I deleted a 5gb video using rm video.mp4, but the space hasn't freed.

This was the situation: while encoding a video with FCP X, I ran out of space, I only had 50 MB free. Since in the trash I had some stuff that I wasn't sure that I could delete it yet, I took the terminal and I manually deleted a big video file with rm video.mp4.

The file is gone, but the main problem is that the disk is still full. What I can do to reclaim this space back?

It's normal that manually deleting a file will not free up space?

  • You can force time machine to purge copies of files that are changed and deleted with the command sudo tmutil disablelocal
    – bmike
    Apr 4, 2014 at 11:54
  • Time machine is disabled Apr 4, 2014 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


Probably your file is in use by some process, in this case it's normal. Try to close or kill apps or processes that used that file.

  • Good answer if you could add how to find out what process are using the file.
    – Ruskes
    Apr 4, 2014 at 8:23
  • @Buscar웃 you can use the terminal to track files using: "tail -F 'PATH OF UR FILE' hope this finds you
    – wam090
    Apr 4, 2014 at 8:26
  • one way to see which process uses which file is the "lsof" command Apr 4, 2014 at 10:21
  • The precise command to find which processes have a file open is sudo lsof but this is far more likely to be time machine local backups keeping a copy of the deleted file until the space gets so low as to require a purge of the oldest backed up files.
    – bmike
    Apr 4, 2014 at 11:56

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