How to find large file size on Mac OS X

In this tutorial, we show you two ways to find large files on Mac OS X.

  1. Built-in search tools
  2. Find command

1. Search Tools

To open the search tools, do following :

  1. Mac OS X Desktop, run Finder.
  2. Press Command+F to open “Search Tools” (it also can be located from menu -> File -> Find).
  3. Click on “Kind” filter and select “Other” -> “File Size”.
  4. Select the rest of the filter and find it.
search tools in mac os x

2. Find Command

For advance user, they may prefer find command. Open terminal and run following command :

sudo find / -type f -size +100000k -exec ls -lh {} \; | awk '{ print $9 ": " $5 }' 

Result – Find all files that have a size >= 100MB

/Applications/Diablo: 2.3G
/Applications/Diablo: 203M
/Applications/Diablo: 978M
/Applications/Diablo: 1.4G
/Applications/Diablo: 1.3G
/Applications/Diablo: 1.5G
/Applications/ 242M


  1. Find command

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Shaun ColekidpixoChris Donnelly Recent comment authors
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Chris Donnelly
Chris Donnelly

2. is wrong. Can’t have multiple files called Diablo. Results look incorrect. Seems to show directories sizes instead of file sizes in that directory


Mac bundled sort cannot handle ls -l human readable size (1GB). You should install gnu_tools via macport/homebrew and use gsort -h. I ended up with:
$ find . -type f -size +50000k -exec ls -lh {} \; | awk ‘{ print $5 “: ” $9 }’ | gsort -hr | head -2 | column -s”:” -t


column is only for nice formatting, and I like to see the size first.

Shaun Cole
Shaun Cole

I figured out how to use the above but fix the “Diablo” problem. Looks like awk is using spaces to identify when it’s a new “column.” You can get around this by adding additional “columns.” Here I’ve swapped the size and the filename columns so the file size is first. I also replaced the semicolon with a comma. Finally – exporting it to a file. Supports about 30 spaces in the directory+filename output. sudo find /Volumes/directory -type f -size +100M -exec ls -lh {} \; | awk ‘{ print $5 “,” $9 ” ” $10 ” ” $11 ” ”… Read more »

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