Managing your hard drive is often thought of as one of those daunting tasks that everybody seeks to get done, but very few actually get round to doing it. However, even the largest hard drives end up getting filled up eventually, and once you hit this point, there’s nothing left to do but a bit of a clean up. In this article, we look at the best ways to find your biggest hard drive files and directories so that you can clear up some space and make room for more data.
Using Built-in Windows Functions
Perhaps the easiest way to find your biggest hard drive files is to use the built-in windows search command. Whilst Windows explorer has a search bar, many PC users are unaware of the different search terms available for use. Just like with a internet search engine, there are certain criteria which can be searched for, including overall file size.
To find your biggest hard drive files, you will want to open up windows explorer; this can be done by hitting the Windows start button, and then clicking on ‘Computer’ on the right tab of the Windows start panel. Once you have done this, a window will open, and in the top right corner of this window, you will find a search bar. In the search bar, type in ‘size:>200MB.’
If you type in the search term above, Windows will search your hard drive and display all of the files on your system that are large than 200MB. If you want to get more specific, you could change the ‘200MB’ to any file size you expect to find on your hard drive. Typically, most large files will be under 1GB.
Whilst the built-in Windows software can be a great way to find certain files over a certain size, a lot of searching around usually has to be done to find the source of these files; deleting files without checking where they come from will simply cause the programs they belong in to become corrupted, so it’s always important to find out where files come from first.
You may also have certain directories filled with images and videos that have a large collective file size that the Windows ‘size’ search function may not show up, and this is where using hard disk management software comes in handy.
One such software is called TreeSize; with this program, you can easily sort folders by their size, which will help you to easily track down any hidden troves of unneeded files and data you may have forgotten about. TreeSize is perfecting for getting rid of any folders filled with music, videos or photos that can often take up gigabytes of space on your hard drive.
There are already built-in tools to help you find your biggest hard drive files, but it’s likely some of these files may be components to software you regularly use. This is why it can be helpful to locate large folders that could be filled with old music, videos, photos or other data when trying to free space too. With TreeSize, you will easily be able to track down your biggest directories on your hard drive, and with the built in Windows explorer search you will be able to find your biggest hard drive files.