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Has anyone else had the issue of it taking forever to calculate the size of a folder? I have a folder of about 500 GB on an external USB drive, and it seems to never finish "Calculating Size" when I click on "Get Info," so I have no idea how to find out the exact size. Does anyone know of a workaround or how to prevent this?

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4 Answers

Sometimes it never stops. The process gets stuck sometimes. I use Daisy Disk from the Mac App store to calculate sizes and see where my hard drive space is used.

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The amount of time it takes is proportional to the number of files in the folder. If there are a lot of files, it will take a long time to calculate.

You can also try doing it from the Terminal like so:

du -sh /path/to/folder
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You can set up an alias called ducks which is nice and easy to remember: alias ducks='du -cks -h'. Removing the -h will give you a more accurate size (in bytes). –  CraftyThumber Sep 14 '12 at 3:19
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This might not directly answer your question, but OmniDiskSweeper is quite a good tool for finding the big files on your hard disk.And the best thing is it is free. This is description from their wesbite.

OmniDiskSweeper is really great at what it does: showing you the files on your drive, in descending order by size, and letting you delete them easily! It scans your disks as quickly as possible and shows you the facts — if a file doesn't make the cut to stay, just click the big Delete button and be done with it. It's a fast, easy way to find those large files cluttering up your drive and clearing them out for new, better things. Make sure you want them gone, though. There's no going back.

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I had such issue while analyzing Time Machine drive. It seems that the problem is in hard / soft links. Links are simple addresses to a file with a different location, basically label, but Finder considers them as a usual file.

If you give Finder time (several hours in my case), you can find a strange situation when subfolder is twice bigger than parent folder.

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