Have you ever wondered where all your drive space has gone? I know I have. No matter how much space we begin with, unless you’re proactive in managing your files you will inevitably end up running low on space. The problem is that it can be very tedious to find out exactly where all this space has gone. Thankfully, there is a great little free utility that makes this task as easy as can be. That wonderful application is GrandPerspective.
First off, you can grab the it from Sourceforge here.
Install it as per usual and open the application. It will ask you for a source folder to scan. For the purposes of this review I scanned my user folder. In a couple of seconds this window popped up with a neat graphical representation of the space usage in my user folder. Each rectangle represents a file. The bigger the rectangle, the more space it takes up. These rectangles are also grouped into folders, which means you also can see the proportional sizes of folders within folders. The annotated image below should hopefully explain how this works.
One really cool feature is that by using the focus buttons you can select whether you’re working at the file level, or at various levels of the folder hierarchy. By clicking the right-hand focus button (the one with the arrows pointing out) you move your level of selection higher and higher, until have the entire original folder selected.
So, let’s say I began with selecting a file in my Google cache folder, data_3, which is 80MB in size. If I go up a level of focus I have selected “Library/Caches/Google/Chrome/Default/Cache”, which is 397MB in size. If I go up again it selects “Library/Caches/Google/Chrome/Default” at 403MB in size, up again and we’re with “Library/Caches/Google/Chrome”, and so on. All the while, the graphical representation is consistent and a border shows you what you have selected and its proportional usage of space on the drive. If this doesn’t make total sense, simply have a play with the focus buttons and as long as you understand a bit about file management it should click.
There is also a little drawer pullout window which contains extra information about files or folders that you may have selected as well as statistics about your hard drive, as well as customisable layout options. You are able to change not only the colour scheme, but on what basis files are coloured, whether it be based on their folder location or some other metric like last accessed time/date and so on.
GrandPerspective is really a great little application, and one I use on a regular basis when helping my clients tidy up their Apple computers. It’s one of those amazing free applications that deserves all the support and praise that tech enthusiasts can possibly give it. Grab it now!