Sometimes finding the programs and files that are taking up space on your hard drive is close to impossible. These files can be hidden several directories deep and require some skill to hunt them down. WinDirStat is a free utility that uses large, color-coded blocks to show you these files so you can choose whether to keep or delete them. As computers move away from the large-capacity spinning drives to smaller, faster solid state hard drives, conserving space is important.
You can download WinDirStat here for free.
Once WinDirStat is installed, you can scan any of the drives you have connected to your computer. You will then see a visual representation of your drive and be able to clearly see the files and applications that are taking up the bulk of the space on your disk. Once you find the culprit, you can right-click it and remove the file if you decide you do not need it. Be careful what you delete, however. While it’s safe to remove data such as pictures, documents, music and videos, it’s always best to uninstall programs via the Programs and Features section of the Control Panel.
WinDirStat allows you to visualize your drive in several ways:
- A directory list that resembles the tree view of the Windows Explorer but is sorted by file size.
- A treemap, which shows the entire contents of the directory tree.
- An extension list, which serves as a legend and displays statistics about the file types.
In conclusion, WinDirStat is a great, free utility that provides several different view types to help you drill down to the source of your hard drive space issues. You can use this program to conserve space on your primary drive, but remember space is cheap these days and an External 2TB Hard Drive can easily be added to give you all of the additional space you require.