I am looking for space! I would like to search for all large folders and files. I found this answer but so far my searches failed to show some of the large files, including a .pkg file that was in my home directory (the 'house' icon). I just use "normal" finder, and then with the controls - where I am trying to find a way to say size > 100MB or something to that effect. But I don't even see size.

I also can not see how to display all folders on my computer where again folder size > 100MB. Are these possible using the Finder controls?

edit: To address the comments I've added an additional example. It's the selective file type that's bothering me. Here I create some files with python and look with Finder. Finder decides that I should not know about two of the files because the "Kind" is "Document". If I display the folder, they are there, but Finder won't show them if I'm searching.

import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import json

y = [3,1,5,2,0]

np.save("TestDifferent", y)

with open("TestDifferent.json", "w") as outfile:
    json.dump(y, outfile)

with open("TestDifferent.txt", "w") as outfile:

with open("TestDifferent.weird", "w") as outfile:


enter image description here

enter image description here

screen shot 1 of Finder

screen shot 2 of Finder

  • Have you clicked the Kind list box and selected Other... and then select a different search attribute, e.g. File Size or Logical size? Feb 20, 2016 at 1:57
  • Thanks @user3439894! I've added two screenshots and modified the wording of the question. Briefly, I would like a list of all files > 100MB in one place, without regard to file type. The .pkg is just an example of a file that it is leaving out.
    – uhoh
    Feb 20, 2016 at 10:08

4 Answers 4


It is not possible to search for folders by file size. The combined size of all files and folders contained in a folder is computed on the fly by Finder when you ask for it.

For normal Finder windows, you can enable the option to “Calculate all sizes” in View > View Options. That option is not available for search results.

What you can do is search for files that were recently added to the system and then check the total size of folders where such a files were found. While the file you find using this method may be small, it can be part of a larger collection of files you have downloaded or installed.

I have written a blog post that shows how to find large files and folders. In the blog post I use HoudahSpot. Full disclosure: I am the developer of HoudahSpot.

You can use much the same techniques with Finder. HoudahSpot however makes it easier to set up the search. It also has the ability to show the “total size” of folders as a column in search results. You can also use HoudahSpot to quickly compute the total size of a folder.

Both Finder and HoudahSpot search the Spotlight index. Neither will be able to find system files. Yet HoudahSpot will come up with search results that the Finder intentionally hides.

BTW, if disk space "went missing” just recently, try restarting your Mac. This will clean up temporary files left behind by applications.

  • Thanks for the information @PierreBernard. Wow, I'm surprised one can't search for folders by size with Finder. There must be some underlying reason why this isn't possible, since it would be so helpful. Any idea why my list of all files by size (first screen shot) omits unusual file types (e.g. .pkg or .npy)? Is this also impossible in Finder?
    – uhoh
    Feb 20, 2016 at 14:55
  • The Finder hides most of the content of the Library folders. That’s why you often see files missing from Finder search results. Feb 20, 2016 at 15:20
  • 2
    Try the following at the command line in Terminal.app: find / -size +100M 2> /dev/null. Feb 23, 2016 at 8:14
  • 1
    You can learn more about the find command in its manual. Type man find to open the man pages. Hit space to scroll. Hit q to quit. I assume you are using the bash shell which has been the default on Mac for some years now. 2> redirects the error output. /dev/null is a virtual file. 2> /dev/null makes error messages go nowhere so you see only standard output in the Terminal window. You can redirect standard output to a file by writing > /path/to/file. Be careful: this overwrites the file. Use >> /path/to/file to append. Feb 23, 2016 at 14:16
  • 1
    Parallels (v10), in particular, sometimes sucks up my disk space until I reboot.
    – SilverWolf
    Nov 19, 2017 at 18:57

It's possible to search by size using Terminal (Confirmed working on Mojave).

No 3rd party tools or hacks.

Here is a command I used to look through and find largest folders taking my space away (run as root and the command to switch to root is: sudo -i):

du -k / | awk '$1 > 500000' | sort -nr

Once you get the list (ignore the 'Operation not permitted' since those are files you can't (shouldn't) mess with anyway) and look for the top ones.

  • Okay this is very helpful, thank you! Almost 2/3 of the paths begin with /Users/name/Pictures/... is there a way add something to the bash line to omit those? I can paste the output as a python string and drop those lines no problem, I'm just curious if it's easy to do directly in the bash command.
    – uhoh
    Dec 24, 2019 at 15:32

Mac's Finder search limits where your results come from. I'd recommend two solutions, both of which are free (one with a free trial).

The first is EasyFind (free) from Devon Technologies and truly searches the entire directory of your Mac. It's vital for getting a true search on your Mac.

The second solution is very handy for finding the culprits of large HD space: DaisyDisk (free trial). DaisyDisk will analyze a specified drive and then provide you with an interactive drill down to determine which files exactly are causing the issues.

  • There's also GrandPerspective freeware, which does a similar job to DaisyDisk.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 20, 2016 at 9:36
  • This looks more like an advertisement than an answer @BenHolland. Please double check the last sentence of my question again, thanks!
    – uhoh
    Feb 20, 2016 at 10:06
  • Having read your last sentence again, the simple answer is "no", as the beginning of this answer mentions. The Finder will not search everywhere. That's why things like EasyFind exist.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 20, 2016 at 10:40
  • When I worked at Apple, the notorious "how do I know what to delete when my drive is full?" came up constantly. Besides the About This Mac > Storage pane, Apple really doesn't provide any tools to resolve this issue, hence my answer above. I've helped hundreds of people resolve the issue, and the two items above are the most helpful. Feb 20, 2016 at 15:41
  • Thanks @Tetsujin. This answer says "...limits where your results come from." Should it say "...limits which file types it displays." instead? I think the issue is file type in my case. Finder certainly does look in that directory very nicely.
    – uhoh
    Feb 21, 2016 at 12:10

Suggest trying Disk Inventory X and it will find files and help you remove large ones:

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .