Recently, I’ve come across a very cool and useful Mac application known as GrandPerspective (yes, the URL is intentionally misspelt), a utility that scans a chosen area of your hard drive and outputs an illustration of how your hard drive space is being used. This can be particularly useful if you’re running low on disk space or have large unused and/or unwanted files hidden away that are taking up a lot of your free space.
To operate GrandPerspective, you simply choose a directory for the app to scan. After a few seconds (or minutes, depending on the size and amount of files and folders within), you’ll be greeted with a nice graphical representation of how your hard drive space within that chosen directory is being used. From there, you can browse through all of the files in that directory. If you find something you’d like to delete, you can click the Reveal button to see it in your Finder and move it to the Trash from there.
The many squares and rectangles you’ll notice after you complete the scan are a visualization of file sizes on your hard drive (yes, bigger squares/rectangles means a larger file size). For those smaller squares and rectangles that seem quite minuscule in comparison to the others, you can use the built-in focus tools to zoom in on them and find out exactly what they are, or you could do the opposite if you’re only interested in files that are eating up the most free space.
Overall, GrandPerspective is a great, simple tool that allows you to monitor how your hard drive space is being used. And with a price tag of free, you can’t go wrong. GrandPerspective is only available for Mac OS X, but Windows users can check out WinDirStat.