Find Space Eaters!

So you have that shiny new and ultra fast SSD (solid state disk) in your Mac, enjoying its blazing speed, and then disaster strikes:

The disk is full!

How can that happen?

The super fast SSD usually have a smaller capacity than regular and slower hard disks. But even those can quickly fill up, and you may wonder where all that space went.

Well, no more wonders.

You can buy some expensive special software to find out, or simply use your versatile NeoFinder now to find out what eats up your disk space!

 

Step 1: Get the Disk Inventory

First, catalog your disk with some special NeoFinder Cataloging Preferences:

catSettings1As we are only interested in the used disk space for files, we can ignore any meta data and thumbnails, so turn it all of.

The same for the Archive Files: In this case, we are not interested in their contents, so turn all of them off:catSettings2

And last, we must make sure we get all invisible files, as they are very important for our purpose, so the Ignore section should be set up like this:

catSettings3

If all is set up, let NeoFinder catalog the disk for you.

progress

Step 2: Evaluate your findings and start deleting

Now let’s look at the content of that catalog, and thus the actual content of your disk. Ask NeoFinder to display the content in List View, and sort that list by Size, so that the largest items are located on top:

result

NeoFinder shows you exactly what needs how much space on your disk. And as opposed to Apples Finder display, NeoFinder will show you hidden and invisible files and folders, too. So this is the only way to really see what is going on with all the space of your disk!

A new important notes first:

Never delete anything inside the System folder! Really. This is where your Mac OS X lives, and thou shall not delete or change anything inside it. End of story.

Only delete files or folders that you know you don’t need anymore. In doubt, search the Internet and try to learn what a file or folder is all about, and if you can safely delete it or not.

Now let us look into the drive scan results.

In this example, the Users folder takes up more than 125 GB on space, which is a lot. Let’s see if we can do anything about that.

Click in the little triangle in front of the icon in a line to open its content in the list. Repeat until you see something you can safely delete.

mobile backupIn the example, more than 88 GB of disk space are taken up by Movies, so I will have to look through those to see what I can remove. Another large folder with 11 GB of files inside Library is called Developer, and is used by Apples Xcode for various purposes, so we will leave that alone today.

The Application Support folder has some stuff we can remove. Inside MobileSync, the folder Backup contains 6.6 GB of data that I don’t need anymore. These are backups of an iPhone or iPad, and some are rather old. Since I have all data from these devices safely stored in other places as well, I can remove them safely to regain almost 7 GB of space.

How do I do that with NeoFinder?

Simply use the contextual menu. It has a “Delete from Catalog and Volume” command, which will do precisely that:

delete from disk

Depending on the amount of files and folders you are deleting, that may take a moment.

You noticed that NeoFinder even gives you a summary of the number of files and folders in that item, in its Inspector? There are 17753 files in this particular folder, wow.

inspector sumary

Another interesting place to look for wasted space is the Caches folder. This is normally also hidden from you by Apples Finder, but NeoFinder can look right inside it.

Some Applications waste a lot of space. The really cool Web Editor RapidWeaver, for example. Every time you upload changes to a web site, it will create a large copy of your document in the SandwichArchives folder, but it will never delete that. If you use RapidWeaver a lot, there may be a very large wasted disk space to be cleaned up here:

rapidweaver

Apples Mail has some bugs, too. It will never delete any attachments you have opened, regardless how old they are. But it creates yet another new copy of the file every time you click on it. Very inefficient. So go and find the folder Library -> Containers -> com.apple.mail -> Mail Downloads, and safely delete it. Mail has stored the actual attachments safely elsewhere in its Mail folder, these here are really only temporary files that eat up space:

mail downloads

The usually hidden private folder also contains some things we can delete.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 10.21.38The huge sleepimage file, for example. It is usually as large as the memory size you have installed in your Mac, and that is exactly what it is used for. When your Mac goes to sleep, Mac OS X will write the entire memory into that file. Unfortunately, it will never delete that again, so you can safely do that. Of course, the very next time your Mac goes to sleep again, that file will be created anew.

Another item is the systemstats folder, which contains more than 340 MB in more than 6500 files here in this example. It contains statistics about your system and its power usage, and it can be safely deleted.

We will look into more places for unnecessary files in the next months, and post results below in the comments section. Please use that as well if you know anything that can go away.

As you can see, NeoFinder is a really powerful and amazing tool that can help you clean up your disk, and regain a lot of empty space for you!

Step 3: Even more options

And if that is not enough, use the cool advanced Find Duplicates feature in NeoFinder to see if you have any unnecessary duplicates on your disk.

NeoFinder can do that. No other tools required.

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