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 on your hard disk.
Think about it...300MB here, 500MB here, 1GB there...soon, all the extra files become a toxic load on your computer. Imagine how much memory you can free up if you get rid of all that junk. The problem is that most digital junk is well-hidden and shattered around your system.
The solution comes from a specific 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 many options of disk analyzers out there, from the highly technical to the user-friendly ones. Because I’m generally intimidated by super techie stuff, I chose a more colorful and easy option, DaisyDisk, for a test drive.
|Appealing and interactive user interface||The limited functionality of the free trial version|
|The scan covers different types of files (including the hidden ones) and is fast||Manual deletion of files, which may result in losing vital information|
|The possibility to connect and scan multiple disks (including external hard drives or a startup disk)||The deletion is permanent — the deleted files cannot be restored|
DaisyDIsk packs a lot of functionality into a beautiful package. Let me tell you a bit about what features it is famous for:
- Graphic interface
DaisyDisk uses an innovative circular design to show you those files that take up space on your Mac. The display is color-coded, so you can easily distinguish between different data types. Navigation is a snap: clicking on a display section 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. It 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 digging 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.
DaisyDisk is capable of offering valuable suggestions about which files can be deleted to free up more space. It can help guide your disk cleanup by flagging purgeable areas and smaller orphaned items suitable for deletion.
DaisyDisk is great for casual Mac users looking to speed up their computers, but it’s not the only option. Another solid competitor for consideration is CleanMyMac X. This app has a seamless disk speed optimizer that helps to achieve the same results in 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 intelligent 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! Some disk analyzers can get slow because of the amount of data they have to sift through. 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 it deals 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 another tool I can’t help but recommend when talking about Mac device cleanup.
A full-featured toolkit like CleanMyMac X combines a DaisyDisk-like Space Lens module with a broader range of tools, such as Smart Scan, effective Uninstaller, System Junk cleaner, and comprehensive Malware Removal. Try it for free here.
Is DaisyDisk safe?
As with any third-party software, it’s essential to ensure that your disk analyzer comes from a reputable developer through a reliable channel. After all, disk analyzers need permission to access everything on your computer, so you have to be cautious with whom you’re sharing your sensitive data.
DaisyDisk is sold through the Mac App Store, meaning it’s been thoroughly vetted. If you don’t download it from the App Store, download it directly from the developer’s website.
Another consideration with disk analyzers is how well they protect your essential files. DaisyDisk has 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.
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 intelligent built-ins help ensure you don’t make costly errors. The feature set isn’t extensive, but it’s a solid choice overall. If, after the trial period is over, you want to shift to another, it’s worth testing CleanMyMac X.