Sometimes I look at my Mac’s hard drive and wonder what is taking up so much space. After cleaning out caches, deleting apps, and searching the many of the ins and outs of my Mac’s hard drive, I still have a lot of hard drive space being taken up. I had never really used hard drive visualization tools before, but I decided to use one, and the first app that came to mind was GrandPerspective.
GrandPerspective is a simple little tool that couldn’t be more straightforward. When you open the app, it asks you to select a folder or hard drive that you wish to scan. After selecting what you want scanned, GrandPerspective quickly begins scanning your hard drive for all the files and folders within your selection and how much space they are taking up. When it’s done, it displays in the files in colored and sized boxes within the window. The bigger the rectangle, the more space that particular file is taking up. Just hover over that rectangle, and in the bottom left-hand corner, the name of the file, the size, and its location on the hard drive will be displayed. The blocks are colored in groups. So that things like movies and videos that are all in the same folder or cluster are colored the same.
If you want more detailed looks at the files examined, you can always zoom in on blocks and then look at those smaller blocks and files. And GrandPerspective adds something very important. After selecting a
block, you can in the “Reveal” in the top of the window to see where it is in Finder. Or if you have a file selected, GrandPerspective can open that file in the default app for that file (so Word for documents, iTunes for audio files, etc.). You can also delete those selected files, though this feature is turned off by default. It really doesn’t get any simpler than that because that is all that the app really does.
My one complaint about the app is that I wish I could double-click or right-click on a block in the app and have it either show me where the file is in Finder or open in its default app. Besides that though, GrandPerspective is a really simple and helpful app for showing you visually what’s been eating up your hard drive space. GrandPerspective is made by Eriban and is available for free at http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/. Donation is encouraged. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this or any other topic, leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also check me out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by hitting the buttons on the top of your screen. You can also check out my Google Plus. Thanks!
Updated May 17th, 2012: Clarifying double-click or right-click for opening a file. Thanks to Erwin, the app’s maker for requesting the clarification.
As we create files and folders, we sometimes create duplicate files. Sometimes we do it on purpose like backing up files or to show alternative versions, other times it happens by accident. Either way, duplicates can take up unnecessarily space on your drive. But rooting them out can take a while, but using an automated tools can accidentally remove files that aren’t duplicates. When I was looking through apps to help me skim through the information on my Mac, Singlemizer did the job right.
Singlemizer’s sole purpose is to find duplicates in a folder, or series of folder, show where they are, what they are, and allow you to choose whether or not to delete them. While Singlemizer has the ability to find files with the same name, creation date, etc. but it uses an algorithm instead to compare right down the raw data of the file, giving you astonishingly accurate results. You start by selecting which folders your want it to scan, either by hitting the “+” button, or by dragging the folders into the window. With multiple folders, you can order them as a hierarchy, letting Singlemizer be more accurate as to what is an original and is a clone. You can also tweak even more settings, such as saying if a link to the file counts as a duplicate to you or not. When it finds duplicates, Singlemizer presents an ordered list
showing not only the name and type of the file, but also the folders each file was stored in. Just from searching a few folders, every file it was a duplicate in some form, and it showed both the original and the clone. How could I tell? Ignoring any name similarities, Singlemizer has a quick look view that gave me allowed me to visually compare the files. From there I could choose whether I wanted to deleted the selected duplicate file. After that, just it the delete button, and Singlemizer moves those files into the trash can. Going through my pictures, the app had no trouble finding duplicates not only in different folders, but even if the files were created on different days.
One issue with the app is that if you don’t arrange the folder hierarchy, what Singlemizer lists as the original, may not actually be the original. Fortunately, Singlemizer will allow you to uncheck the listed clone, so that you can delete whichever copy you wish. Some users are also reporting that the recent upgrade is causing errors, though I haven’t experienced any.
If you’re looking for a way to easily clear out duplicates from your hard drive, take a look at Singlemizer. It is available in the Mac App Store for $9.99 and can run on Lion. However it can also run on Snow Leopard and Leopard through previous versions that are free. You can download the previous versions at find out more at http://singlemizerapp.com/. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this or any other topic, leave a comment below or email me at email@example.com You can also check me out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by hitting the buttons on the top of your screen. You can also check out my Google Plus Page. Thanks!