How to find out which files take up the most space on your Mac

If your Apple computer is having problems with available space, you can fix it by using a third-party program or utility on your PC

The amount of available space on a computer is now a much less important parameter than it was in the past. Thanks to cloud storage services and the many applications that can now be used directly online, downloading only a small part of them to the hard drive, having an extra 100GB on the hard drive is not as much of an advantage as in the past. But sometimes space is needed, and sometimes space runs out anyway. Even on Apple Mac and MacBook computers.

On a Windows PC, the problem is easily circumvented by buying a new drive, perhaps SSD, and installing it in one of the available slots. If you're geeky enough you'll be able to do it yourself, otherwise you can go to any technician or directly to the physical store where you bought the new disk. On Mac, however, things are not like that: every maintenance/upgrade operation must pass through an authorized service center (otherwise the warranty will be void) and on the latest generation MacBooks SSDs are directly soldered into the motherboard, preventing any kind of update. In these cases, therefore, it is essential to know which files are taking up the most space on your Mac's disk, so you can remove them or move them elsewhere to fix any errors resulting from lack of disk space. Here are three methods to know which files are taking up too much space on your Apple computer.

About this Mac

The first method to know which files you need to delete if you've run out of disk space on your Mac is to use the utility built into the macOS operating system, called About this Mac. You can find it within the main menu that opens when you click on the Apple apple logo. Once the utility is open, you have to click on the Archive tab. Here you'll find information about the free space on your internal drive (but also on any external drives). The space occupied is displayed by colored segments, with each color representing a type of file (e.g. videos, photos, text documents etc etc). Clicking on Manage will open the section of this utility from which you can automatically delete all files deemed unimportant by macOS. If your operating system is macOS Sierra, you can also enable the option Optimize Mac storage that automatically frees up disk space when needed.


You can also find out which files take up the most space on your Mac's disk by using third-party, paid utilities. One of these is DaisyDisk, which represents the space used on your disk using a pie chart. Again, each color corresponds to a different file type. Unlike the About This Mac utility, however, with DaisyDisk you can drill down to individual files. This way you will know exactly which files are taking up the most disk space, and you can also delete them from DaisyDisk.

Grand Perspective

A second paid utility for finding out which files are taking up the most disk space on your Mac or MacBook is Grand Perspective. This is an even more refined application that allows you to analyze the space used by files in a single folder. The files are displayed in a large graph made up of rectangles, with the largest rectangles corresponding to the largest files. This way you can see on the fly which files take up the most space and, if you want, you can delete them without leaving Grand Perspective.