Finding the best Mac disk space analyzer and Mac storage manager
You may not think much about disk space analyzers until the day you need one. When the error message pops up on your desktop telling you that you don’t have enough room on your hard disk, it might be tempting to start tossing old songs or going over your photos to see if you’re holding on to some blurry ones.
That’s where a disk analyzer comes in. This type of utility looks at your hard disk as a whole and breaks down what’s taking up the most space. Different disk analyzers sort and organize this information in different ways, but they’re all designed to help you understand what you’re devoting the most storage (and, hopefully, where you can get rid of some disk-hogging data).
A disk analyzer is an important part of your storage management arsenal, but it’s not the only part. Combined with a tool that can scan for junk data and do deep and permanent deletion, it can substantially improve your Mac’s performance. It can give you a bird’s-eye view of your hard disk and help you come up with a storage strategy that reflects your priorities.
Choosing the best disk space analyzer for Mac
How can you tell which storage manager will work for you? After all, the default Finder feature on your desktop has pretty decent functionality. Why not just use that?
To get a sense of what’s out there, we went in search of the best disk space analyzers for Mac:
1. CleanMyMac X: A top-tier Mac disk analyzer
- It has a free version — a link download it from the developer’s site
- Important system folders are protected
- Easy multi-level navigation and other disk maintenance tools
One of the standout disk analyzers available is CleanMyMac X’s Space Lens feature. Part of the app’s wider set of powerful utilities, Space Lens helps to visualize the relative sizes of different folders. Representing each area of storage as a bubble, this module helps you map and explore the different parts of your drive. Each bubble’s size corresponds to the total storage it’s using.
The interface lets you move smoothly between files, either by clicking with the mouse or using the arrow keys. This makes it simple to move through your disk and see what areas are using the most storage. The Quick Look tool gives you more detailed information about a file without actually opening it.
CleanMyMac X integrates file cleanup tools right into Space Lens. A pop-up window lets you select unwanted apps for deletion without leaving the file viewer. You can add files to a running hit list as you go, then permanently remove them all with a click once you’ve got enough to free up some room on your disk.
It’s this level of slick functionality that makes CleanMyMac X our pick for disk analyzer. Click the link to try it for free.
2. DaisyDisk: a stylish Mac disk analyzer
The beautiful mapping features of DaisyDisk certainly win style points. The app represents your hard disk as a colorful wheel divided into segments.
You navigate by clicking into individual segments to zoom in on particular storage areas. A simple drag-and-drop tool lets you assemble the files that you’d like to delete, while a counter adds up the space you’ll free up by deleting them.
DaisyDisk’s integrated preview function lets you check the contents of selected files, even videos, so you can be sure that you’re not deleting anything you’d rather keep.
3. Finder: The classic Mac disk analyzer
Finder is the standard-issue storage manager on every Mac computer. Its smiling blue face icon has been synonymous with Mac OS for years, and it’s not a bad disk analyzer for the casual user.
Finder lacks the bells and whistles of some of the other apps listed here, but it’s more than capable of sorting your hard drive by file size, giving you a rough but useful picture of what’s hogging the most storage.
4. Grand Perspective: A great Mac storage manager
A longtime fixture for Mac disk management, Grand Perspective might look a little outdated. Its boxy, heat-map style display, though, is a surprisingly effective way to visualize blocks of data on your disk.
You can adjust the app to show more than just file size: the heatmap can be coded to file age, last change and more. However, it’s more technical than its younger competitors, and takes a little more effort to decipher the results.
5. Disk Inventory X: a useful disk storage tool for Mac
Disk Inventory X is another disk analyzer that’s been around for a while. Its age shows in its somewhat dated display, but its tree mapping of your hard drive is an excellent way to see where your storage is being used.
Disk Inventory X misses out on a leading spot because it’s due for an update and because its tree mapping feature can be tricky to adjust to.
6. OmniDiskSweeper: a technical disk manager for Mac
Like the other apps discussed here, OmniDiskSweeper scans and interprets your hard disk data. Unlike the others, it doesn’t visualize that data in any way.
While it gives users lots of raw information and control, the app also requires a higher level of technical skill than the others to operate. It relies on you, the user, to make decisions about what can be safely deleted.
Choosing the best storage manager depends on your user skills. Of course, you can always use Finder but you can do infinitely more with dedicated tools. If Omnisweeper is too geeky for you, you can look at CleanMyMac X’s Space Lens — it’s visually appealing and powerful at the same time.