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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Always get great advice here, never fails. Thanks in advance.
I slipped under 20 GB of space on my Mac Air (121 GB) recently, panicked, started working to dump files, photos, etc. I hesitated to buy CleanMyMac, not sure of the software, plenty of articles not in support.
I did the search off the desktop, deleted some .app and .dmg files, some duplicates of movies. I've managed to recover enough to get back up to 24 GB. This still doesn't seem like enough space.
I tried to install OmniDiskSweeper, no success, some 'fail' message.
Am I missing something? Should I have more room?
/Michael.
 

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I slipped under 20 GB of space on my Mac Air (121 GB) recently, panicked, started working to dump files, photos, etc. I hesitated to buy CleanMyMac, not sure of the software, plenty of articles not in support.

That amount of available space would be pretty tight for a rotational HDD, but is manageable with a solid-state drive but it is down to the minimum recommended area level.

I would suggest you have a look at:
GrandPerspective, which I prefer:
https://alternativeto.net/software/grandperspective/about/

Or maybe even What Size
https://www.whatsizemac.com/

If you are using Time Machine, but haven't connected to a backup drive for a while, be aware that it can create a temporary backup file on your hard drive which can certainly gobble up a lot of room.

I do not know whatever mac os operating system you are using allows you to see it normally. Again, a google search would help if you need help finding it if it is there, I do not use Time Machine.

120GB is not exactly a large amount of storage these days, especially if you collect many photos or videos and music.

It may be time to seriously consider an external storage device as I don't believe your internal SSD is replaceable. Check here for details for your particular model:
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/macbook-air/index-macbook-air.html

If your Mac Air has trouble writing to your hard drive due to lack of space, you will probably see more and more spinning beach balls etc. which could get worse as the storage amount becomes less and less. Do not let it get two less than anything less than two digits GBs of free space even if it can still work properly.



- Patrick
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Three areas where I find folks accumulate files that do a number on free space...

1/ Photos & videos transferred from iPhone / iPad

2/ Downloads folder (amazing how some people just never clean this out)

3/ Leftover files from installations, and files not needed. E.g., if you never use Garageband, search how to get rid of the various instruments and loops that may be installed; installed any open-source Office alternatives like LibreOffice that you no longer use? Toss the apps, but also check ~/Users/username/System/Application Support for any no-longer-used files. As an example: In installed Fortnite on my iMac one weekend to check it out before letting my son have a go on his computer - that darn thing plopped *gigabytes* of files onto my HD.

I also heartly endore pm-r and his recommendation for Grand Perspective. It gives a great graphical overview of what's taking up the space on your drive - just point your cursor at a block, and it tells you how much space and shows you (at bottom) what the path is to that file; Tip: user control-click to choose "Show in Finder" to get to it quickly for trashing :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to both, very helpful. Up to 52 GB of free space this morning, only 23 GB of 'Other'. My purging certainly helped. I don't use a lot of photos and videos, so there's that. I use LibreOffice, yes, but only for its spreadsheet, so I'll keep on eye on that. I do use Time Machine, plug in a 500 GB iOmega unit, and I do tend to be slow at backing up when I should, so that could be an issue as you mentioned.
Should I be using the 500 GB unit always? Just leave it connected? Is that what you mean by an external drive? /M.
 

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Should I be using the 500 GB unit always? Just leave it connected? Is that what you mean by an external drive? /M.

I would say it would depend on how you use it. You may want to do some googling for suggestions.

If you only use it for Time Machine backups, you may want to look into a scheduler to control it, or just turn it off when you don't want to use it unless it's hourly backups that don't bother you.

You may also want to consider using a backup application for creating a bootable clone.



- Patrick
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I slipped under 20 GB of space on my Mac Air (121 GB) recently, panicked...
Are you saying that your hard drive has been used normally and is simply becoming too full, or are you saying that it is quickly filling up for no reason? There is a known situation that causes the latter and you can't solve it permanently by simply deleting stuff from your hard drive.

As for it not being a big deal that your SSD is close to full (compared to a rotating disk hard drive [RDHD]...it's an even bigger deal.) SSD's need to have a certain amount of free space at all times for exactly the same reasons as RDHD's (for use as scratch space, virtual memory, system databases, etc.), AND SSD's tend to use more free storage space because individual blocks get worn out (each block is only good for a limited number of reads and writes) and an SSD needs a supply of good blocks to substitute for dying blocks. An SSD will begin to show decreased performance from becoming too full well before a RDHD will.

"When you’re getting close to the 70% threshold, you should consider upgrading your computer’s SSD with a larger drive." Crucial recommends that you leave about 10-15% free on their SSD's. They also note that as your SSD becomes full, it will lose performance.
"The rule of thumb to keep SSDs at top speeds is to never completely fill them up. To avoid performance issues, you should never use more than 70% of its total capacity.

“SSDs may suffer performance issues, especially in writing speed, when the drive reaches full capacity. It is easier for the drive to write to an empty cell when there is free space available. When the drive is full, the SSD needs to find out which blocks are partially filled, move that information into a cache and then write it back to the drive. It is best to have 10-15% of your drive set aside for free space, to keep a good balance between performance and space utilization."
 
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