I am using a Macbook air. 64GB.

My user directory has used 20.47GB

Disk Utility shows 'Other' is 41.33GB and I only have 2.9GB free.

What tools or command line commands can I use to find out what is taking up large amounts of this.

I can use finder with all files and sort by size but that is already about my directory and the space taken seems outside of my directory.

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4 Answers 4


I use Daisy Disk to keep tabs on what's using up space on my disks. Like @Hoshts and @Joonas have mentioned in their comments on another answer it's not free, but gorgeous and easy to understand. Money well spent, in my opinion, unless you're just looking for a one-time solution.

One thing to keep in mind - the Mac App Store version of Daisy Disk is sandboxed - which means only the files your user can read will be counted.

If you use the direct download version of the app (which will assume the license from the MAS version if you install both and run the direct version after launching the MAS version one time and quitting it.) - it can run as Administrator and show all the files for all users on your Mac.


My favourite tool for this is http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/ which gives a great graphical representation of files.

In your particular case, I have encountered issues with smaller "Solid State Drives" like those used in earlier MacBook Air system, where the system does not completely free up filespace on the SSD when some things have been deleted - perhaps waiting for some background tasks to take care of it eventually. To give the process a kickstart so to speak, I have run /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility.app and used the "Erase Free Space" and that has freed up a lot of room that was not visibly being used when looking at any of the "file space" tools.

The older MacBookAir (2012 and before) machines can have the SSD upgraded to something bigger. See for example: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Air-Retina


I'm a fan of using OmniDiskSweeper for this. It can be downloaded here: https://www.omnigroup.com/more

The software is available free, and provides a nice "drill down" view of folders and files, sorting by largest files first, as shown in the screenshot below.

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Use the program called Disk Inventory X. It has a nice GUI which will show you exactly what files and folders are taking up the most space.

Installer direct download: Disk Inventory X

  • Have to add daisydiskapp.com to that. While a paid app it is beautiful and easy to work with.
    – Hoshts
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 22:31
  • Gotta agree with @Hoshts. I have to admit that I've long ago sold my soul to the paid 3rd party desktop app gods, but Daisydisk is absolutely awesome. The interface is really clean and it's easy to use. I like the collection feature, or what ever it's called.
    – Joonas
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 7:13

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