Need more room?

I like to keep at least 20-30 GBs free on my MacBook Pro hard drive. Lately I’ve been working with less than 10 GBs free. It really started becoming a problem over the weekend as I started getting "out of space" errors right in the middle of a photo shoot and while working in Photoshop.


I started wondering "what could be taking up so much space?"

I know that the Mac OS X Finder can list the size of your items and folders and sort that way, but it’s too slow. So I downloaded the really cool shareware app – WhatSize. This was the best $12.99 I’ve spent in a while. With this little gem I was able to immediately identify about 7 GBs of files that I either no longer needed at all (like two very large podcasts) or files that didn’t need to be on my internal drive. This app is amazingly FAST! I could quickly drill down on those large numbers and see exactly "WHAT" was taking up so much space? Within about 10 minutes I had over 13 GB free and I’m still cleaning stuff off and I probably will upgrade to a larger drive soon, but for now this app rocks!

  • Thanks for this Terry – I have been looking for an application like this, god only knows why this isn’t natively part of the MacOS Finder. Maybe in 10.6???

  • Leo

    Ah, I like. It seems like an unending battle with running low on memory. Only problem is that I like to have a lot of stuff on m computer. Thanks for the tip.

  • oddbjorn

    A freeware alternative is Disk Inventory X, available from

  • Russell

    How about a blog on “How to upgrade your MacBook/MacBook pro hard drives.

    I was told at the Apple store that you are unable to do so, but…


  • David

    Thanks for the post Terry, a very handy application indeed.
    I have a concern though. Will the application let you, or warn you if you try to delete something that is necessary for the function of the computer.
    Many files have names that dont always make sense and are located in folders that I guess one wouldn’t normally gravitate to.

    I ask for myself but also for some students that I will recommend it to after I give it a whirl. Please update with any concerns you have on the software.


  • DigiMike

    THANKS TERRY! This is the BEST tip I have seen in a long time. I have been looking for an easy way to get rid of big, old files. In a few minutes, I got rid of 48GB of old, but backed-up files and now have a real comfort zone on my 500GB hard drive.

  • terrywhite

    It doesn’t actually delete anything. It just shows you how much space things take up and then it’s up to you to actually delete them or not.

  • hey terry – i use the same tool and it’s very useful!

  • Very cool app here, thanks. Working on both Mac and Windows, I discovered a little shareware program a while ago called WinDirStat for Windows and was wondering if there was anything for the Mac – thanks so much!

  • You should try rooting around in your Library/Application Support/Adobe folder. It’s amazing how much space our help files alone take up. (And yes, we’re working on that.)