Last night (Because my hard drive was almost full) I freed about 4GB. Then I came back to my Macbook about 3hrs later (I left it idle) and Its was full again.

Is something is eating my mac?

If I go to /About This Mac/Info/Storage then it says I have 90GB of "Other"

This worries me and I thought it was just me imagining things, but I think there IS something wrong with my mac as I believe that it was also happening when i had Mountain-Lion before Mavericks.

Edit: Activity Monitor

launchD 1.28GB Written

Kernel_task 764MB Written

mds 475MB Read

Now this a list of the user column (note I am the only user on this Mac):

  • root
  • _mdnsresponder
  • _spotlight
  • _softwareupdate
  • _locationd
  • _networkd myname
  • You might have a process writing a lot of data (log data maybe). Activity Monitor might be a way to look for processes writing data. Also, if you clean up again and then immediately reboot, does the problem occur again directly after the reboot?
    – nohillside
    Commented Mar 2, 2014 at 10:20
  • yes the problem reoccurs after reboot. I have also updated my question. ps: again just cleaned up so i have 3GB then added a video from my ipad of 1.5GB now I only have 401mb free space... Also In disk utility I am seeing a disk image (mac HD) called decryptedfile.dmg is this normal? Commented Mar 2, 2014 at 11:27
  • possible duplicate of How can I figure out what's slowly eating my HD space?
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 23:02
  • @BenMuircroft Has your question been answered?
    – Alexander
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 17:09

5 Answers 5


You don't need special software (although there are nice options like What Size and the also-popular Daisy Disk) or to run commands in terminal to track 4 GB of change.

Apple's System Information app draws the About This Mac information that you get from Apple Menu -> About This Mac -> Storage Tab (at the top).


Click Manage for more details.

Recommendations view

Click Review Files if the higher priority recommendations don't work or are not palatable to your use case.

sorted list of large documents that aren't used often or may be deleted

Then you can know what files and buckets are the largest users of space and/or notice which buckets grow over time.

Additionally, Time Machine is very nice for telling you what files have changed if you use that tool for your backups. It would know exactly what time interval new files grew and changed since you can use a tool like BackupLoupe (or tmutil compare if you do like command line tools) to visually inspect the difference between two backup intervals to see what files used more space on your Mac.

enter image description here

A very low level tool to see actual writes is fs_usage but it's a bit technical and you'll need to know|learn grep or awk to reduce the output of this tool

sudo fs_usage -w

To quit the activity dump, press control C


Here's the systematic way to find where the disk space went: Open a window in Terminal (you find this under Utilities), then type:

cd /
sudo du -sm *

This will give you the disk consumption, in megabytes, of every top level entry in the folder hierarchy.

You could then drill down further, but without a good idea of what things do, you might easily decide on a wrong culprit (in particular, don't go around deleting random files in /System; that is bound to end in tears).

However, since your system keeps filling up by itself, you can just let it sit for an hour, and then run the du command above again. The difference between the two sets of numbers will show you where the space went.

In particular, if logging is a problem, you might see the number for /private go up.


Try the trial of Daisy Disk. It's pretty full featured apart from its start up nag screen. It's an application that allows you to visualize the disk usage of your Mac at a glance.

enter image description here

Now this a list of the user column (note I am the only user on this Mac):

_networkd byname

Those users are part of the unix architecture of Mac OS X. I for one, have about 80 system users, only one of which being a real user account (my own). This is completely irrelevant to the problem.

launchD 1.28GB Written

Is responsible for running scripts, applications and system components. (For example, it reopens the Dock, Spot light indexer, etc. immediately after their closed)

Kernel_task 764MB Written

The kernel is the most fundamental part of an operating system. It bridges the gap between the application layer and the hardware layer, and facilitates the communication between programs on screen and the hardware they use in the real world.

mds 475MB Read

Data read doesn't at all effect storage usage, nonetheless this is the Spotlight Indexer, and is responsible of keeping track of the files on your system so that they maybe searched via Spotlight.


I would recommend a simple to use app called OmniDisksweep.

It will show you all files (from all users) nicely organized no fancy graphics, so you can decide what to delete and what to keep.

To learn more about your "Other" disk space see this.


What worked for me

I used Daisy Disk (make sure you run it as admin) to diagnose this type of issue, it pointed to log files being created by Adobe's update manager. They were in here: HD/private/var/root/Library/logs

My process: 1- empty some space in hard drive 2- repair the disk 3- restart in safe mode 4- install daisy disk 5- locate big files and delete them 6- turn off Adobe auto updates


1- You will need some HD space to do start in safe mode. If you have none, you will need another mac. To use your mac as an external drive - hook up via firewire or thunderbolt to a healthy mac. Start the healthy mac completely. Connect to the ailing mac with your chosen cable (depending on each macs ports). To use the ailing mac as an external drive (hold CMD+T at startup chime) - this will bring it up on your healthy mac as a drive where you can open it and you can dump some unneeded files in the trash to free up a bit of space.


2- Then I ran the disk utility (startup chime hold down CMD+R) and verified and fixed the disk after I emptied some space in the hard drive.


3- To stop Adobe Update from logging I started in safe mode (hold shift at the startup chime).

4- download and install daisy disk (see post above), run it as an admin.

5- Find those big log files with Daisy Disk, delete them in the finder (give yourself access to do so via "sharing and permissions" starting with the root folder, then Library, then log (in my case). To Change folder permissions use CMD+i .. then add yourself in sharing and permissions: click the lock, enter your password, click the + sign and add yourself, give yourself read and write access).

6- Turn off auto-updates in Adobe Update Manager.

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