Re: Problems with exporting an archived app

John Brownie

Hi Alex,

That's all helpful stuff. I had a look and there was a little I could remove, but not a huge amount, after the delete/reinstall dance with Xcode yesterday. I use Grand Perspective to see where the big files are, and that showed me some modest gains.

My problem is that I have a seven year old MBP with only a 500GB internal drive, and developing Mac software is only part of my job. The main part of job also requires me to have a bunch of things that occupy a lot of disk space. Of course, I could move my music library off the internal drive, but I do like to listen to music when I'm working!

I'm not partial to needing to have an external drive always plugged in. My job requires me (in normal times!) to travel internationally, often working in odd places where a minimal amount of hardware is an advantage.

My hope is that Apple will bring out a new MacBook Pro 15"or 16" this year, and I can get one of those, with a larger internal drive, which will make life much easier. Given the current state of things with virtualisation on Apple Silicon, my current MBP may be the one to host the Windows and Linux VMs I need for different tasks, so spreading the data over two machines.


Alex Zavatone via wrote on 11/2/21 20:27:

I'm always pressed for space on my computer, so I don't have enough spare space to have both versions installed. If this persists, I may have to work out what I can move to an external disk and have both available.
John, may I recommend several things to help you with computer space.

This app lets you remove language translations from apps for languages that you will never use. It’s generally good for a few GB.

As an Xcode developer, our drives get filled up way too easily. You can look in several places for several GB to recover.

For example, checking the ~/Library/Developer folder on this Mac shows that I’ve got 64 GB used in that folder.
33.23GB for the Xcode folder
30.67GB for the CoreSimulator folder

Within the ~/Library/Develope/Xcode folder, the big eaters of space are in iOS DeviceSupport from all OSes from 9.1 to 14.3 with 30 GB used. Check yours and see what can be thinned out.

There’s also a lovely trick that you can do if you have a fast external drive. Move your user folder to the external. This can also help with R/W performance as all reads & writes may be going through a separate bus than your system and apps. From the System Preferences, select Users & Groups. Click the lock to unlock and enter your password. Pressing control, click on your user name and select Advanced Options and then next to Home directory: click the Choose… button and select a folder on your external. All of your user data will be migrated to the external drive.

In the past I did this to test out moving my entire user folder to a RAM drive for nearly instant builds on iOS.

You should also right click on Xcode and select Show Package Contents. View the directory as list, press command J and make sure to select Calculate all Sizes and then sort by Size in descending order.
/Contents/Developer/Platforms will be the largest folder.
Mine is 14GB
Look at all the platforms you never develop for and delete them.

MacOS also isn’t perfect. Look in /Library/Updates and see how large that folder is. Delete the contents if there is anything there you don’t need. I just found almost 2 GB of .pkg files sitting in there from 10.12.6.

Looking in /Library I just found another 700 MB for an old defunct install of MacOS Server from 2016 that I no longer need.

You can also do a quick check for duplicates or large files by performing a command F in the Finder, clicking + and searching for File Size that is > 1 GB. I’ve just found 3 copies of the same 80 GB sparseimage that can be nuked as well as a bunch of old 40 GB VMs.

I hope this helps. If you want, you can email me off list and I can give you a few more details if you wish to let me know which Mac you’re currently using. I’ve taken a few older MacBooks and added large internal SSDs without blowing the heat profile out of the water. Apple’s well on the way to making that impossible these days.

John Brownie
Mussau-Emira language, New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea
Kouvola, Finland

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