A warning that my network share doesn’t support versions reminded me that OS X added version support in Lion (in addition to Time Machine backup).
It’s a feature I’d long forgotten about and have never used. MSFT Word has no support for OS X versions, and of course Google Docs are just pointers to Google’s database. So OS X Versions aren’t that useful for me.
I wondered how much space the versions take. They are in /.DocumentRevisions-V100. Easy to find since I have Finder set to show invisibles. I had no access to view, so I added Read only access for my non-admin account to the root and child drives. I found Data organized by UID, my total version collection was about 1GB.
So not too bad. I found a few references discussing managing space taken up by versions. I assume the OS has some rules but two references I found didn’t mention any.
- Clear Versions History & Auto-Save Cache Data in Mac OS X 2012
- Michael Tsai Disabling Versions and Reclaiming Space 2015 - he was having trouble on one machine with non-pruning of versions
If Michael Tsai can’t find an answer I won’t even try. Michael referenced Siracusa’s 2011 Lion article, the main reason Versions storage doesn’t use up so many space is that OS X is clever about what pieces of a file it saves as a version component.
I also see .MobileBackups, but despite what permissions says I can’t open that folder. Some deep wizardry there. About this Mac will show how much storage this takes, about 3GB on my 256GB SSD. There’s a clean terminal method to purge this data, but it seems to be working as designed for me.