Mac Application Review: WhatSize by ID-Design, Inc

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WhatSize is a useful Mac utility from ID-Design that lets you see what files are taking up the most space on your hard drive. It allows you to scan the entire drive or select folders to see how much space certain files are taking up. Results of the scan can be viewed as an outline, in a browser similar to the Finder, and in a pie chart.

In addition to measuring the contents of your drive, WhatSize also includes tools to remove certain types of files to maximize your Mac’s free hard drive space. These tools include the DeLocalizer that removes unused language support files installed as part of the operating system and Lipo Suction that removes binary files for users on Intel based Macs not needing universal binary support.

Installation and Ease of Use (4 out of 5)

WhatSize can be downloaded from the ID-Design website as a free or paid download. The free version allows for scanning of folders up to 20GB and does not allow for scanning as an administrator. The paid version of WhatSize is $12.99 and allows for scanning of entire drives and the use of tools such as the DeLocalizer and Lipo Suction. Installation of WhatSize is quick and easy and will allow most users to get up and running quickly.

Upon launching WhatSize, you are greeted with a simple and intuitive user interface. Clicking on a drive or folder on the left hand side automatically starts a scan of the drive or folder. To see the results in a different view, simply click the desired view at the top menu bar. My preference is to move through the browser view as it most closely resembles the Finder in OS X.

Value and Usefulness (3 out of 5)

As hard drive space quickly increase, programs like WhatSize may not be useful for those with little concern about running low on storage. Users most likely to find WhatSize useful will be notebook users with limited storage capacity, especially those with solid state drives built into a MacBook Air. For these users, $12.99 for the paid version of WhatSize is probably a good value.

In my opinion, the free version of WhatSize has very limited use since the best thing about this application is the ability to see what is taking up space on an entire drive. Being able to only scan folders with less than 20GB of data simply does not make for a very useful utility. If you are concerned about getting the most out of you hard drive space, the paid version of WhatSize with added functionality is worth the purchase price. For everyone else, I recommend trying the free version to see if this will be an application you will use before upgrading to the paid version.

WhatSize Screenshots from ID-Design Website


Pie chart view