Since your Mac’s storage can be quite limited and expensive to upgrade, it’s important for you to be able to check and see just how much available storage space your Mac’s solid state drive or hard drive has left before it fills up.
There is more than one way to check, and in this tutorial, we’ll show you how to check the amount of available storage space that you have left on your Mac, whether it’s a desktop or notebook computer.
Why to check on how much storage space you have available
If you’re not careful enough, downloading all those new awesome apps, games, music tracks, movies and photos can quickly eat into your limited storage.
Photographers and videographers are highly affected affected, because they often offload a lot of their content from their camera straight to their Mac to process the raw files in photo-editing and video-editing software. On the other hand, those who use Bootcamp for games, like I do, will find that games take up a huge chunk of storage as well.
Even the casual user, downloading the occasional photo, video, audio file, or application from the internet needs to be able to check their storage drive to see how much space they have left, as it’s never fun when you near a full disk.
Once you do fill up your disk, macOS will refuse to write any more data to the disk and you’ll be required to free up some space before you can go any further. Alternatively, you’ll have to invest in some kind of external storage solution, which depending on the option, can be pricey.
If you suspect that your usage over the years is filling up your Mac’s storage drive(s), then have no worries, we’ll show you how to check in this tutorial.
Finding how much available storage space your Mac has left
There are two methods to see how much storage space your Mac has available before it’ll be completely full.
The first is to simply check the About This Mac menu from the Menu Bar by clicking on the button:
When you do this, a new window showing your Mac’s hardware specs opens up. Click on the Storage tab, and you’ll get to see a breakdown of all the content stored on your Mac’s internal storage drives:
If you put your cursor over the various colors in the storage bar, you can see how much space each item on your Mac takes up, like documents, iOS files, Mail, and Photos.
Another way to check the free storage on your Mac
Although the way shown above is the easiest way to check for how much storage space you have left on your Mac, it’s not the only way.
Another way is to open a Finder window and go to your computer under the Locations list in the sidebar.
Once you click on your computer, you can right-click on any of the storage drives that appear in the Finder window. In our case, we’ll be checking our Macintosh HD drive for available space, so when we right click on it, we’ll click on Get Info.
This will launch a new window that shows information about the drive. Under the General section, the full capacity of your drive and the available storage space is displayed. Right below it, you will also see how much space has been used.
The most advanced way to check for available storage
There is yet another way to check for how much available storage space you have, but it requires use of the Mac’s Terminal utility app. The command is very easy to use, but the output can be difficult to understand if you’re not very well acquainted with directories, hence why we would only recommend advanced macOS users use the Terminal method.
Nevertheless, if you’re interested in trying it out, just launch a Terminal window on your Mac and enter the following command followed by a press of the Return key:
The resulting output will be a table of data that shows the full size of your Mac’s storage drive partitions with their major sub-directories, and the amount of space left over, the amount of space used, a percentage of capacity usage, and more.
How does it look?
If you’ve got plenty of storage space left over, like we do, then you’re good to go; on the other hand, if you’re getting close to filling up, you may want to look into upgrade options.
For 2013 and later Mac notebooks, OWC just launched a new Aura SSD kit that can expand your Mac’s storage to up to 1TB for less than Apple charges from the factory. For many other Macs, which use typical 2.5-inch drives, Crucial is a great tool to search for available storage (and memory) upgrades for your Mac.
Your Mac’s storage space is important, and if you don’t have enough, it may be time to consider upgrading, which can be oodles cheaper than buying a totally new computer like Apple would want you to do.
- Understanding how your Mac and iOS devices calculate storage capacity
- ‘Other’ storage on your Mac explained
How much storage space did you have left in your Mac’s drive after checking? Share in the comments!