User folder total use does not match calculated size

This is very perplexing…how can my user folder be 163 GB but the total of the folders inside is no where near that???

Probably you’re not seeing hidden folders. On Unix/Linux such folders start with a period, but I don’t know if Apple follows that “protocol.”

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It could also be the case that there are soft links (or even hard links) in your folder to other places in the filesystem. If that is the case, it could be the case that they get “accounted” for two different ways by two different file size counting subsystems. I think this simply because I wonder why the Library is zero bytes… that seems suspicious to me (as someone who doesn’t use Macs.)

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Could you have files in the parent folder that aren’t showing in folder view?

GUIs hide the details. Go to the command line and type:

du -h

to see how big files are (stand back. there will be a lot of output. type du -h | less instead to page it.)


df -h

to see how much each volume occupies. Brew users might prefer ncdu


This seems very confusing, but after typing the command, I guess I see why it hides so many things!

One of the things I love about the Mac is that I can chose between a pretty but simplified presentation or get under the hood for the real deal.

That and the amazing hardware. (Typing this on my lovely new 14" M1 Pro!)