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new mac user here running Monterey 12.1 (21C52) and I wanted to know if this Drive/ Volume layout is normal. In the last couple of days I noticed that there was something off about my storage. The numbers that disk utility, system information, storage management and onyx were giving me were not the same.

It is not a local snapshot issue, i already got rid of every snapshot.

System information tells me that i have ~90gb free space on my mac while disk utility tells me that its ~70gb,onyx says its <60gb and storage management is more along the lines of ~85gb. I cannot imagine what the issue could be, thats why im going to tackle it down one by one.

I must also mention that I had an issue with macos big sur which led to me reinstalling macos couple of months ago. There is a chance that it has something to do with all of this but i dont know how, or where i should start fixing the problem.

First of all, is this volume "layout" normal?

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Second, my system data since very large. Im coming from windows and i dont know if this is normal.

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And last but not least is this overly large block of data that i found using disk inventory x that cannot be found.

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Thanks for any help

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  • You are running Big Sur, right?
    – nohillside
    Jan 11, 2022 at 10:23
  • No, I am using Monterey
    – Rarowcun
    Jan 11, 2022 at 10:25
  • This all looks 100% fine other than you can’t delete all snapshots on Monterey. It’s hard to know how to answer all three questions - what’s your goal?
    – bmike
    Jan 11, 2022 at 11:00
  • Yes, sorry @bmike. Your answers brought me ahead. Now i know that i do not have to look out for volume/ partition problems. My goals was getting short answers to these questions. So a rather yes/ no question. I wasnt really expecting getting concrete my answer to the problem, i rather wanted to funnel down my options.
    – Rarowcun
    Jan 11, 2022 at 11:04
  • I’d stop using disk inventory, it needs rework to deal with Monterey. Use Apple system information and storage to make decisions along with the recommendations as you decide what to prune.
    – bmike
    Jan 11, 2022 at 11:05

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I don't believe you have any issues and everything looks quite normal. Three major changes have made older tools like Grand Perspective and Disk Inventory less useful.

  1. Snapshots and copy on write mean that files can share space on the disk.
  2. Sparse files, purgeable files (cloud backed files that serve as "cache" can be freed on demand) also make it more complicated when "file size" is not necessarily the "space used on disk" and when two files use the same space - the tools don't know if the OS has commingled those identical bits or not.
  3. Increased usage of firmlinks and to a lesser extent hard links.

In your case - 50 GB of apps, 5 GB of iCloud data and 4 GB of Documents mapt 3. Firm links and sandboxes and sealed system volumes mean that even tools that try to "traverse" one home for user files won't catch application caches, settings, data as easily as before.

In the comments, I recommended you use Apple tools or something like DaisyDisk which does classify purgeable space and snapshots apart from the "user space" you want to focus on to free space.

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On my Mac with a 256 SSD - you can see at the bottom, 172 GB is free for new files since the purgeable don't need any action if I choose to add more files - they do important work speeding up network calls and also save the SSD wear cycles from erasing cached files that are likely to be used again.

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    This does make sense. It helped me out. I completely forgot how purgable storage works. Thanks a lot !
    – Rarowcun
    Jan 19, 2022 at 8:00

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