WinDirStat is a free disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Windows similar to KDirStat.
Most of us run low on hard drive space from time to time. You probably run Windows’ disk cleanup utility, empty the recycle bin, and delete browser cache and temporary Internet files, but all of that may not be enough. Searching through your hard drive for large files eating up precious megabytes can be difficult and time consuming. WinDirStat simplifies the process with an easy-to-read graphical display of all of the files on your hard drive, showing their sizes and file types. Its cleanup tools then allow you to view the files, delete them, or move them to the recycle bin as needed.
WinDirStat displays all of the files on your hard drive as color-coded rectangles of varying sizes. The colors represent different file types, and the sizes show how large each file is compared to other files on the drive. Click on a rectangle and you can quickly view the file name, location, and properties, open the file, move it to the recycle bin, or permanently delete it. Viewing your hard drive this way makes it easy to see which files are taking up the most space, and need to be moved or deleted. Clicking through WinDirStat’s interface helps you find files you forgot about or never even knew about it. Before you know it, you’ll free up half your hard drive space with WinDirStat.
Tips for New Users
WinDirStat’s user-friendly, color-coded interface makes it easy for anyone to find and clear space on a cluttered hard drive. However, less tech-savvy users should be careful about what they delete. Many large files are important Windows system files, or program files necessary to run certain applications. WinDirStat makes no distinction, and it’s so easy to delete any file that you might find yourself getting carried away. If you don’t recognize a file, it’s best to leave it alone. Only delete files that you created or that you are 100% sure you don’t need.
Areas of Improvement
WinDirStat’s “cleanup tools” are simply options to view files, directories, and properties, and to open files, move them to the recycle bin, or permanently delete them. It does not provide any helpful tools for deleting files of a certain type, age, size, etc. Users do have the option to create their own cleanup tools using the command line, but only advanced users will understand how that works. It would be helpful to add a simple tool for creating custom cleanups, or scheduling regular cleanups.
Your hard drive is like a dark, creepy forest full of large, mysterious files lurking in the blackness, taking up valuable space. Now you can hunt down those mysterious files and clear them out for free with WinDirStat. View files by type and size in an easy-to-read graphical format, and quickly find and delete problem files that hog your hard drive space. While it doesn’t provide an easy way to create your own cleanups, WinDirStat is still an excellent tool for regular hard drive maintenance.
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