How much of the Hard Disk is used?

How much of the Hard Disk is used?
Mac Tip #287/02-May-2007

More than once clients have told me they’re worried that their computer might be nearly full, because they have a lot of emails, or several albums in iPhoto. That’s highly unlikely.

The last couple of Tips introduced Activity Monitor in the context of RAM, but it can also show you how much of your computer’s hard drive you’re using.

Activity Monitor shows disc usage.

Activity Monitor shows disc usage.

Open Activity Monitor and click on the Disk Usage tab at the bottom of the window. If you have more than one hard drive attached to the computer choose the one you want information on from the pop-up.

The screenshot shows that my computer’s hard drive can hold 111.47 Gigabytes. I have 86.46 GB of files (shown in blue), and 25.01 GB is free (shown in green). A bit less than a quarter of the total space is free.

You need to keep a decent chunk of hard drive space free for everyday operations. I can’t find any articles that specify a minimum amount, but at a guess I’d say that if you have less than about 10% free it’s time to start considering your options.

Options may include deleting forever old, unwanted files, copying older files to an archive disc and deleting them from the hard drive, replacing the hard drive with a bigger one, and buying an additional, external hard drive for storing files you need to keep readily available.

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