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EDIT: I have solved the problem (the main cause of it, at least). The issue seemed to stem from rouge XCode installation files that were cached in private/var/folders/gh/... during several failed installations of XCode 11.0 (which was known to have had installation issues on Catalina). Simply rebooting my laptop cleared the /private/var/ cache and removed all the installation files, reducing my "other" used space from 158 GB to roughly 33 GB. I'm not sure if 33 GB is still a lot of "other" space, but it is still much better than 158 GB.

The images below show my current predicament. Previously on MacOS Mojave, I had about 150 GB of free storage left, and since installing Catalina, I have not installed anything. However, it claims that my disk has been filled with 155 GB of "other."

I also do not have automatic time machine backups or snapshots that I am aware of, and the outputs of my tmutil commands are attached. Furthermore, you can see that the maximum single file size that I have on my disk is 11 Gigs, which is a virtualbox image. I have also checked my "cores" folder and the folder is empty. I have also checked my various Cache folders, and though they are somewhat large, they do not add up to the 150 GB.

One of my spotify App Caches was slightly large (9 GB), so to experiment, I removed that cache to see how my storage would react. It did indeed say that I have more storage available now and the ~150 GB of other was cut down to ~142.55 GB.

After further analysis, I might have found my suspects: rouge XCode installation .pkg files left after upgrading XCode.The images are posted below. How should I go about removing these safely? Should I upgrade macOS and let it do its job with trash cleaning, then upgrade XCode to see if it clears out? Or should I manually delete these files?

Images:

XCode installation files left over in /private/var enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

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  • That may be possible @SteveChambers, but I think this particular change is specific to my transition form Mojave to Catalina, as I have highlighted that nothing had changed/been downloaded after upgrading to Catalina - leading me to believe that something changed while upgrading. Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 15:29
  • I'd start looking through my user folders with a get info, so as to find something that is ridiculously large. Recently I had an App save 75gB of temp files in it's Application support folder, and not delete them when done. They were copies of files that had moved. After trashing them, my SSD is back to its usual number, I'm missing nothing, and all is running well. Look at both visible and invisible folders. Apps do sometimes exit abnormally, and leave crud lying around. Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 0:37
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    I think I may have found my issue... Some time ago after getting catalina I decided to upgrade XCode. However, this specific version of XCode was not installing correctly, so I tried to install it multiple times. I used GrandPerspective to see what was taking up all my space, and as it turns out, it was these rogue XCode installation files in /private/var, each about 7GB in size. Now the question is, how do I go about disposing of these safely. Should I upgrade macOS and let it do its job with trash cleaning, then upgrade XCode to see if it clears out? Or should I manually delete these files? Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 15:43
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    @benwiggy I suspect that they will, though I have not tried yet since I have been using my computer almost non-stop for school. I will reboot my computer later today and post the results. Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 17:56

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