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As you can see in the below image, my HD "Other" category is almost full. A couple of days ago, I randomly kept getting a popup saying that my disk was almost full. Then I went in and noticed the issue in the image. I ran the repair disk utility and got all my software up to date, to no avail. Haven't found any help on Google. Any ideas?

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10 Answers 10

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Not sure whether you've already found this, but there are a number of other people having the same issue on the Apple Discussion Groups. There seems to be quite a lot of good information in that thread so I recommend reading it through, but the consensus seems to be that its hidden local backups/snapshots that's causing it.

A few people also used DaisyDisk to find, then delete, hidden space on the hard disk.

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    I second the recommendation of DaisyDisk - it's a fantastic product. – Dan J Mar 7 '12 at 21:10
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I've also noticed on my copy of Lion that it lists anything as "Other" that it doesn't identify to be part of OSX's categorisations. For example I have 25GB of mkv files in my Movies folder, but OSX only sees as me having 7.46GB of movies...

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I had a similar issue and finally found the cause of the problem. My mail app had issues connecting to one of my email accounts and I found it was storing all of the error messages (900+ GB worth).

Check to see if your having the same problem:

  • Open finder
  • press command, shift, g
  • type ~/Library
  • press go
  • locate & check the size of your mail folder (mine was 900+ GB!!!)
  • delete files

Hope that helps!

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  • I don't use mac mail, but I will check other folders though, thanks! – ansarob Mar 21 '12 at 19:59
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Have you tried booting up from the recovery partition and repairing the disk in Disk Utility? That just solved a similar issue I was having.

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  • Yeah, didn't help though – ansarob Mar 21 '12 at 19:59
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Try this delete unnecessary (old) mobile device backups:

  • In iTunes, go Preferences/Devices and view your device backups
  • Delete unneeded copies of device back ups.

Depending on the number of iOS upgrades you did in the past this will regain a bunch of GBs.

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    229 GB are used with "other", do you really think deleting a few mobile device backups of 5-10 GB (for large ones) help here? – nohillside Oct 1 '12 at 18:13
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Could it be that you have a bundle image on this drive that is always mounted?

Although not full these can only be shrunk when unmounted - and therefore it might just keep growing...

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Try OmniDiskSweeper, to see a hierarchical view of your entire HDD (or partition) based on the files and folders size.

OmniDiskSweeper is really great at what it does: showing you the files on your drive, in descending order by size, and letting you delete them easily!

And it’s free.

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This also can be a temporary situation.

I've been doing a lot of restoring of Time Machine backups to new machines and for a handful of minutes to a several hours after the restore is done, this tool reports other when in reality a good chunk of space should (and will eventually) be shown to be music, apps and movies.

enter image description here

The picture above looked very similar to yours when I first checked. Unlike spotlight, which shows indexing progress and will incrementally refine search results as new space and files are indexed, System Information takes a momentary snapshot. If you leave that window open and come back in a day - it won't have changed, but if you quit and re-open it, you should see the categorization completed and a truer representation of space.

So, I would also suspect that sometimes the process storing this data could be buggy and a reboot/reinstall/other might be needed to clean things up and re-start the process that determines which file type is using space.

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I have been manually backing up files from a dying MBP and noticed 49GB+ of images in ~/Library/Container/com.apple.Preview/Data folder. Some of these images were over 2 years old. I'd recommend digging through the folders inside the containers and see what other applications have created copies of your files.

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I know this is thread is old, but I was experiencing the same problem on my Macbook Pro on El Capitan. Using OmniDiskSweeper was awesome but I found the high quality transcoded media files from Final Cut Pro X were massive, so I did a huge project clean up and it gave me an extra 200gb of free space.

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  • How does this improve on other answers - it might be better to edit them – mmmmmm Mar 27 '16 at 20:50

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