If I navigate as high as possible in Finder (under 10.10.2, but this did not appear only recently), I see this window, with many volumes which are long unmounted, ejected and erased.

Screenshot of highest folder in Finder

But if I tried to look around in the Terminal to potentially delete these, it only found the reasonable ones:

Laszlo-Sandors-MacBook-Pro:Volumes laszlosandor$ ls -la
total 24
drwxrwxrwt@  5 root          admin   170 Dec 28 09:04 .
drwxr-xr-x  47 root          wheel  1666 Dec 26 10:57 ..
-rw-r--r--@  1 laszlosandor  admin  6148 Jul 17 18:33 .DS_Store
lrwxr-xr-x   1 root          admin     1 Dec 26 10:51 Macintosh HD -> /
drwxrwxrwx   0 root          wheel     0 Dec 28 10:51 MobileBackups

Disk Utility only sees Macintosh HD.

What is going on, and what is there to do?

  • Output of ls -la /Volumes ?
    – douggro
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 16:23
  • 1
    In the original question.
    – László
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 16:56
  • The Google stuff are dmg's ?
    – Ruskes
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 17:40
  • @Buscar웃 That's what it looks like to me.
    – douggro
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 18:00
  • Sometimes after Install the dmg is not removed. Find them and remove (unmount/eject), since you do not need them any longer.
    – Ruskes
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 18:02

2 Answers 2


Finder will show all mounted volumes, regardless of where it's mounted from.

Open up Terminal (from Applications -> Utilities) and type 'mount' then hit enter. You'll get output similar to this:

alex@smiley:~|⇒  mount
/dev/disk3s2 on / (hfs, local, journaled)
devfs on /dev (devfs, local, nobrowse)
map -hosts on /net (autofs, nosuid, automounted, nobrowse)
map auto_home on /home (autofs, automounted, nobrowse)
/dev/disk8s2 on /Users (hfs, local, nodev, nosuid, journaled, noowners)

This shows what's mounted, and where. I have a disk mounted under /Users and Finder still shows it at the top level.

This should tell you where those volumes are coming from.

Also, try clicking on one and either cmd-I, or File -> Get Info, to see what Finder thinks it is.

  • The extra Google stuff is not mounted (and Get Info knows only that their extension is .m): Laszlo-Sandors-MacBook-Pro:Volumes laszlosandor$ mount /dev/disk1 on / (hfs, local, journaled) devfs on /dev (devfs, local, nobrowse) map -hosts on /net (autofs, nosuid, automounted, nobrowse) map auto_home on /home (autofs, automounted, nobrowse) localhost:/p3gHt-AQlUd8simYiL6EqQ on /Volumes/MobileBackups (mtmfs, nosuid, read-only, nobrowse)
    – László
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 3:53

Unix wants to present all of your files in a single hierarchical tree, no matter what device they're on. This makes it possible to name any file on any disk using a single descriptive string, called its path.

In order to do this, when a new disk volume is mounted, whoever mounts it names an existing folder to be the "mount point" for the volume. Whatever was in that folder becomes inaccessible, replaced by whatever is at the top level of the newly mounted disk image. When the disk is later unmounted, the folder and its contents become accessible once again.

Unix permits any folder to be "sacrificed" in this way. OS X is based on Unix, but does not normally avail itself of this flexibility. It prefers to "sacrifice" a newly created empty folder as the mount point. /Volumes is the place where OS X conventionally creates this folder. When the volume is unmounted, OS X also removes the newly exposed and still empty folder.

But that's only an OS X convention. OS X is still Unix under the hood, and Unix apps can still mount volumes on whatever folder they want.

Actually, OS X sometimes does, too. That's how FileVault I works. Your home folder contains only an encrypted sparse bundle disk image. When you log in, your password is used to decrypt and mount the disk image, using your home folder itself as the mount point. The disk image (and anything else in your home folder) become inaccessible, but that's OK. The disk image is already mounted, and doesn't need to be found again. In fact, it's good that it can't be accessed, because that keeps anyone from fiddling with it while the user is logged in. When the user logs out, the disk image is unmounted, and the "real" home folder becomes accessible again.

Finder synthesizes its top-level list from many sources. Obviously the list includes anything that really is at the top level of your boot volume and is not invisible. You know it also throws into the mix any volumes with mount points inside /Volumes. But it doesn't stop there. For example, hdiutil info lists all volumes mounted from disk images or from RAM disks, no matter whether their mount point is in /Volumes or not. More generally, OS X also inherits from MacOS a method to find info about every mounted volume however it got mounted.

Most of your unexplained items seem to be Google-related. Who knows why, where, or how Google does anything?

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