I am trying to free up some space (around 20GB) in order to install Big Sur on my 2019 Air, 128GB.

Under Storage Management, I select Documents that are shown to occupy 36GB of space. However, there are no Large Files, Downloads, or Unsupported Apps. When I click the File Browser option, the files and folders listed don't sum up to the size mentioned in the Recommendations.

The pic below showcases my situation: enter image description here

  • 2
    show hidden files (open finder, then hit shift+ cmd+ .) and check your library folder
    – X_841
    Commented Dec 21, 2020 at 9:13
  • Please answer this so that I can accept it? Thanks! Commented Dec 21, 2020 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


This file size discrepancy most likely occurs due to hidden files in the user/library folder.

To show hidden files, open a Finder window and hit shift cmd .. You will immediately see that these files are shown with grey text in finder.

However, be careful with deleting these, you can harm the system or programs by doing so.

  • You are unlikely to harm the system or apps by deleting stuff in the user Library -- a brand new user account will have nothing there, for example. Most apps will save what they need there on first run.
    – benwiggy
    Commented Jan 15, 2022 at 18:12

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