How to clean computer from recovery mode terminal? Stopped working after had about 33MB left. Now is loading until middle and stuck, then shut down automatically.

In recovery mode I have a terminal, through which I could clean trash bin to have space so it can load? I was doing CD from / to different folder but couldn’t find home folder with all documents so I dont know where to look.

Also in recovery mode in disk managment in both whole disk and partition of OSX was veryfying disk fine, but was trying to restore something and then stopped on partition drive error fixing.

  • How big is your disk? Did you definitely download something or create file large enough to cause a situation like this? Jun 17 '17 at 4:27
  • What is your objective here? Cleaning your drive so you can sell the Mac? Recovering an unbootable Mac? Removing a specific big file?
    – nohillside
    Jun 17 '17 at 6:40
  • it stopped working because he was out of space—it seems pretty clear that he simply wants to remove things so that he can boot the computer
    – iconoclast
    Jun 17 '17 at 21:26
  • 1
    @JakeGould downloaded big file fast and at one point was messege some 30mb left after came to computer.. Maybe in end was even less- cant confirm since was late. Forgot to clean bin and shut it down. Later not starting.
    – Kangarooo
    Jun 19 '17 at 2:11
  • @patrix objective to continue using with all files hopefully working- couldnt find home and files from recovery mode.
    – Kangarooo
    Jun 19 '17 at 2:11

Booted to Recovery Mode your boot volume is a mounted base macOS image residing in a subfolder of the recovery partition. It doesn't contain a /Users folder and if so it would be the wrong one. So cd to your main volume instead.

To check and modify your standard boot volume you have to get its volume name and device name first. Open Terminal in the menubar > Utilities:

mount #get volume names and disks
diskutil list #get disk identifiers of internal disk and CoreStorage: usually disk0 and disk2 for CoreStorage Logical Volume
diskutil verifyDisk /dev/disk0
diskutil verifyVolume /dev/disk2 #CoreStorage
diskutil verifyVolume /dev/disk0s2 #no CoreStorage

Try to repair any error by replacing the suffix verify with repair.

Now cd to the volume (example name here: "Macintosh HD"):

cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD

Now cd to the Users folder and your user folder:

cd Users
ls -la
cd username #with username: usually your short username

Remove dispensable user files. Other places to remove files from are /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/private/tmp, /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/cores or /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/private/var/vm. Replace "Macintosh\ HD" with the name of your main volume here.

Addition: if your disk is not automatically mounted in recovery mode (e.g., because it is encrypted), you can mount and decrypt it by quitting the Terminal utility and going to the Disk Utility. Select your drive in the left column and mount it using the mount button (in the window at top right). The system will ask for an administrator password to decrypt. After mounting you can quit the Disk Utility and go back to the Terminal again. The disk will stay mounted.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .