Apple’s Macs create love affairs. I’m in love with my new MacBook Air. She’s perfect. Trim, fit, athletic, and beautiful. And she does everything I ask.
The only problem she causes is her memory. The MacBook Air just doesn’t have enough storage. The flash memory is fast but it’s limited. And expensive. What can save my precious Mac beauty for a fate of forgetfulness? Space Gremlin to the rescue.
Must. Have. Space.
There will come a day in the not too distant future when all Mac notebooks are like the MacBook Air. Flash memory. No hard disk drive. And, more capacity than the paltry amount that solid state drives (the SSD monicker in flash memory).
Paltry? The best my MacBook Air can do right now is an expensive 128-gigabytes of storage.
Compare that to the lower priced MacBook model which starts at 250-gigabytes, with an option for a whopping 500-gigabytes.
Paltry is right term for the MacBook Air’s storage. That means every byte counts. The way to increased storage on your Mac is to account for every byte.
Counting Every Byte
Space Gremlin is one of a handful of Mac apps that counts the bytes on your Mac’s disk drive (whether the traditional hard disk drive or the new and very fast solid state drives), file by file.
Then it maps the whole mess of bytes and files on screen so you can see what’s what and what’s where and how much. Here’s an example.
That image certainly clarifies where all your storage has gone, right? Well, not quite.
Space Gremlin visualizes your Mac’s files in a graphic, non-linear way. It’s a complex undertaking that for all the technology involved comes up short. All you want is to know how much space your Mac has left, and what you can throw away to get more
Fortunately, Space Gremlin comes with a handful of tools to make the process of finding and deleting files you don’t need as easy as point and click. And click. And click. Ad nauseam.
The square tree maps will display your Mac’s file structure by size in folders and files. Unfortunately, to the Mac user who needs it most, clarity of form isn’t so easy.
Even by zooming in on various folders which appear ominously large, thereby candidates for space saving expurgation, you still need to know what to dispose of and what to keep.
While Space Gremlin is rather fast at reporting what files are where, and gives you options to dig into sections (folders) of your Mac to check on files and sizes and what’s a candidate for disposal, it doesn’t educate you as to what’s what.
How will you know what to keep and what to throw away to free up space on your Mac?
You might as well use the free OmniDiskSweeper. The mapping of files and their relative sizes isn’t as pretty, though.
Fortunately, Space Gremlin lets you selectively ignore specific areas on your Mac so you can look into areas of potential file bloat—Home Directory, Music, Movies, Documents, etc. In the end, the result is the same. You have to know what to keep and what to delete. Unfortunately, if you’re using your Mac’s FileVault to encrypt your home directory, Space Gremlin can’t find what’s inside.
For A Few Dollars More
For a few dollars, WhatSize performs a similar scouring and accounting. For a few dollars more, DaisyDisk, CleanMyMac, and TidyUp! add more features which may help find the answer to the question, “To delete or not to delete?”