Insufficient Mac Storage Space?

How To Find Where Your Mac Storage Space Has Gone

Do you have a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with one of Apple’s SSD (Solid State Drive) storage units installed? If you do, then you have probably found that you are running out of space on that drive. Mac storage space on these SSD’s is only 120GB (or thereabouts) and it can get full very quickly. A few photos here, some music there and – what? Only 5GB left, then if this is you it’s time to act.

What To Do If Your Mac Storage Space Has Run Out

One program we have found to be excellent in determining where the disk space has gone is the software OmniDiskSweeper.

Just a word of warning: always go to the company who is the originator of the software you want to download. Do not go to or, you will be sorry. I’ll leave that comment there for now.

So, back to OmniDiskSweeper. Omnigroup doesn’t say a lot about their product, strangely other than and I quote them:  “OmniDiskSweeper shows you the files on your drive, largest to smallest, and lets you quickly trash or open them.Enough said really.

Before you begin and this is critical, so please do it, backup your Apple computer using Time Machine. Please do not run OmniDiskSweeper before finishing this essential task.

Time Machine could take a while to complete if it has not backed up in a while. I would also strongly suggest that you use a less than two-year-old external Hard Disk Drive to use with Time Machine.

How to Run OmniDiskSweeper

Download the version applicable to your Mac Operating System. You can choose from the following (as of March 2019):

  • For Macs running macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) and later, click the download button to get the latest version.
  • For Macs running macOS 10.12, (Sierra)  download version 1.10.
  • For Mac OS X 10.8 to OS X 10.11, (Mt. Lion to El Capitan)  download version 1.9.
  • For Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.7, (Snow Leopard and Lion)  download version 1.8.
  • For Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5, (Tiger and Leopard)  download version 1.7.2.

Install the said software and as it asks to put it in Applications.

DO NOT run it

Instead, do the following exactly.

Open Terminal (found under Utilities)

Once Terminal is opened type in the following exactly:

sudo /Applications/

Hit enter

Enter your computer’s password if asked.

A window will come up and click on the button that says “Sweep “Macintosh HD” Drive “ (By default the drive is called Macintosh HD).

This process can take a while on mechanical drives but on an SSD’s it usually takes a few minutes.

You will be presented with a list of directories with the largest directories at the top. Now be very careful in what you delete as anything in the System or Library folders are usually essential to the booting, running and working of your computer. So be 100% sure in what you are deleting here.

Create More Mac Storage Space

Generally speaking, it is in Applications and Users directories where space may be taken up unwittingly. As an example, under the Music directory, have a look in the following: iTunes – iTunes Media – Mobile Applications. In there you may find dozens of old apps (.ipa files). If you want to delete them you can. If you need an app again you can download it.

Now go to Library – Application Support – Mobile Sync – Backup. Any files here are your old iPhone backups. Double click the folder icon and Finder will reveal these files and their dates. If you want, you can delete what you don’t need.

There may be other areas you can explore but again be extra careful what you delete.

OmniDiskSweeper is an excellent tool for Mac users to figure out where “lost” space may be, it’s a shame it’s not available for Windows.

If you are unsure of how to run any of the above we here at Affordable Computer Repairs can do this for you, so please call us on 3397 1215 or 0409 974 707 before a mistake is made. Thanks for reading!

For other problems that we solve, please visit our page on Mac Repairs.

Author: Mark Kotorac, Business Owner, Affordable Computer Repairs and Service

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Affordable Computer Repairs and Service Brisbane