Start up disk is full - help needed please

macOS & Mac Apps
Hello, I was trying to copy some files to my Mac earlier and got a message saying "The files could not copy because there is not enough free space". I had a look at the info on the Macintosh HD disk and found I only have 2 gb left. I don't see how this is possible as I don't have many apps including the pre-installed ones. I don't have many photos either. I do have quite a lot of music, but not enough to take up nearly all the start-up disk. I have a MacBook Air. Is there a way to clear just any junk files off, such as files from apps that didn't get deleted from the trash? What kind of files are the best to delete? Thanks for any help, Callum



Submitted by Tyler on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

There are a few things you can do to free up space on your startup disk. 1. Empty your trash. When you delete a file in the finder, it is stored in the trash so you could recover it if you needed to. If you have files that you know you don't want, you can delete them permanently by pressing command shift delete anywhere in the finder, or select empty trash from the finder menu in the menu bar. Same for iPhoto. Even when you delete a picture from your iPhoto library, it goes into a trash so you could recover it. Emptying this will give you some space. 2. Find what files are taking the most space. To do this, press command F in the finder. In the popup menu labeled, "Kind," select, "Other," then select, "File size." Click Ok, and set your desired criteria. The files should show up in what looks like a file folder. 3. Compress large files. Select a file in the Finder and select file>compress. 4. Clean trace files. While an app can be moved to the trash, files associated with that app may still be present. Typically, these files are small, but they can build up over time. You can find these files in your library folders hidden in your home folder, on your drive labeled, "Macintosh HD," by default, or in Macintosh HD>System. Caution, only remove files you are certain are associated with an app you've removed. These locations also contain important system files which should not be modified. There are also apps like Appdelete that will remove these files intelligently and automatically. 5. Clean build up files like caches or logs. These can be found in the library folders of your computer. Simply open the folder and press command A to select all, then move them to the trash. Empty your trash and restart your computer, and they're all cleaned out. You can also use apps like OnyX which will intelligently and automatically remove build up files.

Submitted by synthesizer101 on Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Here is one way to quickly lose space on a hard drive. Have you ever downloaded some voices to test them, decided you really don't want them after all and deleted them? Well, the voice databases are still sitting there. To remove them, you need to access the folder /system/library/speech/voices. You can delete any folder .speechvoice corresponding to a voice you deleted. Caution: don't delete the voices labeled compact, as they are needed for your computer to handle other languages. If you are lost, just contact me and I'll write a script to make this easier.

Submitted by Callum on Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I have a couple more questions. I don't really wanna pay for Appdelete, so I just downloaded Appcleaner, but I'm not too sure what I can and can't delete. In applications, the checkboxes for the Apple applications are dimmed, but in the widgets and others, they don't seem to be dimmed. The reason I'm worried about deleting them is incase they're to do with an app I've downloaded and still need to be used. If theres a free app that can just show me junk files and delete them, that would be great. Also, about the voices, can I just delete all the voices apart from the ones labelled "compact" and the one I use or are there others that may still need to be kept? Thanks

Submitted by Edgar0901 on Friday, February 27, 2015

Recently, I constantly got “Startup Disk is full” even when I removed some large files. After I checked all my photos, music and movies, I started to suspect Microsoft Outlook, for I had problems with it in the beginning. I tried to find Outlook file directory of Outlook and could not find the directory nor my personal mail file (pst files). So I played around and went to Tools\Run Schedule\Empty Deleted Items Folder, and tried to permanently delete all deleted messages. I was a little concerned when it took about 10 minutes to complete, and has obviously cleaned up multiple folders.

When it’s done, I have emptied trash can and shutdown my MacBook Air (Yosemite). When restarted, I was so pleased I got 28GB of my 128GB system Disk storage back.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Friday, April 3, 2015

Sort by size with cmd control 6. You will see all the folders in there that are big. If you use clean my mac all you do is select the file sizein the pop up thing. I think I have about 300 mb and bigger selected. then you hit scan.

Good luck.

Submitted by Brett Evans on Wednesday, September 7, 2016

my son has 128 ssd gig mac says his start up disk is full he has 4 mb left out of 128gig it basically cant do anything as no memory to run anything when i look at what is taking up memory it shows about 50 gig in applications and 70 gig other i cant work out what other is but assume its mainly operating system etc it seems to be in user section.

i bought 1 tb ext hard drive to see if that would help but no luck

is there a way i can copy operating system onto ext hd and use it as start up disk freeing upo memory on lap top or does anybody else have a solution is mainly using online to play robolox and afew others which are pretty big but i can save them on ext hd

i hope someone can help me clean up lap top or other solution

cheers Brett

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Download Disk Inventory X. This will let you see and remove what's taking up space. I used this to free I kid you not, about 50 gig of stuff I didn't need.

Submitted by Joseph on Wednesday, September 7, 2016

how much does that app cost?