It can be shocking, but it still happens more regularly than you’d like: you see a pop-up window that tells you that you’re running low on hard drive space. How did this happen? What folders are hiding the most junk? What should you delete so you can make more room for that really huge new game you want to download? It can be tricky to figure that out on your own, but fortunately Windows users can download WinDirStat, a free utility that scans your hard drive and tells you what’s taking up the most room.
It’s simple: hit the scan button, and you’ll get a color-coded visual representation of your hard drive and what folders take up the most room on your disk. Armed with that knowledge, you can head into the guts of your drive and start dumping the stuff you don’t need as much as you thought—or simply get rid of files that are surprisingly huge.
Once you’ve scanned your system, you can right click on the different blocks that represent your files and ask Windows to open an Explorer window so you can inspect the contents. There’s also a window that breaks down the files living on your system by type. Been making a habit of downloading archive files, using the contents, and forgetting to get rid of the original archive? You can quickly click the file type and see what portion of your drive is inhabited by those types of files. From there, you can determine what needs to go and what needs to stay, but you won’t have any excuse for not keeping a cleaner drive.
- This free hard drive scanner offers a visual view of what files are taking up so much room on your system.
- Check and see what different file types are eating up your space so you can quickly figure out if it’s that you have too many video files or too many sound files.
- An easy to use system lets you get right to the offending folder and start deleting—as long as you know that doing so won’t mess up your system. Always make sure you check before you delete!