Where Are Those Big Files Hiding? Clean Up Your Hard Drive

That question pretty much says it all. Where are those space hogs on your computer? There has to be a chunk of space that is being used by something, something which can probably be deleted...but where is it and what is it? Here is a utility that will tell you. WinDirStat is short for Windows Directory Statistics. Amazingly, it runs on Windows 95 all the way up through Vista. There isn't much of anything in the computer world that can make that claim anymore. On the Web site above, you will find several screenshots that show you what WinDirStat looks like. I have two of them presented here. But what does it do exactly? First, it reads the whole directory tree once and then presents it in three useful views: The Directory List, which resembles the tree view of Windows Explorer but is sorted by file/subtree size, the TreeMap, which shows the whole contents of the directory tree straight away, and the Extension List, which serves as a legend and shows statistics about the file types. Select an item in the directory list. The TreeMap highlights it. Features of the program include:
  • Zooming.
  • Built-in cleanup actions including Open, Show Properties and Delete.
  • User-defined cleanups (command line based).
  • Works with network drives and UNC paths.
  • a "Create disk usage report" option.
  • a "Submit bug report/Feedback" option.
  • Online help.

Language can be set to Czech, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, German, English, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Polish and Russian. Just have a look at the Translation website if you want to help or if you want to know more.

You could clean up fast by spotting the biggest files on your hard drive. Some might be forgotten shareware or games. Then you can click on the files and open them or delete them directly from WinDirStat. Just be careful about what you delete. Remember that .dll files are important!

To download WinDirStat directly from, click here.


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