Tag Archives: Time Machine

Fixed: macOS reports incorrect disk space usage

I had a weird issue on y MacBook today: after being low on space for what felt like months, I bit the bullet and deleted 50% of stuff from hard disk. I freed up about 250GB of files, emptied the trash, and checked under About this Mac – Storage. Sure enough, I finally had space again.

But when I tried to install something, which instantly told me I only had 14GB available, and that’s just not enough. I thought, “pardon?” 🤔

I double-checked on the command line with df -h, and the output corroborated the statement of the application I wanted to install: 98% disk space used. I thought perhaps Disk Utility would bring clarification, perhaps via a First Aid run. But sadly it only confirmed what the df command saw: my disk was nearly full, and whatever 250GB I had deleted were somehow still lurking around. How? Why? What was going on here?

Thankfully I found this StackExchange thread discussing the same issue. Apparently this weirdness is caused by local Time Machine backups that have not been relayed to an external disk. I do recall that my MacBook has been telling me that no backups could be made for some time. Either way, the magic command looks like this:

No administrator privileges are necessary. It takes a moment to run, but apparently this radically clears up local backups. I had this problem with macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra. Maybe this helps anyone with similar issues.

Thanks to Tetsujin for making this excellent suggestion.

How to fix permission problems when restoring folders from Time Machine Backups

Airport TimeCapsuleI had an odd problem the other day: I wanted to restore a fairly large folder from my new AirPort TimeCapsule. But the restore always stopped at one particular file, with an error message about permission problems.

The folder in question was about 4GB in size and contained just over 10.000 files in total. I was baffled! Time Machine had never failed me before, so what was going on out of a sudden?

Well I guess it’s a computer, and things just go wrong sometimes. Thanks to Apple Support this problem is now solved – and I thought I’d share the insight, both with you all and my future self.

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