DaisyDisk review: a disk analyzer for Mac
If you’ve noticed that your Mac is a little sluggish lately, the culprit may be hiding in plain sight. The longer you use your computer, the more junk files and caches build up in the hidden nooks and crannies of your hard disk.
Think about it...300MB here, 50MB here, 1GB there...soon, all the extra files become a drag on your computer. Ideally, you could free up a lot of memory if you got rid of this junk. The problem is that most digital junk is well-hidden and not grouped together very well.
The solution is a specific type of utility app called a disk analyzer. These apps create a detailed map of what files are taking up room on your hard disk, making it easier to see where you can save space.
There are a ton of options out there, from the highly technical to the user-friendly. Because I’m generally intimidated by the inner workings of my computer, I took one of the more colorful and helpful options, DaisyDisk, for a test drive.
DaisyDIsk packs a lot of functionality into a very pretty package. Here are some of its features:
- Graphic interface
DaisyDisk uses an innovative circular design to show you the different files taking up space on your Mac. The display is color-coded, so you can easily distinguish between different types of data. Navigation is a snap: clicking on a section of the display zooms in and creates a new circular layout showing the chosen files in more detail.
- List view
The main display is equally easy to navigate using the file list on the right-hand side of the screen. This gives you a clear idea of file names, folders, and sizes for easy reference. A series of tabs at the top of the screen lets you zoom back out with ease whenever you need it.
- Disk Selector
DaisyDisk isn’t limited to analyzing your Mac’s hard drive. It can give you a definitive breakdown of any drive connected to your computer, including external hard drives and backup disks. If you know what you’re looking for, the Scan Folder tool lets you focus on individual folders without having to dig through the main interface.
The app’s most satisfying feature is the file collector, which appears as a large dot in the bottom left corner. You can drag and drop any file here to target it for deletion. The app keeps a running count of how much space you’ll free up and presents you with a delete button. When you’ve collected all the trash DaisyDisk has identified on your drive, hit the Delete button to take it out for good.
DaisyDisk is capable of offering useful suggestions about which files can be deleted to free up more space. By flagging purgeable area and smaller orphaned items for deletion, it can help guide your disk cleanup.
DaisyDisk is great for the casual Mac user looking to speed up their computer, but it’s not the only option. Another strong contender is CleanMyMac X, which includes a seamless disk speed optimizer that can achieve many of the same results with fewer steps.
What makes DaisyDisk unique?
There are plenty of disk space analyzers out there, all jockeying for being the one for you. Some boast a wide range of features. Some combine the analyzer with lots of other tools. And some make smart suggestions about what you should delete.
DaisyDisk distinguishes itself from the pack with its stunning visual design, speed, and ease of use. Here’s the rundown:
- DaisyDisk is one of the nicest-looking disk analyzers available. The candy-colored wheel the app uses to represent your disk is visually engaging and easy to understand. At a glance, it lets you see which files are taking up the biggest “slice of the pie,” which makes exploration easy, and pleasing to the eye. The color contrasts also help illustrate the relations between different areas of your Mac.
- It’s fast! Because of the amount of data they have to sift through, some disk analyzers can get slow. DaisyDisk, by contrast, is fast and fluid. Every click leads to a seamless reaction, and both the “quick scan” and standard scan functions work at an impressive pace. This helps ensure a smooth and pleasant workflow.
- It’s easy, too. Because they deal with the deeper structures of your Mac, disk analyzers can be a little intimidating. DaisyDisk makes things look and feel friendlier and makes the deletion process fast and easy. Plus, building up a couple of gigabytes of junk in the collector before hitting the delete button feels like a real accomplishment.
DaisyDisk is good at representing and deleting files from your disk. This tool will help you organize space on your Mac more wisely and identify the heaviest folders. But, there is also another tool we can’t help but recommend when talking about the cleanup of your machine.
A full-featured toolkit like CleanMyMac X combines a DaisyDisk-like Space Lens feature with a wider range of tools, including a smart and powerful Uninstaller, System Junk cleaner and comprehensive Malware Removal modules. Try it for free here.
Is DaisyDisk safe?
As with any third-party software, it’s important to make sure that your disk analyzer comes from a reputable developer through a reliable channel. After all, to do their job well, disk analyzers need permission to access everything on your computer, and you want to be sure about the people you’re giving that access to.
DaisyDisk is distributed through the Mac App Store, so it’s been thoroughly vetted. If you don’t download it from the App Store make sure you download it directly from the developer’s website and not through a third party.
Another consideration with disk analyzers is how well they protect your essential files. DaisyDisk comes with built-in safeguards that keep the app from deleting critical system files. This is especially useful for all Mac users who are just trying to free up a little space: with these protections, you can purge junk from your Mac with confidence.
DaisyDisk review: The Verdict
DaisyDisk is a beautiful choice for a first disk analyzer. Its smooth interface helps you feel in control of a complex process, and its built-in limits help make sure you don’t make costly errors. Its feature set isn’t so extensive, but it’s a solid choice overall.