I'm using MacOS Monterey on a 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro. I'm upgrading to new Monterey 15.0 soon.

I generally disabled Spotlight except to allow for App Store and OS updates.

I have a 500 GB hard drive SSD.

This is what Finder shows, 458.22 out of 500, or 8.36% used: Finder

But viewing it in About this Mac > System Report shows 456.31 GB available:

system storage

In general, is the true disk space that reported in Storage on About this Mac and Finder, because Spotlight is disabled?

I've disabled Spotlight for most of the HD and will probably be replacing it with Alfred, although I'll still allow App Store updates and MacOS updates if there's a way to allow Spotlight not to interfere with it.

Time Machine isn't turned on from what I ran in terminal. The only snapshots are the new ones that come with Monterey's upgrade, the hidden volume.

I'm trying to keep to within the keep 10-15% of hard drive free, so what range is best to keep within, the 440s-450s out of 500?

If you could advise me on this, it's much appreciated.

Back to the main question, is this discrepancy normal or not?

Apologies for the large screencaps.

1 Answer 1


Totally normal. The tools are doing what they’re designed to measure.

Finder filters what you see based on permissions and assuming copies of files take all the space possible before optimizations.

Disk utility is reporting block storage which also contains snapshots, files you don’t have permission to measure and deducts space for duplicate files (copy on write changes, revisions of files, hard links, compressed files, etc…). If you use cloud files, finder and tools can be off even more due to “dehydrated” files that free up space on the device and are cloud backed so that they download on demand.

When you have 350 GB full, these effects will be far easier to measure - having 50 GB free should make it irrelevant how any of these “edge cases” affect the storage. You might be able to run even closer to less storage free and be totally happy and not run into issues, but that’s a long way off as you have barely begin to accumulate storage on that system.

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