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Mac Storage: Check Space Usage and Available Storage

Updated on Monday, April 8, 2024

iBoysoft author Ciki Liu

Written by

Ciki Liu
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


Everything You Need to Know about Mac Storage 

Summary: Want to know what's taking up your Mac storage? Read this post to know commonly seen storage categories on Mac, plus three quick methods to check used and available storage.

how to check storage on Mac

People check the storage on Mac for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, you just want to see what's occupying your Mac. It's also possible that you want to check the available storage on your Mac before downloading large files. Or, you are warned with the message saying 'Your start-up disk is almost full'.

No matter which scenario you are meeting up with, this post will give a clear explanation of your Mac space usage and all possible ways to check used and available storage on Mac

Table of Contents:

Access Mac storage usage 

Apple offers multiple storage choices for users with different needs, 256GB, 512GB, and larger ones. No matter which size you choose, you can clearly have an overview of your Mac space usage via About This Mac. 

Step 1. Navigate to the Apple menu located at the top-left corner of your screen. Click on the first option, About This Mac. 

Step 2. Five sections are shown in the pop-up panel. Click on Storage and wait for your Mac to calculate.

check storage in about this Mac

Step 3. You should see different colors of blocks stacked in the storage bar graph, with each color presenting a single category. Hover on each block to see what it represents. Apps, macOS, system data, and the available storage on your Mac hard drive.

Step 4. For a more detailed look at the space that each section takes up, click on Manage for a full breakdown.

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Understanding Mac storage usage

While Mac space usage varies from case to case, your Mac storage contains the following categories in general.

Apps. All built-in and downloaded applications and exe. files will be stored in this category, including the /Applications directory.

Audio. All music and audio files, including iTunes songs and music creations from GarageBand, will be saved in this category.

Photos. This category contains all images that are either saved locally, imported from your iPhone or Camera, or digitally created from third-party applications.

System Data. Go to the System and Library folder in your Macintosh HD to see what's making up the System Data.

Other. The Other storage on Mac contains files that don't fit into any standard categories, say, Apps, Photos, and Audio. With cache, temp files, and other junk files filling in the category, Other can take up large storage spaces on your Mac.

Free space. The transparent block on your Mac storage represents the available space that can be used. 

Ways to see used and available storage on Mac

Although Apple doesn't show the Mac storage in a direct way, it's actually quite an easy job to check how much used and available storage is on your Mac. Apart from accessing Mac storage via About This Mac, here list two more ways to see used and unused storage space on your Mac.

Option 1. Check Mac space usage via Disk Utility

Step 1. Click on Finder on the left side of Mac Dock and go to Applications. Find and open Disk Utility in the Utilities folder. 

Step 2. Disk Utility will show the status of all detected drives on Mac. For system storage, click on the Macintosh HD volume. Here, you can see used, other, and free storage space with clear megabytes or gigabytes.

check Mac storage in Disk Utility

Option 2. Check storage on Mac by getting info in Finder

Step 1. Launch Finder from the Dock or from the Applications folder.

Step 2. Under Locations, right-click on the Macintosh HD volume. In the drop-down context menu, choose Get Info. 

A long list of information will appear. You can find the whole capacity, available space, and used bytes from the list. 

Problem solved? Share the methods with more people to help them check Mac storage.



Interested in what's taking up your Mac storage? This post explains commonly seen categories in your Mac storage bar, plus three ways to check used and available storage on your Mac.

FAQs about storage on Mac


Too many outdated files, old logs, system caches, and redundant apps no longer in use can result in your Mac running low on storage.


To free up space on your Mac, you can first optimize your Mac storage with macOS built-in tools. Then uninstall unused apps, remove duplicate files, and clear browser caches.


While there are different storage sizes to choose from, all Mac devices come with base storage of 256GB.