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I have a 1 TB SSD as my main drive in my desktop machine. And just like everyone who buys a “big” disk drive I figured I would’t ever fill it up (I remember thinking that about my 5 MB hard drive, the first one I ever owned…). And just like everyone else, I proceeded to fill it up. Recently I took a look and I noticed I had about 100 GB free.

Only 10%! Where did all that disk go? Well, when I have questions like that, I turn to OmniDiskSweeper, a free (always a good price) program from the Omni Group (when I first got it, it was paid software, but the Omni Group decided to release it as freeware later on).¬†OmniDiskSweeper will look at your disk and sort out directories based on size, so you can quickly see what’s gobbling up your disk. It displays directories and files in a format not unlike the Finder in column mode.

So I fired it up and let it run (it can take a few minutes if you have a lot of files on the disk). It eventually finished and showed me that I had just over 500 GB in the Users directory and went down from there. Well, it’s not surprising that the majority of the disk is filled with my files. So it was time to dig a bit deeper and go to the next level.

Here you can see the user directories (I’ve blanked out the user names, but they are sorted from the top down, and the top user is me).


Looking further to the right, you can see that my Library folder has over half of that at 268.9 GB, and 207 GB of that is in Application Support. Continuing across, the lion’s share of that is in the Abobe folder.

AdobeCommon-2In Adobe we see it’s mostly in use by the Common folder, and inside that the Media Cache Files folder. Cache files? Probably a fair bet I can clean some of that up then.

MediaCache-3Yup. Look at those file names. Those all happen to be Premiere Pro projects I have worked on. They are all finished, so having the cache files for them for rendering previews is unnecessary and a huge waste of space. I selected the files I wanted to delete and clicked on the Delete button at the bottom-left. When you click Delete you are given a warning that asks if you’re sure – because these files don’t go to the Trash, they are deleted immediately. That’s the whole point of the exercise, getting back disk space, not shuffling it to another directory (.Trash). I was sure, so I confirmed and immediately got back all that disk space in one fell swoop. Sometimes, if a file is in use or locked or something, it won’t delete from OmniDiskSweeper – it just remains on screen, and you don’t get any sort of error message. If that happens, and you want to dig deeper, you can go up to the parent folder of the file, then click the folder icon in the lower-right. That will bring up the Finder in that folder, and you can check out the file by right-clicking and selecting “Get Info” to see if it’s locked or it you don’t have rights to delete it.

In the first shot you’ll notice that Logs is listed at 42 GB. These are logs in *my* directory, so they aren’t system logs. What’s in there that’s so huge, and do I need it?

41GBlog-4Turns out to almost all be from the program “sfott,” which is a utility for getting Mavericks to load onto older MacPros that don’t officially support it. I ran it here to build an install disk for my old MacPro 1,1. Apparently, the program made an extensive log, but I really don’t need it. So I whacked that and picked up another 41 GB.

AppleLogs-5I cleaned up a few more files in the Users directory and then decided to take a look in the Library directory. This is the system Library, not just mine, so I need to be careful about anything I touch here. 34 GB of logs? I bet I don’t need those. And I’m right – look at all those logs for the AppleFileService – file sharing. I don’t need any of that so – poof! And I get back another 32 GB.

Apps-6The I took a look in Applications. Many apps are huge, there’s no getting around it. But the second biggest app is the Garmin app for supporting stand-alone Garmin GPS units. I haven’t needed that for *years*, yet there it sits. So I whack that and pick up another 12 GB.

I later found some sound effects files that amounted to around another 100 GB that I moved off the SSD onto an external drive, so I have them if I need them. When I finished cleaning up, I had over 360 GB free. That’s better – you really should try to keep from falling below 10% available, or you may run into odd problems with swap space (of course, 10% of a 1 TB drive isn’t quite so bad as 10% of a 300 GB drive). So thanks to OmniDiskSweeper I am no longer running on empty.







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