"Other" memory taking half my hard drive; Also, how would I unmount/remove this partition?


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Hey all. I'm running out of space on my macbook air. Weirdly, When I go to System Information, it looks like there's a whopping 58GB reserved for "Other". Short returning OS to factory setting, what can I do about that?

On another note, it looks like there's 4GB reserved for a Virtual Machine of some sorts (last line).
$ diskutil list
/dev/disk0 (internal, physical):
#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
0: GUID_partition_scheme *121.3 GB disk0
1: EFI EFI 314.6 MB disk0s1
2: Apple_APFS Container disk1 121.0 GB disk0s2

/dev/disk1 (synthesized):
#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
0: APFS Container Scheme - +121.0 GB disk1
Physical Store disk0s2
1: APFS Volume Macintosh HD 11.1 GB disk1s1
2: APFS Volume Macintosh HD - Data 101.1 GB disk1s2
3: APFS Volume Preboot 84.0 MB disk1s3
4: APFS Volume Recovery 528.1 MB disk1s4
*5: APFS Volume VM 4.3 GB disk1s5*

I'd like to know if I can toss that somehow. `diskutil unmount disk1s5` insists that PID 0 (kernel_task) would not like to unmount, much less remove that partition. Looks like it's mounted at /private/var/vm. I'm scared to just try `sudo rm -rf /private`.
 
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Not sure if this is relevant but when I had a massive amout of disk space used by "Other" I found that every movie I bought was automatically being downloaded. A setting in the General tab of the Apple TV preferences had been ticked to download automatically.
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

The /private/var/vm folder is required by macOS, and shouldn't be messed with. macOS creates a virtual swap file (VM = virtual memory in this case) on portable Macs, which is used to store data for open applications/processes when it is put to sleep. It provides the ability for a fast "wake" scenario, so it doesn't have to fully relaunch/reload everything like it would during a restart or startup. Even if you did delete the sleepimage file in that folder, it would be recreated automatically by macOS.

The APFS Volume VM is created as an active swap volume for RAM, if you are running many applications that request/require more RAM than your MacBook Air has. It is also used for dynamic partition resizing in APFS, since APFS separated macOS and user data into separate partitions for security and system stability.

The 58 GB being taken up by Other can be several things, mostly files in hidden System folder/directories. Things like caches, logs, local Time Machine snapshots, iOS device backups, disk images and package files/installers (dmg/pkg), and other files that don't fit into the other named categories (Documents/Music Creation/Photos/iTunes/Music/Applications/etc.) in the Storage information window. Some of what is included in the Other category can be found and managed by clicking the Manage... button.

Hope that helps,

C
 

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