Keeping Your Disks Tidy with Broom

If you have a small amount of storage in your computer, then you know what it feels like to constantly be running out of space and having to sacrifice certain files and documents in order to give space to new apps and other things. Have you ever wonder just where on earth all your precious space is going?

Today we’re presenting you an app that can help you easily find huge files that are hogging up all your space, maybe without you even knowing it. It’s a useful little tool for finding files by size in your storage disks called Broom, but that’s not all it does. Want to check it out?

Broom

Broom

Broom

Broom is the ultimate helper for your storage disks. Not only can it help you clean up your caches, trashes and other useless files, but it can also help you find the folders and files that are taking up a lot of space without you knowing it.

Broom goes for $2.99 on the App Store. It has two running modes: a menu bar mode, which will always be ready to alert you on the state of your disks, and a stand alone mode that will run only when you call it, with a few more options for you to explore. That’s where all the action is.

Standalone Window

Standalone

Standalone

The standalone mode of Broom is the default one, and the one that will be brought up when you try to configure the menu bar mode. It can help you find big files and folders, as well as automatically delete folders used by apps for keeping things that might not be in use anymore. Let’s get deeper into them…

Places

Places

Places

The “Places” submenu can be found in the toolbar of the app, and it holds all the default go-to places for quickly freeing up space, such as the trashes, logs, downloads and caches. Broom will automatically calculate the size of each of them everytime you run the app, giving you the option to clear them in a very easy manner.

Each of the places you can clean is very well explained to the user, but it might be useful to understand them better in order to know what you are deleting. Trash will evidently clear your “Trash” folder, same as “Downloads” with its respective folder. Caches are files that apps use to speed up things, but they might not always contain super necessary stuff and they don’t always get properly deleted. Logs are files that contain information of what you’ve done in certain apps, and they can sometimes get pretty big. But, Caches can help your apps run a bit speedier in some instances, and logs are nice to have around if there’s errors you need to report. So, you won’t want to clean out either of these too often.

The Places feature is similar to what CleanMyMac or any similar app might do: you just select the category or folder that you’d like to clean, press the “Remove” button, and that’s about it. But this app goes much deeper than that.

Folders & Files

Folders & Files

Folders & Files

What initially jumped to my attention about this app is that it can tell you specifically where all your hard drive space is going, by finding the largest folders and files in your computer. This is a pretty customizable feature, as you can choose to search for either folders or files, and then filter the results through the buttons on the toolbar that specify the sizes of the files found. These range from 100-10MB, 1GB-100MB, 10-1GB, and more than 100 GB.

Searching might take a while, but Broom will sweep through every single place in your computer to find what you told it to. Once you find a potential target for deletion, you can then double click it in the app, and it will be brought up in the Finder for further inspection of yours or deletion. Broom itself won’t do anything with your folders and files, other than find them and bring them up in the Finder.

Menu Bar Mode

Menu bar

Menu bar

Menu bar mode won’t make things a lot more different for the app, but it’s a nice little extra. If you set it up, the app will restart and run as a menubar icon, which will display a bar graph of your free and used space. You can also set a usage percentage at which the app shall notify you of when it’s reached. That’s about it, the only other thing it will do is give you a quick acess button to access the main window of the app.

What It’s Useful For

If you have a mess in your storage disk like I do, and you have no idea where all your space is going, Broom will be of huge help to you. My hard drive has gone through so many backups, restores, OS migrations, partitions, and other terrible stuff, that I honestly have no idea what some files are doing in my hard drive disk. Broom helped me find folders that I had no idea were in my disk, especially the super-big ones.

That’s not to say that Broom will not be useful to you if you are a tidy, responsable person. Broom can also be useful to find files that “magically” take up space without you knowing it, and to find out which files are taking more space than you thought. For example, I found a folder called MobileSync with Broom that took up almost 20 gigabytes out of my 250 GB HDD. Upon further research, I discovered that it is used by iTunes to keep backups of your connected iOS devices. But 20 GB, seriously? I then went into iTunes and found a bunch of old backups for devices that I don’t even own anymore.

Be careful deleting any folder that you find through Broom. Some might contain important information relating to your apps or settings, as well as sensitive information. For example, I didn’t go and delete my entire MobileSync folder, I only deleted the backups I didn’t need directly from iTunes.

Conclusion

Broom is kind of split into two different apps: it searches and organizes files and folders in your disk like OmniDiskSweeper and DaisyDisk would, but it also automatically cleans caches and logs like CleanMyMac would. It might not give you as many options as CleanMyMac would for cleaning unused files, or give you nice graphs of what’s going on in your disk like DaisyDisk would, but for $2.99 I think it’s a nice middle point.

If you’re constantly running out of disk space and have no idea where your precious storage space is going, then you should give Broom a try. I found it pretty easy and fast to use, and much more convenient than hunting for huge files in the Finder. And with SSDs being standard on most new Macs, storage space is at a premium more than ever.


Summary

Broom is an app that can help you easily find the biggest files and folders in your storage disk, as well as clean files that may no longer be in use like caches, logs and trashes.

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  • http://iynque.com iynque

    Disk Inventory X is still completely free and still better than Broom, Daisy Disk, etc.

    It shows you all of your files all at once in a graphic display that’s easy to read. You can see the whole folder structure right down to individual files, but in such a way that it all still makes perfect sense despite the large amount of information. Information design at its best!

    Broom does clean unnecessary files, which Disk Inventory X doesn’t do, but you can easily delete those yourself, or use another completely free app like Onyx to automatically clean them all up just as easily, and $2.99 richer.

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