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Daisy, Daisy, Clean Up My Disk, Please Do…

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Product: DaisyDisk 2.1.1
Author: DaisyDisk Team
Price: $9.95USD; on website and at the App Store
Requirements: MacOS X 10.6 or later
Test Rig: 2009 MBP 13″, OS X 10.7.4, 8GB RAM, 240GB SSD

As technology progresses, so does the way that we interact with our software. The user interfaces of our apps are becoming more iconic. Interesting really, as humankind began communicating through drawings on cave walls (sometime before last Thursday). So, ironically, as the tech becomes more sophisticated, our interaction with it is becoming more simplified. We’ve come full circle, in a way.

“No matter how large your disks are, the amounts of data you store on them grow too fast. You can ease your life for a while by using one of the automatic “cleaners” to save a few hundred megabytes or even a few gigabytes but very soon you’ll face the same problem. We propose a better solution: discover real space wasters and remove them. Fast and easy. DaisyDisk scans your disks and display them in the form of a interactive visual map, so you can find out where the space has gone, preview and delete large files and folders you no longer need. You can find out a long forgotten virtual machine image, huge cache file or a DVD movie rip you wanted to see during last year’s vacation. It’s way more efficient than spending hours manually sorting downloads or guessing why your Mac drive has no free space when you need it most. There are much better uses for your disks than carrying useless data.”

I first heard of DaisyDisk on a podcast. Andy Inhatko explained how it saved his bacon when he was running out of hard drive space when on the road. Andy knows best, so, I thought I’d give it a bash.


The layout is dead simple. Your disk(s) is laid out in the shape of a daisy wheel. Different categories of files are assigned different colors. And within those colors are sections, representing different file groupings in that category. Sounds intricate, but look at the graphic below.


As you click in the view/sidebar on the right, you are presented with a representation of the sectors, and they’re groupings, within your selected disk. As you hover over a grouping, all of its files are displayed in the right sidebar with the corresponding amount of space they take up.

Once you have found the files or folders that you wish to dispose, drag them down to the bottom left hand corner of the screen to delete them. Easy?


I like to refer to apps such as DaisyDisk as an electronic paper clip. because it’s indispensable. The layout is so intuitive, which is perfect if you’re in a rush or have to meet a deadline. You simply look for the biggest sector, check its contents, and either dispose of certain files or delete the entire sector. When you have more time to spend, then you can drill down to see how much more hard drive space you can recover.


I’m currently trying to construct an über-iTunes library. My films, music, and videos are on smaller libraries scattered about different disks. DaisyDisk has made culling that content a breeze. I don’t even want to think about how much time I would have consumed going through folders manually!




DaisyDisk is one of those toolbox essentials. My head hurts thinking of the wasted time my old workflow (more of a slime, actually) caused. DaisyDisk is not only useful if you have a multitude of hard disk drives. If you have, say, an 11″ MacBook Pro with a 120GB solid state drive and no external drive, this thing could be a life saver.

Just that simple.

RATING: 10 out of 10

©2012 Frank Petrie /