Miss­ing free space

Mac|Life - - FEATURE -

There may be dis­crep­an­cies between what free space is shown in Fin­der, in About This Mac’s Stor­age tab, and in Ter­mi­nal. The cul­prit is usu­ally Time Ma­chine’s lo­cal snap­shots, which can fill as much as 80 per cent of your disk space; they also in­clude files you’ve deleted, so it can seem like this space hasn’t been re­claimed.

About This Mac counts all this as used space in the Sys­tem cat­e­gory, while Fin­der counts it as “purge­able” and there­fore avail­able. It should be freed up as needed. Click­ing Time Ma­chine’s menu bar icon and choos­ing Back Up Now ought to nudge macOS to jet­ti­son the lo­cal snap­shots and flag the space as truly free.

Other space may be taken up by the Home fold­ers of other users on your Mac, if there are any. Those may be in­vis­i­ble to you. Spot­light’s in­dex files and other sys­tem items take up some space. Fi­nally, in APFS, any other vol­umes (which may be cre­ated by macOS it­self) share free space within the low-level APFS “con­tainer,” but this is hid­den; About This Mac and Disk Util­ity show it as “other vol­umes.”

About This Mac’s stor­age charts aren’t so easy to in­ter­pret in High Sierra with­out some tech­ni­cal knowl­edge. See above for tips on de­ci­pher­ing them.

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