Computer hard drives are massive, and space is rarely an issue for most people these days. You should not allow huge, obsolete files to clutter your hard drive, however, as your computer will perform better if it has more space; Defrags will take less time to run, and backups will require less space. In addition, virus scans and other system maintenance will take less time to run if these gigantic files are not clogging up the works. There is an easy way to find huge files and remove them from your computer to free up space.
Windows 7 allows you to search by files based on their size using the following terms:
Size:empty (0 KBs)
Size:tiny (0 to 10 KBs)
Size:small (10 to 100 KBs)
Size:medium (100 to 1 MB)
Size:large (1 to 16 MBs)
Size:huge (16 to 128 MBs)
Size:gigantic (> 128MBs)
How To Locate Gigantic Files In Windows 7
To find these behemoth files, go to Start and click Computer. Click on the drive you want to search (Usually C:) and then in the upper-right corner type size:gigantic into the search box and hit enter.
In the above example we used the search size:gigantic to locate files in excess of 128 MBs.
As you can see, some of these files are over 2 GB each. Once the search is complete, you can sort these files by size and determine which are safe to remove. You do not want to delete system files, updates or other important files. Game saves, movies, pictures and other data that might be located in your Documents folder are usually safe to delete.
Note: It’s a good idea to make a full backup of your files prior to removing so many at once. Use an external hard drive to copy over your Documents files.
If you’re not sure if the file is safe to remove or not, just leave it.
Removing Large Files From Vista
You can also remove large files from Windows Vista using a similar technique.
- Click Win + F to bring up a search Window.
- Click the Advanced search button.
- Under the Location drop-down menu, choose Indexed Locations.
- Date: Any
- Size: Is Greater Than and type 10000 to search for files in excess of 10 MBs.
- Click the Search button to proceed.
- Sort the findings by size and remove those you no longer need.
After Removing Gigantic Files
This type of maintenance can be done as often as you want, but you’ll likely only need to do it annually. So what’s next? You’ve just recovered a massive chunk of hard drive space, so it’s a good idea to run Disk Defragmenter to move all of the data to the front of the drive so your hard drive has to work less to access those files that remain. To do this, go to Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Disk Defragmenter.