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.

In my ~/Library/Autosave Information/ folder on 10.7, I have some fairly routine-looking files—a few unsaved scratch documents in applications that use Autosave, and accompanying plists for those apps. I also have 3 folders with names like 64FE2D0E-7447-4086-B7CA-8D59ED769875.genstore.noindex. They each contain a .genstore_lockfile file and a .genstore_staging/ directory, which contains another directory with a random name such as rneN5zs, which contains a single file, staged.

The problem is that the staged files are pretty big - 1.49 GB, 980 MB and 312 MB. According to the Finder's timestamps, they were created back in June, and haven't been modified or accessed since.

I'd like to free up that space on my drive if possible, but I don't want to go deleting these files without understanding what they are. The names and access times suggest they might be temporary storage for saved state data (although I'm not sure why it would be so big) that didn't get cleaned up. Running lsof doesn't list any process accessing those files.

Does anyone know what these files are? Do you have similar ones on your system? Can they safely be deleted?

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Delete them, they are just caches for an app or an installer.

A lock file indicates that a process was using them while it was forcibly quit or crashed. Normally, when system processes modify files, they create a lock file for it so that no other process can access it. These files are deleted when the process exits or stops modifying the said file.

The presence of the lock files indicates that their process has not accessed them since they were created. That means you have probably not used the app involved.

Source: http://superuser.com/questions/313878/what-is-a-lockfile

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks, thats what I assumed, but do you have any sources to confirm this? –  robmathers Sep 2 '12 at 16:28
    
Updated the answer. –  duci9y Sep 3 '12 at 8:42
    
Thanks, but my question isn't about the lock files, it's about the staged files. If you can show me something definitive about what they are, then great. You're probably correct that they're caches that haven't been removed, but I'd like some verification of that. –  robmathers Sep 3 '12 at 15:40
    
Though it is nowhere explicitly mentioned so, but I believe they are used by Lion’s Autosave feature to cache files for later permanent writes. Sources: cocoabuilder.com/archive/cocoa/… discussions.apple.com/thread/3280024?start=0&tstart=0 –  duci9y Sep 3 '12 at 15:52
    
I finally just deleted them and as expected, nothing bad happened. It would be nice to have some concrete details on how and why they got there, but an autosave gone awry seems to be the most likely candidate. –  robmathers Sep 27 '12 at 20:33
add comment

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.