It will happen to everyone, you will run out of space (on your computer or device) and you will need to free some space. Apple OSX computers that only have Solid State storage need at least 1/5 free space to remain free all times to prevent the drive from wearing out (by using free sectors repeatedly)
I have blogged before about my backup plan but of late I have ignored my own advice. I have let my free space dwindle to a mere few GBs of free space.
I would not recommend you use Apple iCloud to extend your storage and move unused files to the cloud. I would always recommend you backup files and clear up space (and deal with the problem).
I use Space Gremlin on OSX to find large files (this is not a paid endorsement). After you scan your drive you I could see large and common files, for me, it looks like some old Virtual Machines (Windows and Kali Linux) and over 100GB of photos.
Start with the largest files and work your way down.
Moving small files (to say an external drive is as easy as drag and drop)
I moved my two Parallel Desktop Virtual machines to an external 3TB drive (until I need them again).
Another awesome program is Clean My Mac 3 (also not a paid endorsement), I paid for Clean My Mac 3 and if can easily find obscure hidden files to delete.
Clean My Mac has a find Large and old files tool.
Remove unwanted developer files
I don’t need Developer related simulator files
or XCode (I‘ll uninstall in Clean My Mac 3)
Search for Duplicate Files
I use a program called Twins (now called The Duplicate Finder from https://rockysandstudio.com/) to find duplicate files (not a paid endorsement). Simply point it to a drive and it will find duplicate files.
Remove (Backup) Old Photos
Open your Photos app.
Highlight All Photos and click File, Export then Export Unmodified…
Choose export options.
Choose a destination (I chose a location on an external 3TB drive)
Export in progress.
FYI: Somes files will report that they will not export.
TIP: Confirm your photos have exported.
After I confirmed that my photos were exported I deleted the Photos.
TIP: I had to move my master images from Photos as the delete from the GRI left behind the masters.
Space Gremlin Restricted Files
If you have large chunks of restricted files (files you don’t have access too) in Space Gremlin you can run Space Gremlin with elevated permissions (the manual says).
sudo /Applications/Space\ Gremlin.app/Contents/MacOS/Space\ Gremlin Password: Illegal instruction: 4
Hmm, this does not work.
I have 200GB of restricted files that need scanning 🙁
Do repeat a detection of files to delete with Space Gremlin, Twins and Clean My Mac. Ensure you have multiple backups and don’t leave all of your eggs in one basket.
I hope this guide helps someone.
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v1.2 200GB Restricted Files
v1.1 iCloud Info
v1.0 Initial post