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Ask Michelle Your Own Question

Michelle
Michelle, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 982
Experience:  Apple Computers and Mobile support with 12 years of exp.
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my hard drive and start up disk on my iMac is shown as full.

Customer Question

Question stays as asked

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Michelle replied 2 years ago.
Michelle :

Hi, and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am excited to get started with you.

So I can better assist you, I will need additional information. Have you already emptied the trash? Can you check your hard drive space. To do so,
1. Click on the apple logo in the upper left corner and choose About this Mac.
2. Click on the Storage tab.
If you have an earlier version of Mac OS X, click on the magnifying glass in the upper right corner and type in Disk Utility. Once Disk Utility is open, Select Macintosh HD in the left column. At the button, what does it read next to Used and Available ?

JACUSTOMER-xutpeu3r- :

Used

Michelle :

What is the GB size next to used and available?

JACUSTOMER-xutpeu3r- :

Full Size Image

Michelle :

Thanks for the screenshot, that really helped. You only have a little over 3GB of storage left. You need at least 20Gb of free hard drive space. Since you have a time machine backup, you will need to delete more items off your computer and empty the trash. Photos and movies are taking up the most space. Double check to see the last backup then delete a few movies from the movie folder

JACUSTOMER-xutpeu3r- :

Unfortunately I do not want to delete stuff as it is important that I hold on to it for 7 years (work related stuff). What I need to happen is for the older files to be automatically backed up onto time machine then deleted from the main drive. When the time machine backup is full I will then replace that? Is that possible?

Michelle :

That is what I am instructing. Deleting items off your main drive since they are already backed up via Time machine. It looks like your files are already backed up I see a 1TB backup size. Your main hard drive is 1TB (1,000GB). Time machine will begin to delete older backups once time machine is getting full

Michelle :

Do you currently have anything in the trash? Space on your main hard drive is not created until the trash is emptied.

JACUSTOMER-xutpeu3r- :

I have deleted all items out of trash.

JACUSTOMER-xutpeu3r- :

The time machine hard drive has been set up foe about 8 months now...thats why I don't understand why it has allowed the main drive to become so full?

Michelle :

Oh I see. Time machine deletes old backups from the actual external hard drive to make room for new backups. It does not delete anything from the main drive. The user will usually delete data manually since time machine has already backed them up.

Michelle :

When you are done deleting files from your main hard drive that are already backed up onto your external hard drive, empty the trash. Then click on the apple logo again and choose About this mac>Storage to check your new storage size

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