Find Data Transfer Speed On Mac OS X

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Whenever we transfer files or folders on Mac OS X, we just get the time, it will take to complete the transfer. But on Windows, we also get the transfer speed. In order to get the transfer speed of data being transferred from one drive to another, we need to make use of a command in Terminal. This trick will give more textual facts rather than graphical facts.


  1. Open Terminal
  2. Type in the following command…
  3. rsync -a --progress --stats --human-readable

  4. After typing in the above command, we need to specify the file to be transferred and the destination where we want the file to be transferred. Both the locations will be specified in single or double quotes.
  5. To find the source location, just locate the file and right click on it. Then select Get Info. Copy the location. Note this won’t be the entire location, you need to know the volume in which this file is stored.
  6. rsync -a --progress --stats --human-readable "SOURCE_LOCATION" "DESTINATION_LOCATION"

    A good example of this will be,

    rsync -a --progress --stats --human-readable "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/nayan/Downloads/rpi.img" "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/nayan/Desktop"

    Why am I specifying /Volumes/??? Just incase, it so happens that the file I want to transfer is not in the Macintosh HD, but it is in some other volume, then I need to specify the Volume name. Hence its a good practice to specify the Volume name.

  7. Once the command is written, press enter and you should get details such as, amount of data transferred in size and percentage, speed of transfer and time required to transfer. Once the transfer is complete, you will get entire summary of transfer which will contain information such as number of files transferred, average speed, etc.
Data Transfer Speed OS X Example

Data Transfer Speed OS X Example

The above method has some drawbacks. We cannot find the transfer speed of folders which we want to transfer. For that we need to zip the entire folder and perform the trick but that is too complicated. So to simplify the process, I have written a simple AppleScript application, which will allow you to find the transfer speed of file or folder through a Graphical User Interface. Watch the video embedded in the beginning of the post for the procedure, to use the application.

The application can be downloaded here,


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