How to Free Up Hard Disk Space with Squeeze

Squeeze for Mac is a delightfully simple way to regain hard drive space on your computer. You don’t need to be a tech genius or even understand file compression to use it – everything is remarkably simple.

As long as you have the ability to click and drag, and like the idea of gaining a few gigabytes of storage, Squeeze may well for you. Let’s take a look at how it works.

The Basics

Squeeze is a preference panel, not an application, so after installation pop open System Preferences and look in the “Other” category to find it.


Look in System Preferences near the bottom

Next, make a quick stop over at the “General” tab to see your basic options. Here you’ll want to make sure the big switch is turned to “ON” and the “Check for updates automatically” option is checked. You can also choose to activate the menu bar icon if you wish.


General Options

The menu bar icon will animate when Squeeze is working on a compression. Clicking on the icon shows you how much space you’ve saved by using Squeeze and what the current status is, along with the option to pause the compression process.


Menu Bar Icon

Squeeze can be battery intensive so it automatically pauses if you’re on a MacBook and disconnect your power cord. It will resume right where it left off when you reconnect to a power supply.

How to Use Squeeze

As I said above, using Squeeze couldn’t be simpler and only requires that you drag and drop. First, find a folder that is quite large and eating up space on your hard drive. Next, drag that folder to the list under the “Folders” tab in the Squeeze window.


Dragging a Folder into Squeeze

You should see a little circle icon indicating the progress of the compression. When the operation is complete, this will turn into a checkmark and the number to the right will inform you of how much space you’ve just saved. It’s that easy!


Watch for the Animated Progress Icon

You can drag as many folders as you’d like or just grab your entire hard drive and throw it in. Squeeze will keep a list of folders that it has compressed along with a running tally of total space saved. You can add and take away from the list at any time.


Worried that Squeeze might somehow mess with your important files? No problem, just head over to the exclusions tab and toss in anything you don’t want to be compressed.


Excluding Files from Compression

Here you can add specific folders or set up general rules for file extensions that you don’t want Squeeze to affect. You can also drag a folder that has already been compressed to the area at the bottom of the window and it will decompress it for you, undoing any of Squeeze’s effects.

By default, your Library, System folder, and a handful of extensions are set to be excluded.

That’s It!?

Yep, that’s really all you have to do for Squeeze to start saving you space. It really only does one thing, but it does it exceptionally well and without a hitch.

The built-in failsafes and exclusion options should be enough to ease any fears you have of unintentionally messing up something important. I’ve placed a good portion of my hard drive into Squeeze and have experienced zero negative effects as a result.

You can also still send these files to Mac users with Leopard or Tiger and they will work without any problems on the older systems.

How Much Will I Save?

So far I’ve saved saved nearly 11GB of space! As you experiment, you’ll find that some types of files can be compressed more than others. For instance, if you have a folder with tons of JPGs, you might gain back a few MBs of space. However, if you toss in your Applications folder, prepare to see the gigs roll in (I saved nearly 8GB alone here!).

How Does It Work?

Squeeze utilizes a new technology built into Snow Leopard called HFS-compression. This new way to compress files leaves them perfectly intact and allows OS X to read them just like any other file. The only difference is that the file will take up less space on your hard drive.

What Squeeze does is to provide a visual interface and some extended options to this compression method. You can actually begin compressing your files right now without Squeeze, but it takes a little bit of nerdery. According to Mac OS X Hints, “all you should usually need to do is type ditto –hfsCompression [src] [dst] into the Terminal, replacing [src] with the path to the source file/directory, and [dst] with the path to the destination file/directory.”

This method is neither as simple nor as versatile as using Squeeze but may provide techies with enough options to forgo dropping $12.95 on Squeeze.

More from LateNiteSoft

If you like Squeeze, you should definitely check out the other applications available from the Mac developer LateNightSoft.




Xslimmer is a friendly way to right-size your apps without losing functionality. It saves space by removing unnecessary code and stripping out unneeded languages.


Squeeze is one of the easiest ways to recover hard drive space on your Mac. By using a new Snow Leopard file compression system, you can reduce file sizes without losing functionality or compatibility.

If you have a huge drive and aren’t going to run out of space any time soon, it’s hard to justify the $13 expense. However, if you have a MacBook or Mac mini and could really use a few extra GBs, Squeeze is worth every penny.


Squeeze is a background file compressor for Snow Leopard that transparently compresses the folders you configure it to process. OS X is still able to read those files normally, they will just take less disk space!