Explore Your Hard Drive With Folder Size

Whatever the size of your hard drive, it is amazing how quickly space can get used up. Between installing app and building up a digital music and photographic collection, the number of free gigabytes you have can quickly dwindle.

The problem of running out of hard drive space is nowhere near as prevalent as it used to be thanks to ever-increasing drive capacities, but it can still be useful to find out just how all of your storage is being used. Can Folder Size help you out? Let’s find out!

Grab the App

You can download a free copy of Folder Size by paying a visit to the program web site. Click the Download link in the center of the page and save the file to the desktop; start the installation by double clicking the executable. Run through the installer and then launch the program to get started.

There is a free version of Folder Size available which is a slightly cut-down version of the full program

There is a free version of Folder Size available which is a slightly cut-down version of the full program

Disk Analysis

You can start the process of analyzing your hard drive by selecting the partition you would like to use from the drop down menu in the program toolbar. Have made your selection, click the Scan Selected Drive button – it’s the button that looks like a green Play icon.

Folder Size can analyse any drive attached to your computer including CDs and DVDs

Folder Size can analyse any drive attached to your computer including CDs and DVDs

Just how long the scanning process takes will depend not only on the speed of your computer, but also on the size of your hard drive – a larger drive will take longer than a smaller one.

As the analysis is performed, the various panes of the program window will start to be populated with information. The upper left pane displays a list of all the folders found on the drive, while beneath this you can see a list of available drives.

Percentages and a pie chart show how your drive space is used

Percentages and a pie chart show how your drive space is used

To the right, the upper pane displays the folder that can be found in the currently selected drive along with a bar indicating what percentage of the drive is taken up by that folder or file. Beneath this, a pie chart is displayed that enables you to see in an instant how your drive is being used in an instantly accessible graphical form.

You can navigate through the content of your hard drive just as if you were using Windows Explorer. This means that you can use the tree structure to the left to select folders, while the bottom left pane can be used to select different drive – this is in addition to the drop down menu in the toolbar.

As you navigate through folders, the pie chart at the bottom of the program window will update to reflect the content of the current folder. If you would like to see this information in a slightly different format, click the second button to the upper left of the pie chart to switch to a bar graph.

You can view data in a bar graph if you are not a fans of pie charts

You can view data in a bar graph if you are not a fans of pie charts

In the program toolbar you will see button labelled B, KB, MB, GB and Auto, and these can be used to switch between the units that are used when listing the sizes of files and folders.

Clicking any of the first four buttons will ensure that whichever unit you select will be used at all times, while clicking Auto will have the program select the most appropriate unit depending on the size of individual items.

Extra Options

In many ways, Folder Size can be used just like Windows Explorer, and you will find that you can right click on a folder to delete anything you no longer need, select the option to view properties, or double click a file to open it. The context menu that appears when you right click an item also provides access to options such as opening the current location in Explorer and copying the path to the clipboard.

Hiding files and folders enables you to perform dry-runs of file deletions

Hiding files and folders enables you to perform dry-runs of file deletions

You can use the Remove From List option to choose to ignore a particular file or folder as well. This option can be used to see what effect deleting files and folders would have on available storage space without the need for you perform manual calculations or go as far as actually deleting the items.

The free version of the program does not allow you to save system reports in the same way as the paid-for version, but you do have the ability to save a copy of graphs as images. Just navigate to the folder you are interested in an select the pie chart or bar graph view you would like to use before click the File menu and selecting Export Chart Image.

Wrapping Up

There are numerous usages for Folder Size. If you have an older computer with a smaller hard drive, the program gives you a quick and easy way to home in on folders that are taking up the most space and this can help you to identify software for removal or large, unwanted files that you could delete to free up space.

It is also a great way to analyse your drive contents before performing a backup of your data as it enables you to see how backup jobs could be split among different backup media to make the best use of space. But even if you are just a curious computer user who is interested in seeing how your drive space is being used up, this is a nifty little utility.


  • http://shanegowland.com Shane Gowland

    Bookmarked. This will certainly come in helpful.

  • Pingback: Windows software of the day [July 20, 2012] | dotTech

  • http://iynque.com iynque

    I think the data visualization in WinDirStat is MUCH more helpful. You can see the whole drive (or folder) /and/ all the tiny details inside it all at once, but in a way that isn’t confusing, despite showing so much detail.

  • http://www.file-utilities.com binaryman

    Where are the files?
    Directory Report shows both files and folders
    http://www.file-utilities.com
    Plus it can find hidden files when run in administrator mode

    • http://www.mindgems.com David Clubb

      The files are on the right and your post is just another spam

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