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Archive for July 31st, 2015

by Tom Nelson

Question: What’s the minimum amount of free drive space that I need? My Mac is starting to operate slowly, taking a long time to boot or to launch an application. It also seems unstable, sometimes giving me the rainbow cursor for very long periods of times, even locking up completely.

Do I need a bigger drive?

AboutThisMacStorage

Screen shot © Coyote Moon, Inc.

Answer: There are many different types of problems that can manifest the symptoms you describe.

Insufficient RAM or even hardware failure could be the culprit. But one of the most common causes of the problems you describe is not having enough free space on a startup drive.

Filling your startup drive until it’s almost full is fraught with issues. First, your Mac needs some free space to use for creating swap space to manage memory use. Even when you have adequate RAM, OS X will reserve some space at startup for memory swap space. In addition, individual applications usually use some disk space for temporary storage.

Read more on About: Macs.

 

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