Home » How-to » Analyze disk space usage and delete files to increase free space using WinDirStat

Analyze disk space usage and delete files to increase free space using WinDirStat

What would I ever do with this space?
I am not going to rip all my music CDs and keep them on the hard disk!
 
Low disk space error message on Windows

Low disk space error message on Windows

And then we get that dreaded pop-up balloon from the tray saying low disk space. Well, shit happens!

And while purchasing it, you wondered why would you ever need a 500 GB hard disk. Turns out, over a long time, your operating system or your software may end up doing what you resolved not to do–that is, fill up your disk space.

Many tools are available for analysis of disk usage. However, after trying a good number of those, I have settled for WinDirStat (WDS for short) for years now.

From its Wikipedia entry:

WinDirStat is a graphical disk usage analyzer for Microsoft Windows, notable for presenting a sub-tree view with disk use percentage alongside a usage-sorted list of file extensions that is interactively integrated with a colorful graphical display (a treemap).

Let me just share some salient points of WDS below:

  • WinDirStat allows you to not just identify the large files, but also delete them using something called ‘built-in cleanup actions’.
  • And all this while remaining extremely user-friendly. The generated views are sorted by file size, so that one can focus on the biggest offenders 🙂
  • Statistics about the file types help in quickly identifying the offending file types, as well.
  • It is completely free and available as a portable app too.

As an example, check below, an analysis my Windows 7 64-bit installation, which is ~1 year old now. 22.5 GB in just the Windows folder? Holy shit MicroSoft!

Space taken by Windows folder on Win7

Space taken by Windows folder on Win7

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