[Important update] DaisyDisk 4.10 adds support of APFS Snapshots

Ever since macOS Catalina was introduced, many Mac users noticed that their disks eventually get full without obvious reason. A quick scan in DaisyDisk typically reveals a big chunk of “hidden space“, which means the system is using more disk space than it’s possible to reveal by scanning, even with elevated permissions (scanning “as Administrator”).

The reason for this problem is that macOS is making temporary backups of the system, so called local snapshots, temporarily locking big amounts of disk space in an area of the disk that is fully opaque to the users. Eventually when the snapshots get transferred to the permanent storage, such as the Time Capsule, or as the snapshots become too old and get replaced by newer ones, macOS releases the disk space. However, the backup process is continuous and therefore there is always a certain amount of disk space that is locked by macOS for the snapshots.

This is how macOS Catalina works and it’s not supposed to even be a problem or require any maintenance from the user. However, in certain cases, you just need to free up the space urgently, and it’s quite confusing that you don’t have control over a big chunk of your disk.

Thankfully, the new version of DaisyDisk (4.10) is making it much easier to reveal the macOS’ hidden space, and for the part that cannot be revealed – understand its internal structure and even provide tools to reclaim it by demand.

In particular, the new DaisyDisk cuts down the amount of hidden space by revealing some obscure system items such as non-linked content of the “firmlinked” Data volume (under /System/Volumes/Data), the virtual memory volume (under /private/var/VM) and some other.

Besides, DaisyDisk now shows a breakdown of the hidden space that includes the following items:

  • Purgeable space. (You can also see it in Finder and Disk Utility when you inquire info for a disk). This is an amount of disk space, as calculated by macOS itself, which includes the snapshots too. You can forcedly purge this space by deleting it in DaisyDisk.
  • [NEW] Snapshots. This is a list of the temporary snapshots, with their estimated sizes. You can forcedly delete any or all of them in DaisyDisk, with a simple drag-and-drop, as you’d do with regular files.
  • Other volumes. This is the remainder of the system volumes that are used internally by macOS.

All in all, the new DaisyDisk is making a huge step to return you understanding and control of your disk on macOS Catalina, and probably provides the most exhaustive and informative view of your disk compared to any other disk utility.

The update is free of charge of the existing users. You can download it here. The full change log is here.

Tags: Updates

DaisyDisk 4.9 improves discovery of hidden space on macOS Catalina

In DaisyDisk 4.9 we have improved discovery of the hidden space on macOS Catalina by including the following items into the scan report:

  • Non-firmlinked items of the Data volume in /System/Volumes/Data,
  • Virtual Memory volume in /private/var/VM,
  • Recovery and Preboot volumes (when they are mounted) in /Volumes/Recovery and /Volumes/Preboot.

Among other additions:

  • Updated the safety rules to allow deletion of some non-critical files in /private folder.
  • Added support of FUSE-mounted drives.
  • Minor improvements and bug fixes.

Full change log is here.

Tags: Updates

Just released: DaisyDisk 4.8 adds support for the upcoming macOS Catalina

DaisyDisk 4.8 both stand-alone and Mac App Store versions are now live.

What’s new:

  • Support for macOS Catalina.
  • Apple notarization for additional security.
  • Bug fixes and tweaks.

To update, use Check for Updates menu command from within the app, or download the new version from here.

Full change log here.

DaisyDisk 4.7 removes purgeable space better, adds more support for macOS Mojave

DaisyDisk 4.7.2 both stand-alone and Mac App Store versions are now live.

What’s new:

  • Significantly improved robustness of reclaiming the “purgeable space”.
  • Added a preference tab to help users add DaisyDisk to the “Full Disk Access” list in System Preferences, when necessary (macOS Mojave or newer).
  • Fixed bugs and compliance issues.

To update, use Check for Updates menu command from within the app, or download the new version from here.

Full change log here.

Tags: Updates

How to Free Up Space on iPhone

People often ask us whether there is a DaisyDisk app for iOS.

Unfortunately, the answer is No.

It’s technically impossible to build an app like DaisyDisk for iOS, because all apps on iPhone are sandboxed. This means – they can only scan their own folder, and the rest of the iPhone storage is inaccessible to them.

Nevertheless, there are still some tips & tricks that will help you free up your iPhone’s storage. Read on!

1. Find out what’s eating your iPhone’s memory

It’s hard to keep track of everything that takes up your iPhone’s space. Countless old photos & videos, music you don’t listen to anymore, cache from social networks… what else?

All these files waste your memory storage. When the storage runs low, your iPhone has to work harder than usual. Therefore, the overall performance is slowed down and your battery drains faster. So how can you clear up your storage and, at the same time, help your iPhone’s battery live longer?

The first step – find out what’s eating your iPhone’s space. In your iPhone Settings > General > Storage, you can see how much of your memory is filled by apps, media etc. This will help you decide what files are useless. You can also look up the same info in your iTunes settings.

2. Get rid of the unneeded files

There are surely unnecessary apps, old photos & videos (if they’re already uploaded onto iCloud) or other data on your iPhone. Still have Temple Run, seriously? You haven’t been playing it for ages!

Spend some time to look through all the photos and videos on your iPhone. Undoubtedly, there are some blurry and bad photos, “damn, it’s a video!” records and so on. Why should they waste your iPhone space?

Three months ago you downloaded and watched a 3-hour-long movie? I think, it’s definitely time to remove it!

*a small life hack*
If you take HDR photos, why save the original ones, which are worse? You can remove this option by unselecting “Keep Normal Photo” in Photos & Camera Settings.

3. Resurrect the Legacy

Many people hold massive music collections on an iPhone. But the truth is – devices like iPods are better equipped for music listening.

Remember how much space can an iPod have? They’re able to keep hundreds of GBs of music. What’s more, some models support even movies and photos.

By the way, to put music on iPod, you can use WALTR, a handy app created by our friends at Softorino. (The company specializes in iOS-to-Mac technologies and own a bunch of cool apps in this area.) All you need to do is to launch WALTR and just drag and drop your music files to your iPod. Ta-dah.

Your little gadget will come back to life and you’ll have a lot of free iPhone memory!

4. Filter messages, notes & cache

You can clear old notes & contacts as they also take your phone memory.

In your Settings, look for Keep Messages option. There, you’ll be able to delete all the messages that include media. You can remove all messages that you’ve received last year or during the previous month. Or forever. 👾

Speaking about messages… don’t forget about your mail! You can, for example, clear Spam folder, unsubscribe from irrelevant websites etc. you can also clear Sent or Inbox messages if you’re sure there’s nothing important.

If you’re an avid user of various messengers like Viber, WhatsApp or Telegram, clear your cached chats and media that are no longer useful. You may not notice this, but it takes substantial part of your iPhone storage.

5. Use iCloud!

You’re always free to move all the stuff you might need to your iCloud storage. You’ve run out of memory even there? Either delete something or simply buy more space.


There’s no difficulty in clearing your iPhone storage! It may be time-consuming, but it’s worth doing once in a blue moon. :)

DaisyDisk 4.6 Adds Italian Language, Fixes Bugs

DaisyDisk 4.6 both stand-alone and Mac App Store versions are now live.

Finally, we’ve re-added the Italian language! 🇮🇹

Besides, there’s a bunch of small fixes and tweaks.

Full change log here.

Tags: Updates

Top 5 questions about APFS and macOS High Sierra asked by Mac users

The new Apple File System (APFS) was one of the most important and exciting changes introduced in macOS High Sierra. However, with all its new power, APFS also brought a number of new questions for Mac users, which we see asked in numerous online forums and in support tickets that we receive.

Here at DaisyDisk team, we took APFS very seriously and spent a lot of time researching into the new file system. APFS is still quite scarcely documented, and many nuances could only be discovered by trial and error. We even had to reach out to Apple engineers for the most difficult bits.

And finally, we have implemented all our findings in DaisyDisk, releasing the new version 4.5 (free update for existing users).

Most questions people ask about APFS are in fact caused by the so called “local snapshots of Time Machine”.

Time Machine is a great backup utility built in macOS. Every hour or so it takes a “snapshot” of your entire disk and stores it locally, i.e. on the same disk. Later the snapshots are copied to an external permanent storage, such as NAS, and eventually deleted from the local disk.

Note that unlike the external backup, local snapshot is not an actual copy of data, but rather a catalog of changes since the last snapshot. So if you don’t make sizeable changes to your data, new local snapshots do not take additional disk space. But if you do make significant changes, such as when you delete a big file, the snapshot grows by the corresponding amount.

The space occupied by local snapshots is also called “purgeable”. When the snapshots grow too big or become older than 24 hours, or apps demand more space, macOS quickly deletes them and reclaims the purgeable space. The whole process is automatic, no user action is required.

However, sometimes the local snapshots become a problem and a source of questions for Mac users. Namely:

Question #1: Mysteriously disappearing disk space

Suppose you want to backup your iPhone to iTunes, or create a new disk image with Disk Utility, but suddenly you can’t, because the app reports insufficient free space on disk. This is confusing, because Finder on the other hand displays quite a lot of “available space”. This happens because Finder counts the local snapshots of Time Machine toward the available space, assuming that they can be reclaimed quickly upon demand. However if an app checks the amount of ACTUALLY free space, BEFORE the operation – which seems the case – then it fails, and you cannot proceed until you somehow remove the local snapshots.

Question #2: Deleting files doesn’t produce free space, or at least not immediately

You notice that despite you have deleted tens of GBs of files, the disk’s free space hasn’t grown at all. This happens because Time Machine moves your files to the local snapshots, so the space is not physically freed until the snapshots are deleted. This will eventually happen automatically, but what if you need the space NOW?

Question #3: System taking too much space on macOS High Sierra

Wondering what’s taking up your disk space, you open About This Mac > Storage and see that the yellow “System” segment appears unrealistically large – tens of GBs, or up to 80% of your disk. This is because on macOS High Sierra, this System segment is not only a catch-all category for the system files, but also includes the “purgeable space”, i.e. the local snapshots. This is neither obvious nor useful when you need to free up space.

Question #4: How can I remove local snapshots of Time Machine? And where they are located?

In certain circumstances you may need to forcedly remove the local snapshots of Time Machine, to make room for a more important operation. However, macOS doesn’t seem to provide an obvious way to do it. Unlike in previous macOS versions, the content of local snapshots in APFS is entirely unreachable to the user, even if you search with raised access permissions. The APFS snapshots are like dark matter on your disk – you know it’s there, but can’t see the files. The only way to view and delete the snapshots (beside DaisyDisk ;) is to use the tmutil command-line tool in Terminal.

Question #5: Why Apple had to make things so complicated?

Some people dislike the fact that APFS impudently takes control over their disk space, as if it knows better what the user needs. We’ve asked Apple engineers regarding this. They see the free disk space as a resource that is otherwise underused. Why, they ask, you’d want to have most of your disk stay empty most of the time and not utilized for something useful? With APFS and its instant snapshots, the free disk space can now be used for temporary backups, which adds a layer of safety for your data, almost free of charge, of course as long as it “just works”.

How DaisyDisk helps solve these problems

DaisyDisk scans your entire disk and builds a size-oriented map of your files and folders. It can reach even restricted and system folders by scanning with raised access permission. The remaining used space, if any, DaisyDisk displays as well, labeling it as “hidden space”. The latter is useful to detect “dark matter” on your disk, such as the local snapshots of Time Machine. Starting with the recently released version 4.5, DaisyDisk can additionally single out the “purgeable space”, i.e. the local snapshots, displayed under the “hidden space”. In addition, you can forcedly delete that purgeable space by a simple drag-and-drop, as you’d delete a regular file in DaisyDisk.

DaisyDisk 4.5 Officially Released

Now it’s official: the long awaited DaisyDisk 4.5 is finally out!

It’s an important update, that took us a long time to research and develop. The main new feature — the extended support of the new Apple File System (APFS) and addressing the top questions about macOS High Sierra and APFS that we have received.

Download the new version

What’s new:

  • Extended support of the new Apple File System (APFS) on macOS High Sierra, in particular:
  • You can now see the “purgeable space” — the disk space taken by the local snapshots of Time Machine and other caches, which cannot be scanned, but can now be identified inside the “hidden space”.
  • And you can now reclaim that “purgeable space”.
  • Added display of the “free space” in the right sidebar list, along with the estimation of available space, that is, “free + purgeable”.
  • Added display of the space taken by “other volumes” in the same APFS container, inside the “hidden space”.
  • Lots of bugs fixed.

Please upgrade by downloading the new version from our website, or by using Check for Updates… menu command from within the app.

The updated user manual can be found here.

Tags: Updates

DaisyDisk 4.5 Beta is now public, adds support of APFS and macOS High Sierra

DaisyDisk 4.5 beta has been released, please download here.

This update adds full support of APFS and macOS High Sierra.

Full change log here.

Your feedback and bug reports would be appreciated!

Tags: Updates

Today DaisyDisk turns 8!

8 years ago, on March 13, 2009, the very first copy of DaisyDisk v.1 was sold, so today can be called the official birthday of DaisyDisk!

It have been a really stunning 8 years. Four major version releases, three Apple’s “Best of Mac App Store” awards, recognition by industry’s media in over 450 reviews, lots of happy customers.

To celebrate this anniversary, the price suddenly goes down by 50% for 24 hours 😉🎂

Tags: History