My wife’s MacBook has mysteriously almost run out of free hard drive space, and I wasn’t sure why. The amazing and always-knowledgable Patsy Lanclos told me at least a year ago about the free application Disk Inventory X, which permits users to visually explore the contents of a hard drive running or attached to a computer running the Macintosh OS X operating system.
Using Disk Inventory X tonight, I learned my wife’s Macbook had several large (more than 1 GB) “swap files” saved on it which had apparently been created when someone in our family used the computer until the battery was out of juice. I think this is what creates these LARGE swap files. (Some were named “sleepimage.”) Anyway, I was able to identify and delete those files tonight. I also was able to see that we had multiple gigs taken up by DVD movies we own but I’d converted/ripped to MP4 using Handbrake. Now that we have multiple iPods in our family capable of showing videos, we don’t need to use the Macbook on car trips anymore to watch videos, so these files (which I have saved on an external hard drive) are no longer needed locally on her computer.
The last thing which Disk Inventory X revealed was an old, archived operating system which we’d saved at some point in the past when I reinstalled software on her computer. That was taking a LOT of space. All told, by removing these three categories of items I freed up 12 GB of space on her hard drive. Woohoo!
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