Blog Post

What’s eating my disk space?

grandperspectivelogo.jpg Working on a MacBook Pro is a real joy. It’s a beautiful and amazing machine, and I don’t know how I ever got along without it. But I’m painfully aware of the pitfalls associated with working on a laptop – especially limited disk space. So when I let unneeded files or apps slip through without being deleted or uninstalled, it becomes obvious rather quickly. If my space drops significantly, I’m manually sifting through my files and folders to find the culprit.

But in this month’s Macworld I was thrilled to read about GrandPerspective, a handy little (free) utility that shows your disk space usage graphically. You can set it to scan a particular folder or your entire disk, find the space eaters, and reveal them in Finder for removal. After running it once I was able to reclaim a couple gigs.

It’s a great little utility, a must have for your laptop. Did I mention it’s free?

16 Responses to “What’s eating my disk space?”

  1. Martin Cohen

    A simpler alternative I have been using for many years on unix/linux/os x systems is this (in terminal):

    du -k | sort -nr > filez

    “du -k” gets the size of all files,
    “sort -nr > filez” sorts the result of the “du” command in reverse order using the numeric value of the first field (the file size, in this case) and saves it in a file named “filez” (the name is arbitrary – just different from any existing file).

    Then, edit “filez” with any editor.

  2. I second Disk Inventory – it gives you the best of both worlds – the quick glance spatial view (like Grand Perspective), plus a hierarchical view – both of which are arranged from biggest to smallest. Plus, you can zoom in on a particular folder to weed out the space hogs. (Plus it is free, too).

    Best of the bunch.

  3. Gag! I hate these images that resemble the interior of a beehive on LSD. They tell me absolutely nuthin’.

    As two other posters noted, “whatsize” is a more realistic alternative.

    Of course, YMMV.


  4. grampabigal

    yes; like the caveman in geico ads, I say: “what?”. I’ve got glaucona & need to blowup text to see.
    when doing so the text goes out of column under the side ads.
    do you think to use “bigger text” in browsers to dee if this happens? NO, you do not.
    plse correct this.
    thx- grampaBigAL…

  5. Matt Radel

    @ Nerg:

    I’ve got the 120 gig HD in mine. Space goes quickly when you put CS3, Parallels and Boot Camp partition on it (to name a few). I’m using about half my space right now, but I’m always trying to keep my disk as free as possible.

  6. So what is eating your disk space? I have a MacBook with a 160 Gig HD and I’ve only used 40 Gig. Get it off your machine into an archive or an external. If you don’t access it at least once a month remove the file/app whatever. OSX thrives on ram and Disk space