MacLife

Should you trust the Storage bar?

Source: Disk Utility provides a more accurate overview than About This Mac’s Storage tab.

My Mac mini has an internal 256GB SSD, so my large Photos and iTunes libraries are on external 4TB and 8TB drives. The Storage tab in About This Mac reports that there are over 100GB of photos on my internal drive, but Disk Utility and Finder show a total of only 5GB in use. Which of these is right, and why are they different?

Trust Finder and Disk Utility over anything in the Storage tab. The former calculate the total space actually used by all the files on a drive, regardless of what’s in them. Although they’ve occasionally had glitches, those figures are pretty robust, and have been since OS X 10.0 in 2001. The Storage tab in About This Mac is the upstart, and has been revised for Sierra’s new Optimized Storage feature. Somewhere in that process, the method it uses to work out how much of your startup disk is used by different types of files has become less reliable. On some Macs, the colored bar never completes, and still shows “Calculating…” months after upgrading to Sierra. A few users have reported problems similar to yours, which may result from the tab incorrectly trying to include large linked libraries, such as your Photos library, in its math.

Hopefully Apple will get round to fixing these bugs soon. In the

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