Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a SSD (Boot Partition) and a HDD (Data) for my Mac. I only bought a 128GB SSD thinking the boot partition wouldn't need a large drive, however I was mistaken.

I find that Mail and MobileSync folders in my Library directory take the majority of the storage on my SSD sometimes even bringing 'Low Disk Space' prompt if I don't watch it for a while and let it loose.

I wanted to know if I use symlinks to create the following directories in another location would they work correctly or cause problems? ~/Library/Mail ~/Library/MobileSync

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would recommend using mountpoints instead of symbolic links, but symbolic links will work.

For example, I have a small SSD as a boot drive and a PCIe SSD for my /Users partition on my Mac Pro.

I copied over the data and added the following to my /etc/fstab file.

LABEL=Users /Users  hfs rw,auto

"Users" is the name of the partition known to Disk Utility and "/Users" is the mount point.

This is a lot cleaner than symbolic links, as many tools will not follow symbolic links without being told explicitly to do so, to avoid cyclic links.

In your case, you might want to create a separate partition for ~/Library and move everything over. You may also want to create separate partitions for Mail and for MobileSync.

All of that said, symlinks will very likely work in these two cases. However, keep in mind that you're moving directories that have both a high rate of change and a lot of data, which is the worst case for a spindle. Expect iOS backups to be slower and for Mail operations such as "search" and opening attachments to take a little longer.

share|improve this answer

I realize this is a few-months-old question now, but I thought I might add how I handle this exact problem.

I have a self-installed SSD for my system drive on my mbp and the 750GB HDD that came with the system is used as a data drive. Basically I just changed the locations of the entire User directories to the HDD using system preferences (go to Users & Groups, unlock it, right-click the account name, and select advanced options) then moved the files over manually. This is simpler to maintain and I've had none of the potential issues with symlinks that Art Taylor described in his answer.

This does leave the root /Library directory on the SSD (as opposed to ~/Library) -- I've also had the need with a few apps like MainStage that can add gigs of content to their libs to create symlinks exactly as you describe. In this case it certainly feels safer to do this on a case-by-case basis.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.