I've cleared quite a bit of my user files off my Mac, and have restarted. The disk utility shows this:

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but a df -h in the terminal as I clear never changes from 89 GB free, and when I try to restore some things from Time Machine, the 'not enough space' message reflects the df results, which should be wrong, instead of the disk utility display.

I only have the one volume on my hard drive.

This isn't the same question as the proposed duplicated, at all. I am not suggesting that anything is eating my disk space. I'm also not saying that restarting it changes anything. I'm stating that the disk util says I have 300 GB free, which is likely the case given what I deleted, and the OS says ~90 GB free, an amount that did not change as I was deleting things and did not change when restarting the system...so basically the freed space was not given back.

  • Thanks for editing your question. The linked duplicate is a canonical question regarding finding where space is being consumed on your Mac, using a variety of tools. This should help you see precisely where the space is being lost. Does the software suggested in that question not solve your problem?
    – grg
    Jul 13, 2017 at 19:26
  • The premise in the canonical questions is space being used that is not being reflected in Finder. My problem is the opposite. I.e, if Finder showed 100Mb free and disk util showed 50Mb, the apps and approaches would very well help. My two presumptions are that disk util, which showed the free space on the volume increasing as I deleted files, is correct. Finder, which showed free space remaining the same or decreasing as I deleted files, is not missing identifying files taking up space, but is missing identifying that they are no longer doing so.
    – JAyenGreen
    Jul 13, 2017 at 19:43
  • @Ayen Please rebuild your spotlight index! Then reboot and relaunch Disk Utility!
    – klanomath
    Jul 13, 2017 at 20:23
  • @klanomath doing this. The reindex is running, as I see many threads using memory, although they don't seem to be using any cpu to speak of anymore. How do I know when it's done? Clicking on the spotlight only results in a spotlight search bar, no window with any other information.
    – JAyenGreen
    Jul 14, 2017 at 0:20
  • @Ayen You can check this in Activity Monitor > View > enable "All processes". Then in the main window choose CPU > sort by PID (largest PID to the top). You will see about 20 processes containing "md*" (e.g mdworker/mds etc - some maxing out at ~80% or more). As soon as most are gone re-indexing is done. With an SSD inside it's fast (maybe 15 minutes).
    – klanomath
    Jul 14, 2017 at 0:26

1 Answer 1


Rebuilt the spotlight, then rebooted and reran disk utility. It showed a problem with the free space index. Rebooted into recovery, ran the disk util, and it repaired the disk. Unfortunately, df -h (the lower free space amount) seems to have been correct all along, and disk utility and selecting info for the drive from finder were incorrect. All are in sync now.

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