# Weird free spaces estimation

On my MacBook Pro Retina late 2014 running OS X Yosemite, there's something weird going on.

If i look at the storage tab in the "About my Mac" menu, I use only 67 gigabytes of storage but it says 151 gigabytes are used on apps alone.

Maybe this screenshot is a better explanation:

Is someone else experiencing this problem?

This information is calculated based on the Spotlight index. If your index is incorrect, this information can be incorrect too. Try reindexing your disk:

sudo mdutil -E /

• Can you explain what this command does exactly? – Nathan Tshiananga Dec 23 '14 at 19:57
• @Nathan sudo elevates the command to root to allow full control on the system. mdutil is the tool for controlling Spotlight. -E is the reindex option and / specifies the path to reindex. For more information on mdutil, see the man page. – grg Dec 23 '14 at 20:14
• Well i executed the command and now the computer specifies 65 gigabytes of the data stored on the harddrive as "other". – Nathan Tshiananga Dec 24 '14 at 13:23
• @Nathan Yes, it has cleared the index. Reindexing takes a few hours, and will be performed in the background. – grg Dec 24 '14 at 13:24
• Where did you learn all this? :) – Nathan Tshiananga Dec 24 '14 at 13:30

I had the exact same problem, and after searching through some similar problems on the Apple SE, like Finder Reports Disk is Full, Other Tools Don't Account for it, I found a fix. For me, the incorrect shown storage was fixed by re-indexing my drive, via @grgarside's answer on the question Weird free spaces estimation:

This information is calculated based on the Spotlight index. If your index is incorrect, this information can be incorrect too. Try reindexing your disk:

sudo mdutil -E /


I then checked the About This Mac storage tab again, and noticed that everything was listed as "Other". But after a restart, everything was shown correctly again.

• +1000. Weird that Disk Utility doesn't address this issue. – camden_kid Mar 17 '15 at 9:00

It's possible that you have a corrupt index. The steps I'm going to show come from this Apple Support page. You must have permissions to add and remove items from the Privacy tab.

1. Click Apple menu > System Preferences > Spotlight
2. Click the Privacy tab
3. Drag the folder or disk that you want to index again to the list of locations that Spotlight is prevented from searching or click the Add (+) button to add it to the list. If the list is empty, add your main SSD, most commonly named Macintosh HD.
4. Click OK to confirm
5. Select the folder or disk you just added, then click the Remove (–) button to remove it from the list.
6. Quit System Preferences. Spotlight will reindex the contents of the folder or disk.

Once you've done all this, restart your Mac and check About This Mac -> Storage again. If the storage displays the same, then you know it's not because of a corrupt index.

• It may take a while to rebuild the index, and you should wait for it to finish before rechecking About This Mac -> Storage. You can check the rebuild status by opening the Spotlight window (press Command-Spacebar, or click the spotlight icon near the right side of the menu bar). – Gordon Davisson Aug 31 '16 at 17:41
• Thanks @GordonDavisson, I should've mentioned that in my answer. – fsb Aug 31 '16 at 18:03

Here is what I'd do in order to try and determine the discrepancy.

First make sure you have a proper backup then use Disk Utility's First Aid to Verify Disk Permissions and Verify Disk and if necessary Repair Disk Permissions and repair Disk.

Download and install Disk Inventory X and review the disk from a graphical perspective to see if you can determine why/where the discrepancies between Get Info on the /Applications folder and the other image you've shown.

Looking at the contents of the disk from a graphical perspective can sometimes help to get a better handle on just what's on the disk and deal appropriately with it.

• I've tried all those and the big discrepancy is still there. I used CleanGenius and that showed me that Google Chrome was using up an inordinate amount of space which turned out to be the fact that it kept previous versions on disk. Deleting all of those freed up a few Gbs. – camden_kid Mar 12 '15 at 15:03
• @camden_kid it would have been nice if you had included that in your OP or edited it if done after the fact so I and others would not have to waste our time trying to help for nothing! – user3439894 Mar 12 '15 at 15:18
• Sorry mate. I assumed people would know I'd tried all that. Will edit post now. – camden_kid Mar 12 '15 at 15:21
• I'm not a mind-reader, and don't know anyone else who is, and to assume anything beyond what someone has written IMO would be foolish. :) – user3439894 Mar 12 '15 at 15:26