Do yourself a favor. Buy a hard disk drive for your Mac that is bigger than you can afford. It’s not likely you’ll run out of disk space for a few years.
Otherwise, you’ll need to use an app that tells you when your disk is full. Or, you’ll just suffer the consequences when your Mac runs out of disk space. Consequences? Sure. There’s the chance of lost files and the aggravation caused by a taunting spouse.
Bigger Is Better, Size Matters
This adventure to find a Mac utility that checked a hard disk drive for free space started when one of our Macs rand out of disk space. Out. Out as in no more space left to save files.
As my husband pointed out, it was my fault.
That was the second level of aggravation.
The first level of irritation was not being able to save files on our older family MacBook. The second level came when he said, “I told you so.”
What he told me was to buy a bigger disk drive in the first place, which, obviously, I didn’t. A few years later, which would be now, the Mac’s disk drive filled up, and wouldn’t save some files, hence a Kodak I told you so moment, but without the photo.
In short, when it comes to hard disk drives, bigger is better, size matters.
When Bigger Is No Longer Enough
Innuendo aside, it’s not that a Mac’s disk drive is small these days. The problem stems from having so many files—music, movies, TV shows, movie clips—that take up a lot of space on a Mac.
Sure, Mac users could check the Finder’s Get Info command every day, but where’s the fun in that? What we need is an app that does that for us. Enter SpaceControl.
It’s kinda sorta what you think it is. First, it’s a simple Mac app that tells you how much space is left on your Mac’s hard disk drive. You can drill down into various folders and check the space used by folders and files.
But that’s tedious, right? Interesting? Yes, for a minute or two. Maybe three. After that, it’s boring.
What you want SpaceControl to do is to automatically check your Mac’s disk drive and then tell you when you have a minimum amount of space left. Here’s the screen that does that.
Everything else that SpaceControl does is interesting, perhaps useful, but less important than the notification that space has reached a pre-defined minimum.
And you get to define the minimum.
Why is that important? Macs need extra space for OS X to operate appropriately. Get below that minimum threshold, and your Mac may get all wonky.
As if a wonky Mac isn’t bad enough, space that no longer exists becomes most critical when you’re trying to save something important and you cannot (because of the aforementioned lack of additional space).
It’s a hard disk drive version of Murphy’s Law.
It’s something on the order of this: The amount of disk space left on your Mac is in inverse proportion to the value of the file being saved. Only worse, because there’s no space left.
SpaceControl simply gives you a warning before the bad happens, before your frustration begins, before your spouse says, “I told you so.” Again.