Ventura not installing (space)


Surprise! Surprise! Ventura unable to install on my Mac Mini M1, lacking about 6 GB of free space. I’ve got a large file on my desktop that I can delete, but I’m not getting the right command, to my humble knowledge, inside my bash 3.2 Terminal:

cd ‘/volumes/word/desktop
rm ~filename.mp4

At the rm command, nothing happens. I’ve searched Apple, Google, and YouTube. Can you help?


Unable to install Ventura, I’m now stuck in safe mode.

Boot in Recovery Mode, go to Disk Utility, choose option to see Snapshots, delete some Snapshots. Try again.

Ok, I see 2 APFS Snapshots, 0 bytes each (…).

Yes, those darn snapshots! Even if you delete a big file, the original still remains in a snapshot, and the space is not really released until all the snapshots referencing that file are removed. Obviously Apple thinks all users have unlimited capacity on their boot devices.

So, can I delete them?

If the file is indeed in your Desktop directory, and it’s called “filename.mp4”, the simplest bash shell command to use to delete that file is:

rm -i ~/Desktop/filename.mp4

The tilde in this case expands to the home directory of the user that’s executing it.

If the filename is indeed named ‘~filename.mp4’, then use the following commands to delete it:

cd ~/Desktop
rm -i '~filename.mp4'

The quotes are needed in the rm command in this case because the filename contains a character that’s considered a special character to the shell.


Yes. And run disk Utility repair while you are at it. May need to uninstall any big apps from the App Store like GarageBand, that you can reload later

I know that they’re 2 large files on my desktop. They’re named:


I get the message that they’re not on my desktop.


I get the message that the APFS are read only, and that it can’t be deleted.

I have a different opinion. Obviously Apple thinks that users will find more utility in being able to retrieve data modified in the last 24 hours directly from the Time Machine-protected disks than to have to restore it from an external Time Machine backup disk.
A snapshot is a point-in-time view of a APFS volume. They take no space until you write to the main volume. When that happens, extra disk space is required to maintain the point-in-time illusion. And if you have multiple snapshots, APFS has to take into account what data has changed between those snapshots to maintain the illusion.
Multiple snapshots is where you can get into trouble, especially if you mix using use a third-party utility to orchestrate snapshots (CCC) with Time Machine Time Machine only keeps on-disk snapshots for up to 24 hours in order to speed recovery. macOS will delete Time Machine snapshots if it decides it needs additional space.
However if you mix Time Machine with third-party orchestrated snapshots (CCC) all bets are off. Deleting a Time Machine backup may not release as much space as you think if other snapshots (including CCC snapshots) need that space to maintain the point-in-time illusion. You are responsible for releasing the third party snapshots and the space that they may be consuming, as macOS will not do that for you.
Obviously there are corner cases here, and those depend on how much and how quickly you are writing to an APFS volume.
Once you get to Ventura, a not-too-well publicized feature is that you have some more options for how often Time Machine takes backups. Ventura now allows you to configure automatic backups on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis, or no automatic backups at all. That will control the number of snapshots and may be useful for those users that write massive amounts of data to their volumes configured for Time Machine protection.

And yes, individual files in APFS snapshots can’t be deleted as the snapshots are read-only.

Delete any APFS snapshots of your Time Machine protected disks (such as your boot disk) first the following command:

sudo tmutil deletelocalsnapshots /

Then delete the offending files in your home directory.

Do not touch your Time Machine backup destination disk with Disk Utility. Those snapshots are your backups and deleting them again “would be bad”. Your backup disk also doesn’t count in the space requirements for a macOS upgrade.

Just note that there is one snapshot on an APFS boot disk that can not and must not be deleted. It’s the snapshot of the Macintosh HD APFS volume (not the Data volume) that represents the Sealed System Volume. It doesn’t take any space. You don’t delete it because macOS boots from that read-only snapshot volume. Deleting it “would be bad”.

I see the 2 MP4 files through my disk Utility.

I’m confused. Are you talking about the Disk Utility application, or the Finder? Disk Utility doesn’t drill down into individual files in a volume or file system.

When I start up my computer, I get to a window that shows 4 options:

  1. Restore from Time Machine
  2. Reinstall MacOS Ventura
  3. Safari
  4. Disk Utility

I’m in the Recovery Mode, to my understanding.

I don’t have Time Machine to restore. If I reinstall macOS Ventura, it will wipe out my MacIntosh HD.

Do you have any kind of backup at all of that Mac? (please, oh please say “yes”).

What version of macOS were you upgrading from?

If you choose option 4 and start Disk Utility, does it show any snapshots for the “Data” or “Macintosh HD - Data” volume on your boot disk, such as seen in the attached screen shot?

No, I’ve got no snapshots within Data” or “Macintosh HD - Data” volume on my boot disk. I’m migrating from Monterey to Ventura.

I’ve got an external bootable duplicate.

Who told you that? Reference?

I don’t need Snapshots, I have Time Machine.

Disk Utility shows all the snapshots on a volume (TM and CCC) and gives you the option to delete any or all.