I've got a 128 GB 11″ MacBook Air running Yosemite which I use for travelling and managing photos while on the move. With only 128 GB I try to manage the disk space carefully. But now I find there is only 10 GB left. About This Mac → Storage shows that photos take up 61 GB of this.

Drilling down 52.7 GB of this is in the folder ~/Library/Application\ Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub which I understood to be Photo Stream. It shows in a very large number of folders, each containing a single jpg file.

But if I pull out the images by using the Finder window searching for "image" and then selecting from kind "image" (I understand the standard way to pull out Photo Stream) the resultant file is only 5 GB large

  • Why is this folder showing nearly 53 GB when Photo Stream is only 5 GB?
  • What constitutes the other 58 GB?
  • How can I identify them and delete those I don't need to free up some much-needed disk space?
  • As for running out of space try a Duplicate photos cleaner itunes.apple.com/us/app/photos-duplicate-cleaner/… – Ruskes May 29 '15 at 15:52
  • according to this answer apple.stackexchange.com/a/124922/46541 from @bmike you can just delete the whole folder ! – Ruskes May 29 '15 at 16:02
  • @Buscar웃SD That was last year before the new iCloud Photos arcitecture was rolled out. The linking is awesome, but I'll probably go back and change that post or qualify it since it worked then, but 14 months have passed and Apple has "moved the cheese" around a bit since then. Basically, I like to delete as little as possible, and test things before I answer here, so I've not tested deletion of the whole folder yet, but I have tested what I wrote below. – bmike May 29 '15 at 16:06
  • for what ever is worth, I have 1.1 Mb only in my iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub and I only manually manage all my Photos (no iClud ect..) with a total of 20 Gb of photos on my disk. – Ruskes May 29 '15 at 16:13
  • Also relevant is apple.stackexchange.com/questions/182157 so you might make the jump as far as Apple is concerned and open the new Photos app and set it up. At that point, you have two opinions that's it's safe to delete the problematic folder. – bmike May 29 '15 at 16:15

The sub folder contains all the legacy photos from iCloud and iPhoto and normally should have photos and videos.

With 10.10 and the new Photos app, everything appears to be stored in ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.cloudphotosd/ and not in Application Support once you open the new Photos app and allow it to migrate things.

If you're in that situation (open the Photos app once and letting it set up a library and choosing which Photos to store locally), you should be able to confirm that nothing in iLifeAssetManagement is needed anymore and safely delete it after making a backup offline just in case we don't know all the tricks Apple has pulled.

Be sure to open iPhoto one last time and see if you need any of the photos there. If not, consider deleting that app and then converting all the iPhoto albums into Photos app albums and deleting the iPhoto Libraries once you have also an archival copy of these Libraries for "just in case" needs stored offline.

  • Thanks for getting back so quickly - but I haven't used Photos on this machine yet, (I've managed my photos manually) so there are no albums to delete... and I have no shared albums - confirmed by clicking on "shared" in photos on my iPad - it confirms no shared photos or videos - and I understood that photostream was only 1000 pictures - so where and what are all the other photos in sub? – JML May 29 '15 at 15:50
  • @jml Perfect, then you can uncheck the option in System Preferences and then move that entire folder to the trash. I'm seeing it be various sizes on my three Macs - so I'm skeptical the clean up process kicks off immediately or with enough vigor. You might get faster cleaning since you are really low on space. My free space is between 50 and 200 GB and that folder is 5 GB largest. – bmike May 29 '15 at 15:54
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    @JML are you running 10.10.3? Also, make a backup but I've never seen deleting something in ~/Library on a Mac propagate up to the cloud. At worst, the cloud re-downloads everything and you have to sort things again. The "truth" is stored in the cloud for these documents in 2015. – bmike May 29 '15 at 16:02
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    yes, 10.10.3. OK, yes, if it won't bounce back to my other devices that's sound advice to copy off the folder to an external HD and then cross fingers and delete! Many thanks – JML May 29 '15 at 16:19
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    OK, all 50gb backed up to an external drive, contents of /sub/ folder deleted. 24 hours on there appear to be no disasters anywhere on my system - so it looks as if it works. Yet another 'yes you can delete' result. Mind, the space was immediately taken up with time machine local snapshot, but at leas that should manage itself and contract as I need the space! – JML May 31 '15 at 0:09

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