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OS X Lion Can Map Your Hard Drive Space Usage by File Type

System Profiler Adds the Ability to View Drive Space Usage

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OS X Lion Can Map Your Hard Drive Space Usage by File Type

The System Profiler displays volume data organized by data type.

OS X Lion has many new features. Some are easy to spot; others lurk within the system waiting for you to stumble upon them.

That's the case with Lion's ability to show you how much drive space is being used for specific file types. With just a click or two of the mouse or trackpad, you can see a graphical representation of the file types stored on your drives, and find out how much space each type of file is taking up.

At a glance, you can tell how much space is devoted to Audio Files, Movies, Photos, Apps, Backups, and Other. While the list of file types isn't long, it nevertheless lets you quickly see which type of data is hogging your storage space.

The system isn't perfect. I noticed that with my Time Machine backup drive, none of the files were listed as Backups; instead, they were all listed as Other.

There are also plenty of third-party utilities that do a much better job of displaying how various drives are organized. But for a quick overview, it's difficult to beat a free utility built into OS X Lion.

Accessing the OS X Lion Storage Map

The storage map is part of the System Profiler, and is easy to access.

  1. From the Apple menu, select About This Mac.

  2. In the About This Mac window that opens, click the More Info button.

  3. Select the Storage tab.

  4. Your drives will be listed, showing how they are partitioned, and what data types are on each of the volumes attached to your Mac.

This is Apple's first attempt at showing users how their storage devices are filling up with various data types. I suspect this storage view will increase in features with new releases of OS X.

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