When I bought my MBP M1 Pro last November, I thought the standard 1TB internal SSD would be sufficient. However, lately I’ve seen the available space down as low as 60GB. Apparently, chasing down “wasted” space (e.g., no longer used Xcode Simulator device profiles, etc.) is going to be an ongoing quest.
I purchased an external SSD, and moved some of the usual suspects (Photos library, Music Library, Home Videos folder) there, but I really need a good disk space usage analysis tool to help me chase down future suspects, and either move or delete them.
I used a trial version of MacCleaner Pro for my first pass, and found it to be very useful. But before I buy their suite of tools ($44.95), I wanted to get recommendations from other TidBITS Talk members.
I have an opinion on these tools, but I admit, not everybody shares it.
Here we go:
None of these tools really help. They have a tendency to over-report the savings, but this comes to quite a degree from deleting caches that will only be regenerated right away. Fancy animated displays how these tools “wipe” stuff away mean little.
There we go, I said it, this was my humble opinion.
With such a modern MBP, you are on the APFS file system, duplicate data will not be your problem.
I use DaisyDisk ($10) for this purpose and it’s pretty good at telling you where your space is going, though these days MacOS keeps some amount of stuff in a nebulous “Other” state that DaisyDisk can’t delve into. There’s a fair bit of magic in how free space is managed in APFS, and snapshots may hang onto data you delete for a little while, so you might not immediately see more space available after cleaning up, for what it’s worth.
I agree that GrandPerspective is a wonderful app that will provide what you’re looking for. After it scans your disk (or any folder you specify) it produces a graphic image of your files showing blocks of color scaled to the size of each file. If you hover over a block it will show the name of the file. If you click/select a block you can use QuickLook, Reveal in Finder, or other actions. You can even choose Delete which will ask for verification, then move the file to your Trash and leave a black block in place of it’s original colored block. Highly recommended for quickly finding large files on your disk/SSD.
Completely agree about GrandPerspective – been using it for years for just the purpose you’re describing.
FYI, like @aagrey1944 mentions about Omni Disk Sweeper, you’ll need to run GrandPerspective under sudo if you’ve got multiple users on your Mac, and want to monitor their accounts. (Also completely agree re: their cautions about deleting data under sudo.)
As others have stated, there are much cheaper, even free choices available that allow you to accomplish what you desire. They may require a bit more effort, but are safer in the long run, rather than leave decisions up to the app. I personally have GrandPerspective, OmniDiskSweeper and DaisyDisk on my Mac. Earlier versions of MacCleaner X were problematic, but my understanding is that it’s much improved today.
Jeff: Don’t ignore the built in use of : About This Mac > Storage > Manage
I use it periodically as well as Grand Perspective, Daisy Disk and Omnisweeper but this built in ‘manage’ tool that comes w your Mac can show duplicates and such and might be a good starting point. Best ! Patrick
The best that I have found are daisyDisk and GrandPerspective. The difference in the User Interface is analogous to Finder’s List view and Icon view.
For me, Grand Perspective is a quick way to see an unstructured overview of volume contents, guiding me to a more detailed inspection using daisyDisk. Then, deletions may be queued for later after completion after inspection and selection. This avoids waiting for each individual item deletion before continuing searching which I find an annoying and time-wasting distraction. This alone makes daisyDisk worth the price.
I’ll second the CleanMyMacX recommendation. I’ve been using it for years, never had a problem with it, and it has some other good functions, too. I’ve read complaints, people saying it messed up their Macs, but frankly, my guess is that their problem wasn’t caused by CMM at all. I’ve never tried the other apps mentioned here, so I can’t compare.
You are correct, Patrick. AppleCare Support goes there in the first instance and they taught me to do the same. It’s simple: One can peruse in Finder Documents, downloads, etc and discover what the file sizes are and whether or not to delete or transfer elsewhere, i.e., an external drive . I started doing that to my Promise Pegasus when needed. One example, they showed me is how in the Utilities Screen Capture can easily trigger QuickTime Player instead of a simple screen capture, such that Quick Time videoed for hours. My backup on Time Machine which I never rely on anyway, at least alerted me to what screen capture could do. Now I use key combinations to avoid triggering Quick Time. This only a response to how useful, simple, and direct employing About This Mac > Storage > Manage is. Thank you Patrick for reminding us all. Best, Richard
Thanks. That is a good tool, and if you’re happy with the way Apple categorizes your files, then it may be all you need. However, I think it’s hiding some stuff in the inaccessible “macOS” category, and I also find the straightforward file system hierarchy of Omni Disk Sweeper (for example) beneficial. Different strokes…
(Oh, and fwiw, I didn’t see a Large Files tab after I clicked Manage. I’m on macOS Monterey 12.5…maybe it’s been removed? Or maybe I’m blind. )
One of the things I’ve never been clear about “Manage”’ s “Store in iCloud” is this:
If I were to click that button and move “…all files, photos and messages into iCloud…” wouldn’t that completely defeat or at the very least substantially complicate my long-time reliance on automatic backups to Time Machine, BackBlaze and SuperDuper? Right now and for decades that has all been automatic and thus requires no additional steps on my part and no risk of my succumbing to my own procrastination. Why solve one problem by creating another bigger risk?
Or am I misunderstanding how “Manage/Store in iCloud” works?