I’ve been working in IT for quite a while now and one of the most common issues I’ve seen that can cause a computer to throw errors, slow down, or become unresponsive is running out of free space on the system disk or partition. While the disk cleanup utility has been included in Windows to address this issue for some time now (I believe it was introduced with Windows 98), I’ve always felt that it leaves something to be desired. I found myself seeking more visibility into the directory tree and which files were consuming the most disk space — enter WinDirStat
Short for “Windows Directory Statistics”, WinDirStat is a free software utility that scans a disk or partition’s directory tree and creates a graphical map showing file system objects and their relative size. It also has useful clean up functions built in to delete offending files; A word of caution, though: don’t delete anything you are not 100% sure is safe to delete — do your research!
For me, WinDirStat is a far superior alternative to Microsoft’s built in Disk Cleanup utility. It has saved me hours of time that otherwise would have been spent painstakingly searching through directories looking for unnecessary files manually. In some instances it has allowed me to free up as much as 50% of a disk or partition’s total capacity.
Check back on Fridays for more awesome free software recommendations from Netris.
Brian Dunham is a Cisco and Microsoft certified network and systems engineer with over a decade of experience in the Information Technology field. When he is not in front of a computer he can be found out in the wilderness canoing, hiking, fishing, or camping.