[Solved] "System" is using lots of Disk Space on Mojave and High Sierra  

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@brianmonroe – You highlight an important difference here. What works for "me" is rarely the same thing I would recommend for my customers (or yours) who are paying for advice and troubleshooting. If someone's paying $150-$300/hour for troubleshooting, none of the above is worthwhile time spent. You are absolutely right in recommending 1TB SSDs for them 100% of the time.

@datafornothinandbitsforfree and now you've highlighted the main reason we moved everything to these forums instead of our previous Facebook group: the future "findability" of this content. If it turns into a TMO article, awesome. If it doesn't, it's still here... and still findable. 🙂 

Based on the number of "Where has my Storage Gone" posts in the forums, I think a well written The Mac Observer article would be well worth it.


The discussion here has theories and such, but an article would consolidate all this discussion.  And there is most likely more advertising revenue to a TMO article 😀 

If some sort of definitive explanation(s) is found then if Apple's reporting of this ghost space usage doesn't quickly improve there will be the opportunity for a smart developer (eg. Eclectic Light) to produce an app that gives a better explanation so us support people can at least "point at" something for our clients!



Yes. They do have to deal with what they have. While it may not be ideal to have to use iCloud storage optimization, it may be the only option until they can purchase a new system.

Yes. @davehamilton is providing valuable information by getting to the bottom of this storage issue as many people are going to run in to this problem for the near term on macOS just like we did on iOS when Apple was shipping 8GB/16GB iPhone's. The same is happening now with these macOS systems that come with smaller SSD's built in and in many cases that can not be upgraded/replaced so because of the cost people are just not buying enough storage for their near term future needs.

Yes. You, me, @davehamilton are all exceptions to the rule as we have been using computers and technology for decades so we can live with the limitations and workarounds and understand the tradeoffs. The average user does not.

Yes. This research should become an article for the TMO website so others can easily find it and not have to search in the forums.




I am glad you agree with me that time is money and it is better spent on not wasting it on trying to hack around storage issues that could easily be solved by upgrading for not that much cost. The thing is that while there are times that I may want to hack around to find a solution for myself, more often than not, I would just rather buy the storage I need and move on. Life is too short to mess around with trying to force a square peg in to a round hole.




I agree. Apple does need to do a much better job with their storage reporting tools in macOS as users should not need to rely on 3rd party tools to figure these things out as they are baked in to the UNIX system so Apple should be able to get a better GUI interface on that information including what is going on with your iCloud and Mail storage usage as well.

Yes., if Apple does not offer a 1st party solution then it will be up to the 3rd party developers like Eletric Light to come out with something better.

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