We all worry about the limitations of our Mac’s storage space. We need space to download new applications, install updates, and save our creative work. Here are the two fastest and most useful ways to see how much free space you have left.
How to Quickly Check Disk Space for Free Using the Finder
The most basic way to check free disk space on a Mac is to use Finder. Open a new Finder window by pressing Command + N or choose File> New Finder Window in the menu bar. (You can also use a lesser-known shortcut to open it from anywhere.)
In the window that opens, click on drive like and to check in the sidebar. At the bottom of the window, you will see how much space is left in the drive.
You’re looking for a line that reads something similar to “904 GB available,” but with a different number, depending on how much free space you have on the drive.
You can repeat this step with any drive connected to your Mac by clicking on the drive’s name in the sidebar in the Finder window. After you only have a few gigabytes for free, then it’s time to think about deleting things so that the space for the system to function properly.
How to see complete disk usage in “About This Mac”
Since Mac OS 10.7, Apple has also included a default tool for viewing free disk space and detailed disk usage that can be accessed through the “About This Mac” window. Here’s how to see it.
First, click the “Apple” menu in the upper left corner of the screen and select “About This Mac.”
In the window that appears, click the “Storage” button. (Depending on your macOS version, this might look like a tab, not a button).
You will see a window that lists the available disk space for all your storage drives, including hard drives, SSDs, and external USB drives. For each drive, macOS also splits storage based on file types in horizontal bar graphs.
If you hover your mouse over the bar graph, MacOS will label what each color means and how much space the class file uses.
If you want more detailed information about which file types use the most space, click the “Manage” button. The window that appears includes a “Recommendation” panel full of tools that allow you to free up disk space by cleaning up files that you may no longer need, including automatically emptying your trash regularly.
In the same window, you can click an option in the sidebar to see the disk usage grouping by file type.
This interface also allows you to delete files that might be important, so be careful. But if you know what you are doing, this can be a quick practical way to free up disk space in an emergency.
There are many other ways to free disk space on a Mac, including using third-party utilities, deleting duplicate files, and deleting temporary cache files. Cleaning a computer that is too soft can be satisfying, so have fun!