How to access a drive with different partitions

Tied to do an update on my Catalina. But as it went through the upgrade, it says I don’t have enough room and tells me to reboot and quit installer. But I can’t seem to get out of the loop. I can’t get in to safe mode. I tried holding option and booting off the drive and not off the updated to no avail.

I had a partition for windows and decided to delete that and install another macOS on that partition. My hope is to get booted on that partition and access the data off the main bootable macOS to free up space to get the installer to work on the update.

When I boot up on the new partition, I can’t see my old data folder under users. I only see the shared folder. Can someone help me access the contents of the drive so that I can free up some space?


Here is perhaps an easier (though not cheaper) way out of your problem.

  • Buy an inexpensive 1TB (or higher depending on your budget) USB external hard drive.
  • Boot in your main drive (not the new drive).
  • Move un-needed stuff out of the main drive onto the external drive (the stuff you were going to move to what used to be the Windows partition).
  • Update the main drive to Catalina.

I might also suggest that, with APFS and Catalina, you need not have multiple partitions, likely as we had to do in the “good ole days” to speed up disk access. Granted, you had a Windows partition … and that is a reason to have created a separate partition. However now, when your current drive space really is as limited as you state, you should consider buying the external HD for off-line storage and you should just keep one partition on your main internal drive.