|Windows Guides’ Rating||Compatible with||System|
4.5 out of 5
PROS: Lightweight and simple. Performs its main task—reporting file-by-file disk usage—in an intuitive manner and provides the ability to visually drill down to the largest files and directories on your hard drive. Essential for SSD users running out of space!
CONS: The only “con” is WinDirStat has pretty much looked the same since its release in 2003. The treemap view is great but it’s a little bit of an eye sore by today’s standards. Still, the software is bug free and provides data quickly and efficiently.
VERDICT: If you want to save disk space, this utility is essential.
VERSION REVIEWED: 126.96.36.199
WinDirStat is a great example of a tool that does one thing well: it helps you manage disk space. WinDirStat creates a graphical representation of the data on your hard drive and helps you identify the largest directories and files. WinDirStat can also be configured to automatically clean up your drive and can email the owner with disk activity notifications.
Note: When you install WinDirStat, I recommend the following installation options:
When you first launch WinDirStat, you can scan All Local Drives, Individual Drives (recommended), or a Folder. In this example, I am looking to save space on my C: Drive (a small 128GB solid state drive):
After a quick scan, you’re presented with three panels:
- Directory List (top left): A list of all directories and the percentage of space they hold within their parent directory
- Extension List (top right): A list of the total space taken by files, grouped by extension (i.e. .MOV, .TXT), ordered largest to smallest
- Treemap (bottom): A graphical representation of each file as a colored rectangle, scaled according to file size; files are grouped in larger rectangles, which represent their parent directories
This software helped me identify a few large files I could move to a different drive and helped me identify a 12.4 GB hibernation file that I removed by disabling hibernation. If you’re using a solid state drive and could do with some extra space or if you’ve filled your hard disk drives and need to relieve some pressure, grab this tool and quickly identify the space hogs on your PC. If you’d like avoid installing, yet another app, try our PowerShell script to identify the 10 largest files on your hard drive.
Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.
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