The Changes Made to Disk Utility in El Capitan

El Capitan only introduced a handful of features, but one of the improvements that I have found has been in its Disk Utility.

The app effectively gives insights, stats, and critical pieces of information every Mac user wants to know about the goings-on in their computers. There have not been any dramatic changes in the past few operating systems, but everything changed in El Capitan. Some of these are awesome, while the others, not so: we’re sure a number of Mac users are already up in arms, lighting their torches and grabbing their pitchforks.

Jokes aside, here are some of the changes Apple made to the Disk Utility tool in OS X El Capitan.

No more Repair Permissions

Seriously, why did you remove it, Apple?

This Disk Utility feature in El Capitan is the initial step to troubleshoot something, from a USB drive failing, an app acting wonky, or an undetected printer. It’s scary how you wouldn’t be able to deal with any of these problems in the future, after all, it’s a textbook and a go-to method.

Before you despair because of your inability to repair, there is always a ray of hope: Apple says that system file permissions are protected and updated automatically. This means that Repair Permissions are no longer “necessary”. This is a good thing, especially for Mac users who are not well-versed in the art of troubleshooting.

Regardless, it’s guaranteed to make long-time Mac users who have been using it to fix their bug-related woes cringe.

It’s prettier

Disk Utility’s interface has also been overhauled and this time, it’s for the better. When you launch the tool, it shows you a pretty display depicting how much your storage is eaten up by various files, these include:

  • The Apps, which are highlighted by the color blue.
  • Photos, which are in red.
  • Audio, AKA your music files in orange.
  • Movies or video files in green.
  • “Other” which is represented by the color yellow.
  • Finally, the space you have available, which is in white.

This provides users a quick and intuitive look at how much storage space their Mac contains. It’s easier to understand compared to plain numbers and is a much-needed upgrade compared to its past editions. The interface is the epitome of straightforwardness and efficiency.

Its five tools are also displayed clearly on its title bar, namely First Aid, Partition, Erase, Unmount, and Info.

No more Burn Out

If Disk Utility is your go-to tool when burning CDs and DVDs (which is only holds true to a selected few), you will need to find another program – this capability has been removed. This is in response to a slew of Macs losing their CD drives, particularly MacBooks which are starting to get thinner by the year.

First Aid

This feature also changed, given that Disk Utility can no longer verify disks. This in turn makes sure that it is ok without unmounting it to perform other tasks. First Aid has to unmount the drive first before you work on the whole thing, or else you will receive an error message. Once you click Show Details, you will then see what is happening within the system, same with its predecessor.

RAID Removal

Unfortunately, Apple has removed RAID, or Redundant Array of Independent Disks, which are mainly used to optimize storage performance in case of a disk failure. This means that Apple eliminated the Disk Utility’s ability to support multi-disk arrays from within the app. You will now need to run third-party applications to get things done.

Managing Disk Images

There are only a few changes in handling Disk Images, but there’s one glaring difference in El Capitan: you can no longer drag them from the Finder to into the Disk Utilities Drive. You will need to select them from File then Open Disk Image to select the file in order to bring it into management.

Copying has also become more complicated as well. You will need to select a mounted a disk image you’ve added then select Edit then Restore. After which, select the source you wish to overwrite the item, whether it’s a mounted volume or a disk image.


Overall, the changes in Disk Utility are not pretty significant, but are guaranteed to help you deal with the issues arising from your Mac. Some features may have become more convenient, but remember: Apple is always working on fixes and user feedback: we might see the guys at Cupertino backtrack from their initial changes.

Regardless, we can’t do anything with whatever they put on our Macs, but rest assured we will find a way to adjust and go around the changes they implemented.

Do you have any trouble with the changes in the new Disk Utility in OS X El Capitan? Tell us in the comments!

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