What takes up space on my computer?
December 26, 2008 6:10 AM   Subscribe

The memory on my Macbook is apparently completely full, but I don't know what could be taking up so much space. What can I do or download to find out?
posted by howgenerica to Technology (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Probably a log file. See here for suggestions about how to identify it.
posted by smorange at 6:32 AM on December 26, 2008

I'm assuming you mean disk space? Try out Disk Inventory X.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:38 AM on December 26, 2008 [4 favorites]

I recently found Grand Perspective useful for this problem.
posted by fatllama at 7:21 AM on December 26, 2008

Let's eliminate the obvious first: Have you emptied your trash?
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:28 AM on December 26, 2008

My favorite for this task is OmniDiskSweeper.
posted by olecranon at 8:55 AM on December 26, 2008

Just in case someone else who's reading your question has the same problem but is on Windows: WinDirStat will solve exactly that problem (again, on Windows).
posted by ewingpatriarch at 9:15 AM on December 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you actually did mean memory, Activity Monitor (found in Applications/Utilities) will give a breakdown of every process that's running and how much memory it's using.
posted by contraption at 10:20 AM on December 26, 2008

JDiskReport is nice and works everywhere. Consistent behavior and interface across platforms, which is nice. Don't know how it handles HFS+ forks or NTFS streams though.
posted by vsync at 10:33 AM on December 26, 2008

I'd recommend you run Monolingual and delete out the unnecessary languages. OSX ships with these preinstalled and you can clear up quite a bit of space.
posted by ijoyner at 2:30 PM on December 26, 2008

Don't run Monolingual if you're running Microsoft Office (at least with 2008; I don't know about prior versions). Their updater software isn't smart enough to handle the absence of the unused localization files and will keep you from being able to patch Office (unless you reinstall the application suite). If you don't have to deal with that boneheadedness, Monolingual can free up as much as 3-4 gigabytes of hard drive space.
posted by kimota at 4:28 PM on December 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

And to add to the obvious, if you have file vault turned on, you have to empty the trash *and* log out to recover the space (I always forget this, and end up over-trashing my media files to make more room before I remember...)
posted by carmen at 10:30 AM on December 27, 2008

Get Whatsize. It's free, it's tiny, and it lists every single thing on your computer, in order of filesize. If a folder is several gigs, you can click the folder and it will show you what's inside of it by size, etc. etc. My favorite program for keeping things fast and clean on my PowerBook.
posted by tzikeh at 9:13 PM on December 27, 2008

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