Cleanup your hard drive with WinDirStat

Tools, Windows

At my workplace I somehow managed to eat up almost all of the 40GB on the primary partition and I had no clue as to what directory/file was eating up the space.

As usual, Windows XP has no inbuilt tools to accomplish the simple task of finding the culprit directories/files.

In my earlier post, I had mentioned about some of the tools which could help in a similar situation. Some of the tools that I mentioned on that post are no longer supported and hence I had to “google” to find the right tool for the cleanup task.

WinDirStat was one of the useful tool that I found ! Its a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Windows.

The tool can either scan all your disk drives or the individual drives or even specific folders. The entire directory tree is read and the information is displayed in 3 views:

  • As a Directory list which is sorted by file/subtree size as shown below
    windirstat1
  • As a treemap view which represents each file as a colored rectangle, the area of which is proportional to the file’s size.

    The rectangles are arranged in such a way, that directories again make up rectangles, which contain all their files and subdirectories. So their area is proportional to the size of the subtrees.
    windirstat2

  • As an extension list which shows all types (filename extensions) occurring in the directory tree
    windirstat3

The treemap is an amazing feature which helps you to quickly identify the file occupying the maximum space. The selection of the colored block automatically highlights the file in the tree view and you can delete the file from within the UI of WinDirStat.

A must have software for Windows 🙂

8 comments… add one

  • V V S Kumar May 14, 2008

    This is one of the pretty useful tool that I would also want to run on my work system after continuous use of it for over 2 and 1/2 years 🙁

    Now my system is kind of slow and performing like a snail. Thanks to the tool 🙂 which I hope will solve my problems too.

  • Ralph May 16, 2008

    I usually use a software called windows washer to clean up those files, it’s pretty good too, I managed to get back 10gb of space thanks to it.

  • venukb May 17, 2008

    VVS, this tool will help in identifying the culprit files which are taking a lot of space on your disk (Treemap makes it very easy to identify the files without navigating through the folders)

    If you intend to delete crap files, you should check CCleaner

    Ralph,
    I have tried Windows washer but kind of prefer CCleaner for hard disk cleanup

  • Suresh G May 17, 2008

    Try Folder Size ..Its avery simple one.

  • Venu May 17, 2008

    Suresh, Yes Folder Size is a nice utility and have used it in the past.

    The unique feature in WinDirStat is the “TreeMap”; it shows the big files instantly without me needing to dig through the directories :).

    Say with foldersize, it might show one directory taking 10GB, but I do need to traverse the directory tree to find the “culprit” file/folder.

  • paulette May 18, 2008

    This is a must have for computers. Thanks for the info.

  • abhishek May 28, 2008

    ccleaner is some thng which rocks everywhere i simply love it…i would suggest another utility also called jdiskreport.

  • Venu May 31, 2008

    Yes Abhishek, CCleaner does a pretty good job in recovering disk space.

    Will definitely check on JDiskReport; by the name of the app, I am guessing its a Java App, hopefully the UI isn’t too sluggish 🙂

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