Disk Aid - User Guide

Last Updated: Jun 16, 2017 09:17AM IST

Disk Aid, has been built from the ground up and optimized for the very best performance and disk space saving ability. Disk Aid will clean, optimize and protect your Mac, all whilst saving you up to several gigabytes of precious disk space. It is the only disk utility app that you need on your Mac to keep it running at its very best.

First Launch:

The app functions as a standalone app, and runs in its own window.

Upon the first and every subsequent launch, you will first be presented with a Dashboard menu, an example of which can be seen below. The Dashboard menu provides a quick and informative overview of your most important Mac system stats. It is perfect for glancing at your Mac’s statistics and to monitor its performance.

You will notice certain figures changing in real time. This will give you a highly accurate and current insight into your CPU, Memory, Battery Usage and more. The scrolling graph at the bottom shows you your Mac’s CPU load in real time. 

You can select the different and useful functions of the app on the column to the left of your app window, and please allow us to guide you through each of these below:

DISK CLEANER:

The Disk Cleaner menu allows you to free up tons of disk space by removing gigabytes of unneeded files from your hard drive. Here’s a quick step by step guide on how to best use this function.

When you first launch this mode, you are presented with a screen that aks for you to select your User folder. You have to give the Disk Cleaner function within Disk Aid access to your drive to be able to scan it. Click on the ‘Select User Folder’ button to be presented with a Folder Select  window to choose your User folder in order to run a full system scan. This folder should typically correspond to your name and be the only folder you can select on your screen. Hit the ‘Choose’ button on the bottom right hand corner of the Folder Select window that is on your screen.

 Performing a System Scan:
 
The Disk Cleaner mode will present an overview of the Free Space, Used Space and Total Capacity of the User folder you have selected, along with the percentage of your drive you have used up. Press the ‘Start Scan’ button to get Disk Cleaner right down to business and to see just what is taking up valuable space on your Mac. 

The scanning process can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes depending on the size of your drive and the nature of your drive (Solid State Drives scan faster than a normal Hard Drive).
 
Clearing up Space on your Mac:
 
We always recommend that you make a Time Machine back up (ideally on an external hard drive) before progressing forward with clearing the space-hogging and unneeded contents on your Mac. Here’s how: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1427
 
Once Disk Cleaner has performed a full scan, you will see a full overview of what is causing the clutter on your Mac, how much current space you have, how much can be freed up and what your new available disk space will be.

You can individually tick any of the available fields to select just how much to clear up. 
 
Click on the ‘i’ button next to each field in the results of the scan to get more information on what that particular field corresponds to. Click on the ‘Details’ button next to the fields that contain it to view exactly what content is being deleted, and whether you wish to keep it or not. Finally, click the ‘View’ button next to their corresponding fields to view that particular Folder and it’s contents. 

Hit the ‘Clean’ button to carry out the cleaning of your Mac’s contents. Once this is complete, the final screen you’ll be presented with will display how much space has been freed up, along with a breakdown of all the content that was cleared. You can then choose to Scan Again, explore Disk Aid’s other functions or quit the app if you wish.

DUPLICATE FINDER

The Duplicate Finder mode scans your Mac for duplicate files and folders. It then displays a list of exact matching duplicates (based on their SHA-1 hash), allowing you to easily select those that you wish to delete in order to free up precious disk space on your Mac.
 
When you select this mode, you are presented with a first-launch dialog box as follows:

Click on the ‘Start’ button to proceed forward and then click on ‘Add Folder’ and select a folder to scan for duplicates from the Folder Select window that appears. Once you have clicked on a folder, click the ‘Choose’ button on the bottom right corner of the Folder Select window. Alternatively, you can also drag and drop folders directly into the Duplicate Finder menu of Disk Aid at this stage to perform a scan on them.
 
Please note: When dragging and dropping folders to scan into the app, ensure you do not drag folders from the Finder sidebar - these include folders such as your Documents folder and other shortcut icons. These Finder sidebar folders are shortcuts, and not folders, and dragging them away from a Finder window deletes that shortcut, regardless of whether you drag it into the app or not.
 
Once you have selected the folder to be scanned, please click the ‘Start Scan’ button found on the bottom right corner of the app window. The scanning for duplicates shall now commence.

If you would like to compare duplicate files between folders, you can add multiple folders to the scan list and then tell Duplicate Finder to remove all duplicates from one of the two folders.

Scanning for Duplicate Files:

As a scan occurs, you will notice a progress bar in blue running towards the top of the app window. A folder containing a large number of files will take considerably more time to scan than a small folder. The progress bar will assure you that the app is still scanning and to kindly remain patient.
 
Scan Results Deleting Duplicate Files:
 
Once scanned, you are now presented with the option to individually or collectively delete the duplicate files found. By default, you are presented the ‘All’ file types view. You can sort documents by Folders, Images, Docs, Video, Audio, etc from the top grey bar. You can also use the search bar to individual locate a particular file or kind of file by name, and further sort search results by Size, Type, Name, Count, and Selected, in ascending or descending order.

Each file can be clicked on, and a Preview of the file is presented in the large right hand side column of the app window. You can click the magnifying glass to be taken to the exact location of this file on your Mac. 
 
Upon making your selections, click the ‘Next’ button to be presented with a final screen showing your selected duplicate files that are marked for deleting. Confirming this will delete this items and send them to your Trash (by default), showing you how much space has been freed up. You can then either Quit the app or Start Again to rescan.

Note: Do not tick all copies of a file for removal unless you wish to totally delete the file from your system. The auto-select button will delete all but one instance of the file (i.e. remove all duplicate copies and just keep the single original version).
 
Preferences:
 
When running the app, click on Cmd + , (command and comma) or hit the top left ‘Disk Aid' text from the menubar (next to the Apple logo), to enter the Preferences menu, as seen below:

In the Preferences menu under Duplicate Finder, you can choose toggle between ticking or not ticking files to be deleted to the Trash. By default, when a scan is done and selected files are marked for deletion, the Duplicate Finder mode then deletes them by moving them to the Trash. The Trash can then be emptied out according your needs, or the files can be housed in the Trash. However, by removing the tick from this option, when files are deleted via the app, they are not sent to the Trash and are instead permanently and irreversibly deleted.

You are presented with a few other options that allow for:

  1. The ability to create an alias when deleting duplicate files, which when enabled, creates a shortcut pointing to the original file when deleting duplicates.
  2. The ability to set a minimum file size to look for. Duplicate Finder will only scan files that size or larger.
  3. The ability to ignore certain file extensions. We have listed some by default, you can choose to add/delete to this list according to your preferences. 
  4. The ability to add certain folders listed by you that you do not wish Duplicate Finder to scan through.


DISK VIEW

The Disk View mode makes it very easy to visualize the files and folders that are cluttering up your storage drives. It enables you to quickly locate, delete or compress large files and folders on your hard drive and reclaim valuable space. 

When you launch the Disk View mode, you are presented with an initial screen as seen below:

Click on the ‘Start Button’ and on the next screen, click on ‘Select Folder’ to be presented with a Folder Select window to choose any folder in order to run a full system scan. Click on the folder of your choice and hit ‘Choose’. Upon doing so, hit the ‘Next’ button on the bottom right corner of your screen. You can also hit the ‘Clear Selection’ button to reselect a folder to scan.
 
Performing a Folder Scan:
 
Upon clicking ‘Next’, the app proceeds to perform a scan of the files within the selected folder. Once completed, the results are provided in a detailed tree map visual display of further files and folders within the scanned folder, as seen below.

Please note that the scanning process can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes depending on the size of the folder being scanned and the nature of your drive (Solid State Drives scan faster than a normal Hard Drive).

Viewing and Clearing Data:

You now have the option to individually view, compress or delete the files and folders that you see are taking up space on your Mac. The differing sizes of the squares/rectangles corresponds to the overall contributive size of each file/folder that is part of the scanned volume. You can right click on an individual file/folder and be presented with a small dialog box to compress/delete that particular item, or further to view it in Finder or even add it to Disk View’s ignore list so that it is not displayed in any scan in the future. 
 
You can click and select on the content in order to take the necessary action you wish to perform. However, in case you choose to delete a file or directory using the app, we always recommend that you make a Time Machine back up (ideally on an external hard drive) before progressing forward with clearing the space-hogging and unneeded contents on your Mac. Here’s how: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1427
 
Once you have performed the necessary actions that you wish to, you can click ‘Finish’ on the bottom right corner and this will complete your Disk View operation for this session. You will be presented with a screen showing how much space was freed up, if indeed you chose to delete contents from the scanned volume that you selected in this instance.

Preferences:

When the app is running, you can access the Preferences menu for the app from the top left corner of your Mac’s menubar, where it says Disk Aid. You can alternatively also hit Cmd + , (command and comma) when the app is running. 

On this screen, you will be presented with the ability to tick or untick options that allow you to customize the way in which files are deleted, whether immediately or otherwise, and whether or not you want them to be instantly deleted or routed first via your Trash. You can also choose to have the app show you hidden/system files and folders. You can select a minimum file size to scan for as well as select which file extensions and which folders to ignore.

Clicking on the Color Theme dropdown allows you to toggle between several different visually appealing color themes to have your tree map display presented in. Lastly, you can also include file extensions and folder that you wish to be ignored from appearing in the displayed results.

PRIVACY GUARD

The Privacy Guard module aims to effectively and securely get rid of files and data that may invade your privacy and act as potential threats to your Mac. You can use it to remove a host of sensitive information that can otherwise be used to track your activities. Specifically, it clears your cache files, cookies, browsing history, and more, all at the click of a button.

Upon running this mode for the first time, you’ll be asked to select you user folder. Simply click the ‘Select User Folder’ button and hit ‘Choose’ on the bottom right corner of the Folder Select window that appears. start your scan. Next, hit ‘Start Scan’ to begin scanning.

After your User folder has been selected and scanned, you will be presented with a screen showing the results of the scan, and where content can be deleted from using the app. 

Each of the results categories has a ‘Details’ button present where you can see a more in-depth look at what is being scanned and detected. Furthermore, there is a tick box that lets you choose whether or not you want Disk Aid’s Privacy Guard mode to take action on that particular field.
 
As a quick summary, this is what the app allows you to detect and delete:

  • Internet Browsers: Remove Caches, Cookies, History, Downloads, Forms, Recent Searches, Web Storage, Last Session Information and much more (Safari, Chrome, Firefox)
  • QuickTime Player: Remove Caches, Download Quarantine History, Recent Items
  • Finder: Remove Download Quarantine History, Recent Items
  • Preview: Remove Recent Items
  • Empty Mail Downloads
  • Remove Flash Cookies

Once you are satisfied by the selection of items you wish to delete, click the ‘Next’ button on the bottom right corner of the app window. At this point, you may see a prompt message appear, as shown below, which requests you to close certain apps before you can proceed. To Quit the app(s) shown, direct yourself to that app and hit Cmd + Q.

You will then proceed to the next stage where you will have a chance to review the items you have selected before going forth and deleting them. You can, at this stage, go back (‘Back’ button at bottom left of the app window) and modify your selections or press ‘Clean’ at the bottom right corner of the screen. It is always advisable to make a Time Machine backup of contents on your Mac before any intensive clearing and deleting of content.

Lastly, once you have selected ‘Clean’, the app will proceed to do the same and you will finally be presented with a results screen for how much low-level, high threat content was cleaned and how much space was saved.

Preferences:
 
When the app window is open, click Cmd + , (command and comma) or go to Disk Aid > Preferences > Privacy Guard from the top left corner of your menubar on top to open the Preferences menu within the app.

The Preferences panel allows you to choose whether or not you want to delete content regularly or with varying degrees of security.

Select the ‘Secure Delete’ checkbox if you wish to delete via a secure deletion process, whereby the more secure the method of deletion, the greater the cleaning time will increase. 
 
Use the slider bar to select one of three secure deletion levels (Low, Medium, High).

APP UNINSTALLER

The App Uninstaller mode is the best way to quickly and easily find applications and their associated files to remove, and thus free up valuable disk space on your Mac and improve its performance.

When you first launch this mode, you will notice that you will be presented with a launch screen as seen below. 

Please click the ‘Select Applications Folder’ button, and by default, your Applications folder will open up in a Folder Select window. Press the ‘Choose’ button on the bottom right corner. You will be returned to the main app window screen again where you can now begin scanning by hitting the ‘Start’ button.

Using the App:

Once the scan has occurred, you are presented with a results page of all the apps in your Mac’s Applications folder. You can see how much free space there currently is on your Mac, and how much free space will be freed. 

Next to each app seen on the list is a tick box to select the app for removal. You will also see the app’s full name, app icon, location, details and size. You can also use the search bar to quickly find an app by its name. Use the dropdown menu on the right hand upper middle section to sort files by size, name or selection, in an ascending or descending order.
 
The ‘Details’ button shows all the associated files of that app (including the plist and containers files and folders) that can also be removed. You have the ability to delete as you wish, in case you want to keep certain contents of an app rather than completely delete it.

Once you have selected the files you wish to delete, you will notice at the top of the app’s window the ‘Amount to be Freed’ information will populate, and you will also see the ‘New Free Space’ your Mac will have should you go forth with the deletion.

Please click ‘Next’ when you are satisfied by what you wish to delete. Note that you will be recommended to make a Time Machine back up before performing a clean, just to ensure you never lose data should you ever require it again in the future.
 
Once you have clicked ‘Next’, your selected content will be removed and you will see a result of the removal that took place. You can choose to scan again to remove any other applications you may want to.
 
Please note: App Uninstaller within Disk Aid cannot remove all applications completely due to sandbox restrictions. When this is the case, it will direct you to the specific file locations and allow you to manually remove any apps/files that it could not automatically delete on your behalf.

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