Why do I have such little free space in proportion to used hard drive space?


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All right, my local hard drive has 160GB to work with. One user account takes up 59GB, the other 42.42GB. By my math, that's 101.42GB taken … but I only have 9.68 to use.

What the heeeeLLLLLLLLL do I have to do to clear up more space? I want to finally update my old-ass OS, but I can't b/c THE SYSTEM IS BEATING ME.

Thank you. -ha-
 
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This anomaly has been raised before by other folks, and yes, it is complexing! Myself, I have never had such an issue.

A couple of things we need to know:

1. What exact Mac model are you using?

2. What exact Mac OS are you now using? And what Mac OS do you plan on getting to?

3. Have you ever done any disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs? There are some excellent freeware and commercial products that can help you with that.

4. Has the internal disk drive ever been replaced? Or do you still have the original one that came with the machine?

5. Very important, are you making any backups to an external device? And (hopefully) if you are, what software are you using for that?

6. What third party applications do you have on your machine? And if you have either Mac Keeper or Clean My Mac, get rid of them IMMEDIATELY! They do way more harm than good.

I guess you could check the Activity Monitor, located in your Utilities folder, within your Applications folder. You could see what processes are running, and how much memory/space they are consuming.
 
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Hi!
  1. Mid-2009 MacBook Pro
  2. 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion) — El Capitan (highest I can go)
  3. Just the Disk Utility stuff
  4. Original one, still in good condition
  5. I'm only doing that manually.
  6. Hmm, too many (I'm too lazy) to list, but I definitely don't have either of the ones you mentioned.
Thank you mucho!
 

Cory Cooper

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All right, my local hard drive has 160GB to work with. One user account takes up 59GB, the other 42.42GB. By my math, that's 101.42GB taken … but I only have 9.68 to use.
You also have to factor in the sizes of the Applications, Library, and System folders, in addition to the User folders. If the User folders take up 101.42, I would bet the other three folders are taking up a good 20-30 GB at least. Also, there are some hidden files/folders that are not always reported in the folder sizes above.

Let us know the sizes of those folders and we'll go from there.

C
 
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In addition to what Cory stated, you should use Disk Utility in an "isolated" manner to check out your internal drive. In your case, that would mean booting to the (hidden) Recovery HD partition. This link explains how to do that, and also what its features are:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314

Also, for backing up, you are asking for trouble if you just do it manually. I suspect that entails just dragging and dropping files/folders. That is definitely not enough.

A very good, free, graphical-oriented program to use regarding space used is Grand Perspective. You can download it from here:

http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/

I recently used it, and I found some stuff I was able to get rid of. Not sure, though, if it will show hidden files/folders. This link, though, explains how to do that:

http://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/ma...-mac-os-x-finder-funter-macos-sierra-3520878/

By the way, I downloaded the program Funter mentioned in that link, and it works well. It found a "funky" hidden file on my desktop which I removed. I suspect I could do through it and remove some other hidden files, although one needs to be careful when doing that.
 
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Thanks everyone!

Applications: 4.88 GB on disk

Library: 6.24 GB on disk
Another Library folder: 25.73 GB on disk

36.85 in total

36.85GB + 101.42GB from user folders = 138.27

Still about 12 GB not accounted for

I thought Macs were supposed to be easier than Windows to figure out. :(

THank you for all the links & help!
 
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Cory Cooper

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I would guess the other 12 GB are in the hidden folders in the Library and System folders...things like logs, caches, etc. From those numbers, it actually looks like things are accounted for properly by your Mac.

Hope that helps,

C
 
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