Fighting with macOS Optimized Storage

I’ve been fighting with the new macOS Optimized Storage feature today. I accidentally enabled this feature while trying to free up space on my drive. Optimized Storage does make it easy to see what’s taking up all the space and then free up that space.

But then you end up with this Purgeable space that isn’t living up to its name. See that cross hatched section? That’s the purgeable space weighing in at 104 GB. The actual free space is that blank section at 32 GB.


I’m trying to restore a Time Machine backup of a virtual machine, and that single file is roughly 55 GB. But when I start the restore, my Mac complains that 23 GB of space is needed to complete the restoral. Doing the math, 32+23=55 GB makes sense, but there’s all that purgeable space that can easily cover the additionally needed space. So what’s up with that?

I’m trying to see if I can deactive Sierra’s Optimized Storage which I’m hoping deactivates the Purgeable space, immediately making it free space.