Find Large Files On Your Mac

You can use the Finder or the System About window to quickly and easily figure out which files are taking up the most space on your drive. Either method allows you to find the files and where they are located. You can use this to find files crowding your drive that you may no longer be using.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Find Large Files On Your Mac.

So I monitor a lot of discussion groups and online forums and things like that and I see that one of the most common questions people ask are how do you find large files on your Mac. If you find your drive is pretty full and you want to know what big files are taking up space how do you find them. This is actually fairly easy to do.

I'm using the latest version of Sierra and I'm going to show you two quick ways. One is in the Finder just create a new Finder window and I'm going to actually, instead of being down in the Documents level where it is starting me off, I'm going to use Command and Up Arrow to go up to the Home folder level here. I'm going to do Command F for Find.

I'm not going to type anything right here. Instead I'm going to change the criteria. Instead of Kind as Any I'm going to change it to Size. So I'm going to choose Other. From this list I'm going to search for size, choose File Size, say OK. Instead of equals I'm going to say use Greater Than and let's choose gigabytes, 5 GB. These are all the files that I've got on this Mac. You can see here I've got This Mac and MacMost which is the user folder.

So these are the files on the Mac. If I just want to look for that user I can change to MacMost. You can see there are none that are 5 GB. But if I go down to one you can see there's my iMovie library. I can even do decimals .1 and I can see some of the biggest files there. I can continue to go down. Let's go to megabytes here. Let's say anything bigger than 10 MB and it's going to give me a list. I can sort this list by size. You can see I already had it by selecting size here. You can do by name, by size, and you can go in reverse order or this order.

So I can see the largest file here just looking at the ones that are 10 MB or larger. You can see where the currently selected file is by looking down here below. You can see this is in the movies folder. Or select any one of these and just simply use Command R and it will jump to it in a new Finder window. It put it off the screen there but here I'll just move it on and you can see that's where it is. So I can jump right to where the file is actually located. So a quick and easy way to find out where the largest files are. Maybe there is some video file or something you forgot you had somewhere in some subfolder and this will quickly find it for you and can archive it or simply delete it.

You can also, with Sierra, go to the Apple menu and go to About This Mac. Then click on Storage and under Storage you'll get a view of all your attached drives and the amount of space that's being used on them. Click Manage next to your hard drive there and then dig down with categories on the left. For instance under Documents I can see some of the largest documents here because I selected only large files. I can sort by size as well. This is a quick way to get to it. It looks very much like the Finder window there and you can even use the path bar there at the bottom to find out where these things are. If I want to look and see if I have any large books stored here. You know just look at iCloud Drive, just look at different things like iTunes and see what's in there. I can quickly see what's taking up the most space on my Mac.

So this is an important tool that you may want to go ahead and use. Even Applications. You can see which applications are the ones taking up the most space. So maybe if you've got a game you haven't played in a while and you see it's taking up more space that just about anything else you can consider deleting it. You can even delete it right from this window.

Comments: 2 Responses to “Find Large Files On Your Mac”

    Linda Taylor
    2 years ago

    My iMac can’t be upgraded to Sierra, so the method you used in About This Mac/ Storage isn’t possible for me. I’ve been finding large files in Finder, but this isn’t diminishing the size of my “Backup” (193.33GB out of 500GB) and “Other” (87.72GB out of 500GB) categories very much. I don’t really know what is meant by Backup and Other. I’ve only got 106GB available on my iMac and really need to clean it up. Do you have any other ideas that might accelerate cleaning up my El Capitan system?

    2 years ago

    Linda: Not sure why you need to clear up more space. 106GB is a lot of empty space. Backups are your local Time Machine snapshots and that space will expand and shrink as needed. It is large now because you have plenty of space. See Other is everything not in other categories, most likely your data files and some caches and things that will also expand and shrink as needed. It doesn’t sound to me like you need to do anything right now.

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