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I copied a file from my Mac to a server on my LAN. In the Finder window for the destination, the filesize is slightly smaller, and is dimmed.

What does it mean that the filesize is dimmed?

In the screen shot, the file is 1Password.agilekeychain and the size 11.6MB you can see as dimmed. The size on my Mac is 12.2MB.

enter image description here

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Delete it and try again. For me this sometimes happens when the copy process interrupted for some reason. – Max Ried Jul 16 '12 at 19:42
I did delete it and try several times, at first thinking the copy did not complete for some reason. After after a half dozen times with the same result, I posted this question. – Jeffrey Simon Jul 17 '12 at 22:17
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Dimmed means it is displaying a cached value while waiting for the size to be calculated again.

The .agilekeychain file is in fact a folder with lots of small files in it so it will take a few seconds to finish adding each individual size. Why isn't it there already? Maybe the Finder is occupied calculating another size on a previously opened window, it is not very efficient on focusing its work on the front window. Or the server does something else at this time, for example my Time Capsule can be horrifyingly slow to display folder sizes while indexing a backup.

As for the size difference, it means it has taken its snapshot value at a bad time during the copy process, when the folder was not fully copied. Dimmed values can be unreliable, it's outdated data by definition.

So either you wait for the Finder to update its data and display a correct size (in black), either you open a Terminal window, type du -s --block-size=1000 --apparent-size [space] then drag and drop your file, you will get its size far quicker (in kiB). Far quicker also because the Finder, in my experience, sometimes "forget" old tasks and never actually update the size :(

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You can also check [the Refresh Finder free utility] (, it does not always work for "stuck dimmed sizes", but your mileage may vary. – cdelacroix Jul 16 '12 at 21:31
OS X's du doesn't currently have a --block-size or --apparent-size options. -k displays block counts in 1024 byte blocks. – user495470 Jul 17 '12 at 18:05
Makes great sense. Except for the fact that I copied the file yesterday, but when I look at it now the filesize is still dimmed and too small. The file is on a FreeBSD server on my LAN, so maybe that has something to do with it. When I copy the file elsewhere on my Mac, it is not dimmed and has the correct size. – Jeffrey Simon Jul 17 '12 at 22:15
btw, where is this "dimmed because snapshot at bad time" documented? – Jeffrey Simon Jul 17 '12 at 22:19
to my knowledge, it's not – cdelacroix Jul 18 '12 at 9:23

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