Emptying trash does not increase the space available on Pathfinder

Harry March's Avatar

Harry March

29 Jan, 2013 11:12 AM

I just emptied well over 2 gigabytes from the trash, but the display at the bottom of Pathfinder did not increase the available space. Is this correct?

  1. 1 Posted by Harry March on 29 Jan, 2013 11:24 AM

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    Well, it appears to be somewhat worse than I thought. I just emptied about 450 megabytes, and the space available declined by 200 megabytes. Surely, I am missing something.

  2. 2 Posted by Harry March on 29 Jan, 2013 11:54 AM

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    Okay, I rebooted the machine. Pathfinder now shows 33 gigabytes available. It would be preferable not to have to reboot to get what I assume is the correct number. Am I doing something wrong?

  3. 3 Posted by Harry March on 29 Jan, 2013 12:56 PM

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    I should add that I am certainly one of the most dedicated and pleased users of Pathfinder in existence. I could not live without it.

  4. 4 Posted by Harry March on 29 Jan, 2013 04:07 PM

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    Well, now we're back down to 30.9 gigs and I have actually deleted files. The Finder says there are 39 gigs available.

    Which should I believe? My motivation is to buy Parallels and run a Windows partition, and I need 15 gigs. I don't want to go too near the limit. Running a Macbook Air.

  5. 5 Posted by John on 30 Jan, 2013 04:36 PM

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    Hi, just a few suggestions. First it definitely does take PF a second to re-calculate capacity on empty trash, but restarting and other methods would address that.

    It sounds like the discrepancy is larger than the GB to GiB translation difference. In all honesty, I cannot recall which way Mac OS X calculates file sizes, but this might account for some of the discrepancy you are seeing. What happens when you run:

    /bin/df -H

    from your Terminal? Specifically pay attention to the line starting with /dev/disk1 or /dev/disk0 that should report the size of that drive, used, and available space. Do these numbers match that of Finder or PF?

  6. 6 Posted by Harry March on 30 Jan, 2013 06:24 PM

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    In the first place, thank you very much for your answer. This is what makes the Net work.

    The answer lies here:

    The missing storage is in /.MobileBackups which is something the OS uses to back up the disk when the external Time Machine drive is offline, which in my case is a lot. This "feature" can be turned off.

    Why, on the other hand, emptying trash does not add to available space, except on the Finder, is somewhat mysterious. Apple does say that the MobileBackups space can be freed for applications. I guess their idea is that if you're flying from Singapore to New York and you do a lot of work on the Air, you don't want to lose it if... but that is the question, if what? I don't know the precise scenario they have in mind.

    In fact, thinking about it, what they have in mind is the role of Time Machine as a versioning system NOT a back-up system. Versioning? I'm not collaborating on a huge C++ project. I really don't need that level of versioning.

    Thanks again.

  7. 7 Posted by Damazio on 01 Feb, 2013 12:10 PM

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    Just to add that you can turn it off with a terminal command. More info here. This window also shows the used backup space.

    Finder is Apple's own creation and it's adapted for whatever changes Apple introduces with a new OS X version. These changes/features are often undocumented to third party developers.

    Usually, I don't have to reboot. Relaunching Path Finder resolves the refresh issues for me.

    Another thing that happens sometimes is that I empty the trash in the dock icon which empties it for the boot volume only. Other times, I hear the emptying sound but the trash icon remains full.

    It's advisable to empty the trash in Path Finder's menu because PF keeps independent trash folders for all volumes.

  8. Damazio closed this discussion on 06 Feb, 2013 01:29 AM.

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