Why does the library folder take up so much space?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by mcsolas, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. mcsolas macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2013
    I have only been using the computer for a short time. I am trying to do a manual backup, in doing so I came by the library folder. I see its huge, so I check to see what is taking up all that space. I find a folder called "Containers" with 7.2 GB of space taken up each one. Some, like gamecenter and chess I would prefer to remove from the computer completely, I have no use for them.

    What is the deal with this folder and how can I manage the space it takes up better. I am going to uninstall blackmagic soon after I run another test.. and see if the container disappears.

    Attached Files:

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Seems like some bug, since all the folders are the same size.
    What application did you use to get the sizes?

    To find out, where you storage capacity is being used, you can also use these following free applications:

    Btw, I have not found any folder called "Containers" in my Library folders, but I run Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.
  3. mcsolas thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2013
    Beyond Compare, its a file comparison utility I am running via a win xp container in Virtual Box.

    Im running the most recent version of osx 10.8.2

    Thanks for posting I will start going through those tools.
  4. benwiggy, Feb 8, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013

    benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Every sandboxed app gets a Container folder, and it's the only place that the app is allowed to write without your permission. It's part of OS X's security (introduced after 10.6, which is why simsaladimbamba doesn't have any). Most of the contents are alias files to some of your user folders. It's possible that the file size here is being calculated to include the contents of the aliases.

    The largest thing in a user Library is likely to be an iPhone or iPad backup.

    I would generally caution against "cleaning" or deleting anything that you think you won't need, particularly in the Library folders. Also, if you don't know what it's for, deleting stuff in the Library folder can cause loss of data or other trouble.
    (Also, the fact that you have a Container folder for those apps suggests that you have actually launched them at some point! :D)

    Finally: why are you doing a manual backup? You don't want to throw stuff away just to reduce the size of your backup!
    I hope you have Time Machine or other automated backup strategy running on an external drive as well. Files without a backup are temporary! :eek:
  5. mcsolas thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2013
    Some of those apps I only opened one time and then was going to remove them. It sounds like they dont take up as much space as I thought they did, its just allocated to them. I might try removing the chess library and see what happens. Is there any way to uninstall built in apps like that one?
    Maybe it was a bad choice of words. I run a tedious backup process in which I scan all the folders I work from and synch them to a backup. My method is just as detailed as time machine, I just have more control :) Beyond Compare for those who know it is am amazing tool. For this app alone I went through the trouble to learn how to run VirtualBox, install xp, connect the drives and figured out how to run this thing. Well that and now I can use axcrypt and lock files I want to xfer securely.

    Also I have time machine running but I dont particularly like it as much as my method, although I do see the benefit of having multiple backups of the desktop and certain areas of the computer.

    So far they seem to be playing well together, although osx seems to like to mark a lot of files as hidden. Im not sure if there is something that can be done to prevent this.
  6. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Chess app and GameCenter are 15Mb in total. You can delete the apps from the Applications folder if you really want.

    Tedious, you say? :D Personally, I'm happy to let the computer administer itself as much as possible, so that I can get on with real-world tasks. I used to have a classic car, and when I realised that I was spending all my time maintaining it and I wasn't actually using it, I called it quits. The OS is controlling all sorts of stuff for me; backups and syncing are happily one of them.

    Wow. You run Windows just to use a syncing app? You might like to try Chronosync, which is the flagship OS X syncing and merging app. (Based on rsync, which is a Unix synching tool that's part of OS X.)
    I use Chronosync to sync the Documents folders on my laptop and desktop Macs.

    Hourly incremental snapshots of your entire hard drive. What's not to like?

    If you really want to see all the hidden files, then you can get the Finder to display everything. Type the following into Terminal:
    defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
    If you're saying that files are becoming hidden that shouldn't be, then that's a worry, and might be a factor of using a Windows syncing tool on an HFS+ disk. I can see that there might be issues here.
  7. mcsolas thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2013
    Chronosync looks good, I had not yet come across it. I am checking it out now.

    As for why I wanted this type of backup has to do with my backup computer being windows based, for now. This will change once I get a different laptop, but at least for the moment I am interested in keeping a backup in a manner thats easy to read on other OS. I found a thread that made it sound possible to mount a Time Machine volume to a windows os, which would allow for restoring the files. I will probably test this out before depreciating my current workflow.

    I think you may be right about the file errors and the type of disk its reading from. There was glitches popping up when synching 0 byte hidden files and things like that, it couldn't copy them and things like that. Makes sense. I knew something was up.

    Also, I did the virtual machine for more than just run an app I consider to be crucial to my workflow, but it also was a good exercise for me as I get used to basing from a new os, its nice to have that familiar footing when needed. Beyond Compare is promising a mac friendly version soon. However, I have not found a mac util that takes the place of AxCrypt... I am very happy to have that back in my toolkit.

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