Startup Disk Almost Full Mac – High Sierra 10.13 Solution

Another computer problem in the world order. This time a client from a third party website where I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology related questions, had a Macintosh predicament. He kept receiving a warning telling him that the hard disk was almost full.

Here is his initial query:

It keeps telling me that I am running out of space, and it shuts down emails while I am writing them. I don’t know how to stop this from happening. Can you help me with this memory issue?

This problem was NOT actually a memory problem, but rather more specifically succinctly a hard disk problem. You see when I checked his hard disk space, he had around 500 megabytes free. He had a 250 gigabyte hard drive installed in his Macintosh computer with High Sierra 10.13 operating system installed.

It tells me to use iCloud, which I have no idea what that is. Can you take control of this thing and fix it for me? Just got the error message, “Your disk is almost full save space by optimizing storage”.

This Macintosh operating system High Sierra 10.13 “System” folder was using 190 gigabytes of disk space. That does NOT leave much space, pun intended, left over now does it. I was able to rectify this problem using multiple tactics.

First, I downloaded and installed my preferred PC optimization tool designed for Macintosh computers. This program was able to free up an additional 500 megabytes of disk space or half a gigabyte. Also, I configured his Macintosh system to use iCloud for as many files as possible.

For example personal documents, applications, etc. Also, I removed some cache files. I was able to free up a total of around 3 gigabytes of disk space.

This individual was using Apple mail configured for accessing his AOL email account. However, this account was using 40 gigabytes of disk space. I told this individual to go through his email inbox and remove emails that were not needed.

His AOL email account had nearly 10,000 email messages in the inbox alone. He agreed and said he would perform this task later. If you use Spotlight on a Macintosh computer, you can search for terms like “Cache”.

Also, I checked Time Machine backups on this computer. None of them were enabled. Also, I checked for Time Machine local backups.

None were found. However, you can type this command into a terminal, which will search for local backup files. These can be quite large and are not obvious.

sudo tmutil listlocalsnapshots /Volumes/

You will need to enter in your Macintosh administrator password. If any files are listed, you can go ahead and delete those files.

Enter the following command to delete a snapshot file:

sudo tmutil deletelocalsnapshots 2018-05-18-002004

The end of this command “2018-05-18-002004” is actually an example local snapshot file. You would see a different numerical file. However, reading one blog post, the author claimed that they deleted 3 local snapshots which resulted in them being able to free up to 203 gigabytes of disk space

You read that correctly, a big fat fucking 203 gigabytes of disk space used by those local snapshots. I was NOT able to figure out nor rectify the situation with a “System” folder that was using 190 gigabytes of disk space. Another procedure I performed was to delete any duplicate programs in both “Applications” and “Downloads” folders.

Macintosh will label any duplicate program for you when browsing them with the Finder tool. Performing this step did indeed free up some additional disk space. This individual had 10 gigabytes of iTunes songs.

I was able to only free up around 3 gigabytes of total disk space. However, this individual could easily free up around 50 gigabytes if he were to clean up his email inbox and perhaps backup his iTunes collection to his iCloud account. These tips to clear that repugnant Startup Disk Almost Full Mac error were written for an Apple Macintosh computer with High Sierra 10.13 operating system installed.

You could certainly use these tips as a basis point for other Macintosh operating systems.