Mac Performance

How to Find Large Files on Mac

Keeping your MacBook uncluttered is essential for maintaining optimal performance and ensuring you always have the space you need. When your storage space is nearing capacity, it doesn’t only impact your overall system speed but also leaves little room for essential files and data. To prevent this, we advise you to start the removal process with removing large files from your Mac that you no longer need.


Knowing how to find as well as manage the largest files in your Mac’s directory can help you streamline your decluttering process, saving you valuable time. Our guide aims to walk you through how to view the largest files on a Mac so you can safely free up more disk space on your Apple computer. 


Before we start:


Taking control of your Mac’s storage can be a challenge, especially if you’re unsure how to find the biggest culprits to your lack of disk space. Manually searching folder after folder isn’t always the most efficient use of your time. That’s why we recommend MacKeeper’s Safe Cleanup as a helping hand in the form of an automatic cleanup tool designed to find and delete large files for you.


Here’s how MacKeeper’s Safe Cleanup works:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper.
  2. Go to the Safe Cleanup tool.
  3. Click Start Scan and tick everything you want MacKeeper to remove.
  4. Click Clean Junk Files, and all your unwanted files will be deleted.

Should you delete large files from your Mac

If you’re thinking about deleting large files on Mac, this requires a thorough strategy. Whilst finding and reclaiming storage space can enhance system performance, it's important to think about the significance of each file before deleting anything. This is to ensure nothing important is accidentally deleted, as recovering lost files isn’t always possible.


Ask yourself if the files on your Mac, which you plan to remove, are important for ongoing projects or daily tasks. If you’re sure what files are needed, you might want to consider backing up all your data first. You can use Mac’s built-in Time Machine feature before decluttering to reduce the loss of value data and files. That way, you’ll have a backup of your files that can be transferred onto a separate drive. You can then focus on decluttering your Mac by searching for large files you can delete to help you reclaim your vital storage space.

Tip from our team:


One of the biggest contributors to large files on Mac is the cache. Every application will accumulate cache files, so it’s likely to be a big contribution to your used-up storage space. Be sure to check out our guide on how to clear the cache on Mac efficiently so that you can get back a large chunk of your system space.

How to find all the large files on Mac

Finding and removing large files on your MacBook can be a daunting task, especially when trying to decipher which files are safe to delete and which ones are essential system files. That's why we're here to guide you in decluttering your Mac’s storage with confidence.


There are four ways to view the largest files on your Mac and efficiently manage your Mac’s storage:

  1. Using Finder to sort and search your Mac’s large files
  2. Using Storage Management to find and get rid of large files
  3. Using Terminal to find and delete large files
  4. Find and clean up large files using MacKeeper

Note from our experts: 


Not all of your large files will be easy to find on Mac, which includes temporary files. Temporary files can take up space on your Mac and can be hard to find, which is why we’ve included this support guide on how to clear temp files on Mac to assist you through your digital overhaul.

1. Using Finder to sort and search your Mac’s larger files

Checking file sizes on a Mac is simple with Finder. By clicking on the Size column header, you can easily sort files from smallest to largest or vice versa. However, this method is limited to the current folder you’re in. To broaden your Mac search for large files, you can utilize Finder's search function to explore other areas of your Mac.


Here’s how to find and delete large files using Mac’s Finder search:

  1. Open a Finder window, and press Cmd + F.
  2. In the dropdown menu on the left, select Other and search the list until you find File Size. Tick it and then click OK.
  3. With File Size now your sorting option, scroll to the next menu and select the option Is greater than. Enter in the box a file size you think is large.
  4. Then you’ll see a list of the files, applications, and documents that are greater than the size you entered in the sorting menu.
To use Finder to sort and search your Mac's larger files, you'll first need to go to your Dock and open a Finder window. Then click on the Command and F keys to get the search box up.
Step 1. Open Finder and press the Command + F keys to get this search box up
Once you have opened the Finder search you can click on the sorting option. click on the left-hand drop-down menu and click on Other > Files Size > OK. This will allow you to sort files on This Mac by size.
Step 2. Select Other > File Size > OK
In the Finder search, next to files Size, you'll now want to select the option is greater than and a file size so that Finder can sort your files accordingly based on that specific file size.
Step 3. Select Is greater than and enter a large file size
After you enter your file size and sorting options, you will see all of your files that are greeted by the file size you inputted. This helps you see what files on This Mac are the largest to help you decide which ones you can delete.
Step 4. Scroll through the Finder list to see the larger files on your Mac

That’s one way to use Finder to sort and search your Mac for larger files. However, if you’d like to find the largest folder on your MacBook, here’s what you’ll need to find large folders on your Mac using Finder:

  1. Open Finder, select a location you want to look in, and make sure you sort by list view.
  2. From the menu bar, go to View > Show View Options. Alternatively, press Cmd + J.
  3. Tick the box to Calculate all sizes.
  4. You’ll now see the sizes of your folders, so you can sort them and find the biggest ones.
If you want to find the largest folders on your MacBook, open Finder and click on View > Show View options.
Step 1. Open Finder, in the menu bar, click on View > Show View options
Scroll down the Show View options, sort by size and ensure you have ticked Calculate all sizes so that you can see the size of all your folders on your Mac as well as your files, applications and documents.
Step 2. Tick the box that says Calculate all sizes
Once you have ticked the Show View options in Finder all Calculate all the sizes folders as well as files, you'll be able to see a list view of the folders that are demanding the most space on your Mac. This will give you a better idea of what folder you can go into and declutter to free up space on your Mac, starting with deleting the largest files first.
Step 3. All your folders will now be sorted by size to show you the largest ones



If you’re trying to find and delete corrupted files with no luck, then our supporting guide provides a breakdown of how to find the files and remove them for good.  

2. Using Storage Management to find and get rid of large files

Recent versions of macOS come equipped with a Storage Management feature designed to help Mac users find large files, as well as gain insight into other recommendations to help improve Mac disk space.  


Here's how to utilize Storage Management to help you get rid of large files on your Mac:

  1. Click on the Apple logo > About This Mac.
  2. Select More Info to be taken to System Settings. From here, navigate to Storage.
  3. Once in Storage, you’ll open Storage Management, where you’ll see Recommendations to help you manage your storage effectively.
  4. You can follow the Recommendations listed to help find and declutter large files on your Mac to free up space.
To utilise Storage Management to help find and get rid of large files on Mac, begin by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen > About This Mac.
Step 1. Click on Apple logo > About This Mac
You'll then be redirected to System Settings where you'll then need to click on Storage Settings.
Step 2. Click More Info to be taken to System Settings and navigate to Storage
In System Storage, you'll be able to use Storage Management recommendation to help you  find and get rid of large files on your Mac to free up much needed storage space.
Step 3. In Storage, you’ll see Recommendations to help you free up Mac space

Hint from our experts:


If you suspect your Photos are responsible for your limited disk space, then you might want to take advantage of MacKeeper to help you find and delete duplicate photos on Mac. Just open the app, select the Duplicates Finder feature, and click Start Scan. It’ll immediately scan your Mac for any similar photos as well as delete them for you to help free up disk space.

To help you find and delete duplicate photos on Mac, open MacKeeper, select the Duplicates Finder feature and click Start Scan. It’ll immediately scan your Mac for any similar photos and delete them for you to help optimate and declutter your device i you suspect your photos are behind for your largest file type.

3. Using Terminal to find and delete large files

For advanced MacBook and Apple users who are comfortable with command-line interfaces, Terminal offers a powerful method to help you locate and remove large files from your Mac system.


Here’s how to use Terminal  to help you find and delete large files:

  1. In Finder, go to Applications > Utilities and open Terminal.
  2. Use the Find command to search for large files in your chosen directory with a specific file size: find / -type f -size +(your file size)
  3. Review the list and identify files to delete.
  4. Use the rm command to delete large files from your chosen directory: rm /path/to/large/file
  5. Repeat this step as much as you need to delete all unnecessary large files.
To use Terminal to find and delete large files, you'll first need to open Finder > Applications > utilities and open terminal.
Step 1. Open Terminal
In Terminal, you'll need to know how to input and use the find command, This is an example find command to help identify files over the size of 100M in Mac across directories: find / -type f -size +100M. You can alter this to align with your file size preference.
Step 2. Use the command find / -type f -size + (your file size) to search for large files
After entering in the Find command and allowing all the necessary background processes that might pop up, you can review the list and use the following command rm /path/to/large/file to delete those larger files. If you are not sure how to use these commands correctly, then we do not recommend using Terminal to delete large files.
Step 3. Review the list and use the command rm /path/to/large/file to delete large files

Exercise caution when using Terminal commands to help you view the largest files on Mac and then delete them. It’s a method we recommend for experienced Mac users who know how to use the commands correctly to avoid accidentally deleting important files that cannot be recovered. Instead of Terminal, you can use Finder, Mac’s built-in Storage management, or even a third-party application to help declutter your disk.

4. Find and clean up large files using MacKeeper

If you’re trying to clear out some disk space, MacKeeper can help, particularly with finding junk and unnecessary files that may be spread out across your Mac. MacKeeper has a built-in Smart Uninstaller feature that can help you remove the large, unwanted files that take up the most space on your MacBook. Just let the app scan your device, and then you’ll be able to sort the results by file size, making it the easiest way to view the largest files on Mac.


Here’s how to sort files by size using MacKeeper:

  1. Open MacKeeper and select Safe Cleanup.
  2. Click Start Scan.
  3. After the scan is complete, click on one of the categories in the scan results and click on the Sort button, which looks like four dots.
  4. Tick Size and Descending to see the largest files first.
  5. Select all the large files you want to remove and click Clean Junk Files.
To find and clean up large files using MacKeeper, first open the App on your Mac and select Safe Cleanup. Then click Start Scan.
Step 1. Open MacKeeper, select Safe Cleanup, and Click Start Scan
After the scan is done, you can click on the Sort button (which looks like four dots), to allow you to arrange by size and then descending so that the largest files are at the top of the list.
Step 2. After the scan is complete, click the Sort button and tick Size + Descending
After reviewing the results, sorted by size, you can tick anything you want to remove and then click the Clear Junk Files button to allow MacKeeper to automatically declutter your mac of all the large files for you that you no longer need.
Step 3. Look through finding, tick want to remove and click the Clean Junk Files button.

Streamlining large file management on Mac

Throughout this guide, we've explored the vital role of decluttering your MacBook by hunting down and removing large files. Whether you're sifting through Finder, tinkering with Terminal, or using macOS built-in Storage Management recommendations, effectively managing these larger files ensures your Mac can operate smoothly with plenty of storage space to spare!


In addition to manual methods, MacKeeper's Safe Cleanup emerges as a standout solution for seamlessly finding and eliminating large system files. By automating the process, MacKeeper offers a hassle-free way to declutter your Mac and reclaim valuable disk space. With us, managing large files becomes not just convenient, but also highly effective in maintaining your Mac's performance and storage efficiency.


1. How do I find out what files are taking up more space on my Mac?

To discover which files are occupying the most space on your Mac, utilize Finder's Show View feature to sort all your files, apps, and documents by size. Additionally, you can also take advantage of MacKeeper’s Safe Cleanup, as it can scan your Mac in seconds, showing you what files are stored deep within your Mac. Not only that, it’ll compile its findings based on file size to show you just how much space they’re demanding.

2. What is the app that finds large files on Mac?

One of the most reliable third-party apps that you can install onto your Mac, to help you see the largest files on Mac, is MacKeeper. Its built-in features, such as Safe Cleanup and Duplicate Finder enable Mac users to identify and manage large files easily. That way, you can easily optimize disk space and enhance system performance with little input needed, as MacKeeper can find and delete everything for you in a few clicks.

3. How do I sort all files by size on a Mac?

When it comes to sorting all of your files by size on a Mac, it can be easily accomplished using Finder. You can navigate to the folder you want to sort, click on the View menu in the menu bar, and select Show View Options. Then, enable the Calculate all sizes option. Now, when you view files in that folder, you can click on the Size column header to automatically sort all of your files by size.


You can go back through the relevant section of our guide to remind yourself of the entire process of sorting files and folders by size using Finder.

4. How do I find large hidden files on my Mac?

In addition to using Terminal commands to find hidden files on your Mac, you can also leverage Spotlight search to find hidden files. Just type in keywords like system files or hidden files here. Additionally, MacKeeper can scan your MacBook to detect and reveal any hidden system files, providing a convenient alternative to manually searching through your entire Mac directory.

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