In today’s era of multi-terabyte hard drives, many of us don’t
keep as close an eye on our disk usage as we used to. Still,
even the largest drives fill up eventually. If you don’t know
how to check your disk space use on OS X, here’s where to look.
Options 1 and 2: From the Finder
The Finder gives you a couple ways to see how much free disk
space you have. These are the easiest ways.
Preview your storage device. In macOS, if you
select and item in the Finder and press the spacebar on your
keyboard, you get a preview of the item. For example, if you
select a text document and then press the spacebar, you can see
what’s in the document without actually opening it.
You can use preview to check your storage device’s capacity.
1. Select the storage device on the Desktop. (To make your
storage device appear on your Desktop, go to the Finder and
select Finder > Preferences, click on
General, and modify the setting for Show these
items on the Desktop.) Or open a Finder window, look in
the left column, under the Devices heading, and select
the storage device.
2. Press the spacebar. You should see a window open that shows
the capacity of your storage device and the available space.
3. To close the window, press spacebar again, or press
Command-W, or click on the close-window icon (the circle X) in
the upper left.
Finder window status bar. If you would like to
have an overview of your free disk space at all times from the
Finder, you can turn on the Finder’s status bar.
1. Open a Finder window if you don’t have one open already
(click the Finder’s Dock icon or go to File > New Finder
2. Open the View menu and select Show status
bar. This will show you how many items are in the current
folder, and if you’re viewing a folder on your hard drive (such
as your Applications or Documents folder), you’ll also get a
readout of your hard drive’s free space.
Options 3: Get Info
1. Find your hard drive in the Finder and select it. If it
appears in the Finder window sidebar or on the Desktop (it
doesn’t by default—go to Finder > Preferences to
change that), click your hard drive’s icon in either of those
spots. If your hard drive icon doesn’t appear there, go to
Go > Computer, then click the hard drive icon under
2. Click the File menu, and select Get Info,
or press Comand-I on your keyboard.
The Info window shows the capacity, available space, and used
space, as well as other information.
Option 4: About This Mac
In recent versions of macOS (Yosemite or later), you can easily
check your disk usage from the About box.
1. Open the Apple menu, then select About This Mac.
2. Click the Storage tab in the toolbar to see how
much disk space you have available. (On OS X Mountain Lion or
Mavericks, click the More info button, then click
You also get a simplified overview of what sort of files are
eating up your storage space.
Option 5: From Disk Utility
You can also view your free disk space from your Mac’s Disk
Utility app. Open Spotlight by clicking the magnifying glass in
the upper-right corner of the screen, then type Disk
Utility in the search box that appears. Once Disk Utility
comes up in the list and is highlighted, press the
Enter key. Disk Utility is also found in
Applications > Utilities.
Once Disk Utility opens, select your hard drive’s name from the
list. You can see your drive’s capacity, its available space,
its used space, and other info. You can also check the free
space for any drive you have connected to your Mac from this
window, be it a USB flash drive or external hard drive.