Monday, August 5, 2013

Release your storage by configuring Preview

I have been into photography for the past few years and I realised that somehow, my Mac seems to be eating up a lot of storage for no particular reason. I did not particularly know the reason until I read somewhere that the Preview app which I used to resize my photos actually store a copy of the previous image whenever I resized it. No wonder my storage space has been eaten up gradually in a span of a year.

First, to prevent the Preview application from eating up the storage space, just do the following:
  1. Go to Spotlight, and run Terminal
  2. Type defaults write ApplePersistence -bool no

The above steps will tell the Preview application not to store a copy of image whenever you edit it.

Now, the question is how do you remove all those backups? Well, I did it in the quick and dirty way. The step below will remove all the backups that Mac has automatically stored into your Mac so take note that you will lose all your backup, including the automatic backups that have been created by your other applications. Just type in the same Terminal application, sudo rm -rf /.DocumentRevisions-V100/

You will need to type in the password of the account that you're currently logged in. I've done it a couple of times to release the storage and so far my Mac has been functioning quite well. However, please take note that as you're removing a hidden system directory, this may cause your Mac to malfunction so take extra care before doing the above step.

What's the other alternative? Well, when you launch Preview, do a left-click on the name of the file that you see in the top middle section of the Preview application. Press the Option button down and you should see the option Delete All Versions. You have to do this for each and every image.

I tried it, and I gave up after a few images. It was too tedious. :(

Hope this helps.


Anonymous said...

Hi Little Corner,

Rather than to remove the system directory, why don't you just remove the files within it and leave it alone?

chantc said...

That is because it is the easiest. There are many sub-directories in this system folder and it's technically not possible to know which backup belongs to the file as the names are all "encrypted". Therefore it is safer to remove the entire directory.

Anonymous said...

No no Little Corner,

You misunderstood what I meant. I meant deleting everything inside the directory but leaving it alone. So rather than the command:
sudo rm -rf /.DocumentRevisions-V100/

Do this instead:
sudo rm -rf /.DocumentRevisions-V100/*

The latter will leave an empty directory.

chantc said...

Oh, now I understand. That will work too I guess. I deleted the directory as I read that the OS X will automatically re-create the directory.

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