it, or you can briefly turn Time Machine off then on again and the space will zero out.

    If you run this command in Terminal it will show you how much is in that folder now.

    sudo du -hs /.MobileBackups
    Also, that old iPhoto library does not really use double the space like it appears. The old and new libraries both point to the same old images using something called "hard links." Here is a good article that explains it.
  3. Matt-London thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2009

Share This Page