I’ve been using DaisyDisk for years now. Developed by a small team, DaisyDisk is a disk analyzer tool that manages to make the boring process of understanding what’s wasting space on your hard drive pretty and almost fun. We’ve covered the app quite a few times on MacStories over the years, and the basic functionality hasn’t changed, but we missed the 3.0 update released in September and I wanted to fix that.
DaisyDisk 3 sports a more modern design and a new icon. The app still works in the same way: it recognizes your Mac’s built-in hard drive and it scans it, analyzing your storage and presenting files and folders with a peculiar sunburst visualization (read more about it here). For the new version, the app has been rewritten with a 64-bit engine (it’s only available for 10.7 and above), support for Retina displays, and compatibility with Thunderbolt disks attached to your Mac. DaisyDisk has always been pretty fast in scanning my Mac’s SSD, but version 3.0 seems slightly faster and snappier, probably thanks to the new architecture.
When it’s done scanning, DaisyDisk will display a notification through the native Notification Center – another new feature of 3.0. The way you interact with the app has remained the same across version 2.0 and 3.0: you click on colored folders, which animate and expand to reveal files and sub-folders, and you can collect items to delete in the tray at the bottom or delete items individually. The best change of DaisyDisk 3 is the ⌘R shortcut, which allows you to quickly rescan a folder without rescanning the entire disk. This is perfect if you, say, need to clean up the Downloads or Desktop folders (you know you do) but don’t want to wait for those extra 40 seconds to scan your Mac HD again. Scanning a single folder usually takes a couple of seconds and the app can automatically return to your previous location, showing refreshed contents of a folder. It’s a good addition.
There are other changes in DaisyDisk 3, but, for me, what matters is that the app still works reliably on OS X and hasn’t lost its usefulness over the years. If you’re using a Mac every day, you’re inevitably going to end up with a lot of stuff that you don’t need to keep on your computer, and DaisyDisk provides an informative and intuitive visualization of files and folders through colored blocks of “space” that you’ve accumulated. I wouldn’t say that the act of freeing up space is “pleasant”, but there’s a certain satisfaction in clicking through DaisyDisk’s flower map and seeing how many GBs you can reclaim from your Mac.