I recently ran out of space on my MacBook Air. I moved all my Mac data to an external hard drive, created a new user administrator and deleted the old one in order to erase everything without loosing my applications. It was effective, more than half of the space was freed and I have nothing on my MacBook drive, yet when I check my storage I keep seeing this:

enter image description here

I have 5GB of photos and 5GB of movies filling my space, while in reality I have 0 photos and videos. I don’t even know what the 21GB of “others" contains. I tried finding the folders with the largest usage and this is what I got:

enter image description here

The contradiction is, as you can see, the disk takes 41GB of space, but if you sum up the sizes of its folders you’ll only get 29GB. The space gap is around 10GB, the same size as the photos and videos combined, which are nowhere to be found.

I’m confused, if you have any idea how to solve this issue please let me know.

  • Have you tried running DaisyDisk which will give you an image of the disk space making it easy to see what's taking up space? There is also an app named Disk Inventory X which does basically the same with different result filters.
    – Natsfan
    Nov 17, 2018 at 22:51
  • did you disable iClud ?
    – Ruskes
    Nov 17, 2018 at 23:10
  • can you show us the view from Diskutil list in terminal
    – Ruskes
    Nov 17, 2018 at 23:28
  • @jmh No, I have not tried them but I will now. Thanks!
    – Salma
    Nov 18, 2018 at 10:47
  • @Buscar웃 Here you go: /dev/disk0 #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: GUID_partition_scheme *121.3 GB disk0 1: EFI EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1 2: Apple_CoreStorage 120.5 GB disk0s2 3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk0s3 /dev/disk1 #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: Apple_HFS Disk *120.1 GB disk1
    – Salma
    Nov 18, 2018 at 10:47

2 Answers 2


There are two issues here. The first is that the Storage indicator is not particularly reliable. You may want to try re-indexing Spotlight, which is used to identify the categories.

Secondly, the visible folders are not everything on your disk. MacOS can store 'local backups' on the system disk - normally these would be listed as "Backups", but if the identification process fails, then they might be listed as "Other". Normally, you don't need to worry about these filling up the disk, as the OS will manange it.

There are special utilities such as DaisyDisk and OmniDiskSweeper, which list all file hierarchies by size, allowing you to drill down and discover which files are taking the most space, and then delete them.


Try checking System Storage in Safe Mode, then restart.

  • We're trying to find the best answers so answers should be more than a single line. Provide supporting info as to why your suggestion will work. See How to Answer for tips on providing good answers that are more likely to be upvoted. - From Review.
    – fsb
    Nov 18, 2018 at 14:45

You must log in to answer this question.

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