From time to time, I like to clean out the unused files or folders on my hard drive(s) or removable media (external drives, flash drives, memory cards, etc.) on my computers that are running OS X so that I keep my hard disk space usage as low as possible.

Ideally, I would like to find some software that can do the following:

  1. Analyze a hard disk and display a listing of how much space files and folders are taking up on my hard drive based on their size. Ideally, a chart of some sort would be best to make it easier to interface with. For example, if a pie chart was used, the pie slices would be proportional to the sizes of the files or folders.
  2. Ability to select files or folders and perform actions on them, preview, move, delete, archive, etc., so that the space can be reclaimed.
  3. Ability for the program to, optionally, also perform a duplicate file search when it is analyzing the computer's hard disk space usage to further help reduce the file space usage by allowing the user to remove suspected duplicated files.
  4. Ability for the program to interface with time machine and remove history of deleted files.

3 Answers 3


There is an app called DaisyDisk that does #1 and #2 of my requirements very well and the application is very fast at searching my hard disk.

It doesn't meet criteria #3 and #4, so I'm not marking this as an accepted answer, but wanted to share this application information in case someone else finds it useful.

Info from their site:

All disks at glance

DaisyDisk gives you a perfect overview of all the disks connected to your Mac, be it Macintosh HD, flash card, Thunderbolt disk or network storage. The list and disk usage gauges are updated in real time, so you always can tell if there's enough space for installing a new game or downloading an HD movie.

Need a detailed look? Just scan a disk and see all of your files and folders as a visual interactive map. Found an unusually large file? Preview its content and delete if you don't need it anymore.

Why DaisyDisk?

DaisyDisk remains the tool of choice for film makers (including companies like Pixar), digital artists, IT professionals and hundreds of thousands of Mac users worldwide when it comes to disk space management. Constantly improving since its initial introduction, the app easily blows away competition in terms of speed, efficiency and user experience.

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WhatSize is a shareware application to analyze and chart the usage of hard drives along with filtering of results to make deleting of unneeded and duplicate files easy.

  1. It can analyze the whole volume or individual paths within that volume (for example, useful if you just want to analyze just your user folder, or just your downloads folder). Lots of filtering options and various view styles.
  2. The UI supports quicklook, delete and is very similar in operation to the finder.
  3. It supports identifying duplicate files.
  4. It is Time Machine aware and properly handles hard links to display the real disk space used, but I'm not quite sure how it displays older versions (will update this later if someone doesn't pipe in with the answer).

WhatSize Pie Chart Display


I'm using Disk Inventory X. It's not ideal according to your criterias since it only does 1 and 2 but it does them really well and its free.

After you run it against a disk or folder you get the following

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Allowing you to easily drill down by file-type, folder or through the tree-map to find the files filling up your HDD.

For your third requirement Duplicate Detective seems popular on App-store but I haven't used it myself.

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