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?


10 Answers 10


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.

  • 4
    I second the recommendation of DaisyDisk - it's a fantastic product.
    – Dan J
    Mar 7, 2012 at 21:10

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...


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!

  • I don't use mac mail, but I will check other folders though, thanks!
    – ansarob
    Mar 21, 2012 at 19:59

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.

  • Yeah, didn't help though
    – ansarob
    Mar 21, 2012 at 19:59

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.

  • 1
    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, 2012 at 18:13

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...


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.


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.


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.


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.

  • How does this improve on other answers - it might be better to edit them
    – mmmmmm
    Mar 27, 2016 at 20:50

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