Unaccounted occupied space after Mojave install  



A friend has a MBPro with a 250GB SSD running the latest Mojave. Recently she got a message saying her hard drive was almost full, which made no sense. Last time I checked she had over 100GB free when she was still running High Sierra. Now it as less than 5GB free for seemingly no reason with the big change being that she upgraded to Mojave.  

I ran OmniDiskSweeper with the sudo terminal command, but it shows basically what Finder shows.  Her home folder is about 60GB, System=9GB, Library=6GB and Applications= 6GB. Not even 100GB should be occupied, yet About>Storage>Manage shows 245GB occupied, 170GB of with is System. I ran GrandPerspective which reports pretty much the same as OmniDiskSweeper...the occupied space just doesn't add up

Have emptied trash. Have restarted into SafeBoot. Have run DiskUtility from Recovery partition.  The problem remains.

Is this a case where the transition to APFS just did not go well? And nuke and pave is the only option?  Or is there some explanation?

To note:  Under About>Storage>Manage, "Backups" is not listed, which I assume means there are no local backups. Are local backups so hidden that they wouldn't show up to OmniDiskSweeper running sudo?

I found the command to see local snapshots, and it showed "dataless", presumably because we had just run a backup yesterday. So I don't think it's local snapshots that is taking up the unaccounted for space.  Also, I deleted her Spotlight index and re-enabled it (saw it starting the new index), but that did nothing to bring back the free space.  When I look at About>Storage> Manage, the System is still taking up 168GB (in the Finder the System folder takes about 9).   Any other ideas how to uncover and reclaim HD space?

What if you show invisible files and get info on them?

Yes already tried showing invisible files. I don't see anything on the root level or anything obvious. That's why I did the OmniDiskSweeper thing with sudo. Plus when I do "calculate folder sizes", it accounts for about 90 GB. Instead the hard drive is showing about 240GB of occupied space. . The problem doesn't appear to be accessible on the Finder level. It's something on the "APFS level" (if that's a thing). 

Looking at other forums, I do see that this is a much discussed issue without a specific answer. Apparently that "System" reading in About>Storage should be taken with a grain of salt. It's a bit of a 'catch all'.  The fix for some is to delete local snapshots (but not the answer for my friend).  For some the answer is to rebuild the Spotlight index (but not the answer for my friend).  But it is a real problem for my friend is when the Finder reports there's no more free space.  

Hoping that there's an easier answer than nuke and reinstall.  She's traveling for the next two weeks, so it's tough to get a reinstall accomplished.


Rebuild spotlight. Google should find instructions 

i wonder if there are APFS snapshots that are not being seen by OmniDiskSweeper and GrandPerspective. Google APFS snapshots to see if there are instructions for checking. 

That would be my guess, too. If she uses Time Machine, have her run a backup and see if the free space returns.

see comment above, but unfortunately it's not s local snapshot issue


I'm going to "Answer" this by posting it as better worded question.