How to Find Largest File or Folder on Disk – WinDirStat Free Tool

Sometimes you will not have any idea how your hard disk got full. Finding which folder or file is taking more space on disk is difficult or time consuming job. This article explains how to find largest file or folder on disk with using WinDirStat free tool. Some system folders such as Temp, Temporally Internet files and Anti Virus quarantine folders consume more space on disk without your knowledge.

To find out size of each folder or file, it’s not possible to Right click on each object and check size. This WinDirStat tool will be helpful to see file and folder size in one view as disk treemap. It’s more convenient to figure out which is consuming more space on disk.

Follow the steps to use WinDirStat and find the largest file or folder in disk

1) Download and install WinDirStat ( Installation is very simple)

2)       In first screen you can select all drivers or single partition or a folder.

find largest file folder disk

If you have lots of files and folders inside one folder select 3rd option ‘A Folder’. In this example I’m selecting ‘Individual Drivers’ (DATA -D drive). Select a drive and click OK

3)      Progress of exploring can be seen by some indications as shown below. Let exploring complete and produce disk treemap report.

find largest file folder disk

4)      My final result screen displays as below.

find largest file folder disk

a)      First top portion shows the summary of disk and folder status. Result starts from largest to smallest. So, first folder is the largest folder in particular disk or partition. In this example ‘ MY WORLD’ folder is the biggest and consuming 41.3% of disk D.  Some more information of particular folder such as actual size, items inside, files inside, folders inside also visible here.

b)      Second Top Right portion is related to treemap at bottom full portion. It displays the color of each file extension.

c)       Bottom portion is the treemap of disk. It’s like physically you are seeing disk with each file’s location. It can give an idea which type of file is bigger or saved in disk by the color combination.

5)      Ok, in this example ‘MY WORLD’ is the largest folder in D drive. Which is the largest file in drive D? It’s very easy to find out by WinDirStat. As you can see one large blue rectangle is consuming more space in treemap. That is the largest file in drive D. See below.

find largest file folder disk

I just click on blue rectangle; it shows the actual file in top portion. It’s a VMware vmdk file with 8.1GB, and consuming 93.7% of parent folder (Vista).

From here you can perform some explorer tasks such as opening, deleting listed under Cleanup in menu bar.

When you click on any of the color portion in treemap, it expands and gives details in top portion.

6)      Also, when you click on a file type at Top right, it displays all same file type files in treemap as shown below.

find largest file folder disk

I clicked on .vob files (Green) in extensions description area. It shows all .vob files location in treemap.

In my experience, this WinDirStat helped me lot to solve disk space problems. Sometimes you or your users don’t have idea about folder or files sizes in disk. As I said earlier some system folders grow every day, and you can’t right click and check size for all. So whenever you want to find largest file or folder in a disk with FREE tool, don’t forget WinDirstat.

You can pay and get some disk management tools, but before it try this free tool. I’m sure this information is useful.  If you have similar experience with any other free or paid tools, please share with us. It will be helpful for all.

2 thoughts on “How to Find Largest File or Folder on Disk – WinDirStat Free Tool”

  1. Hi, I tried to use this this (and other as well),

    My C desk of 139 GB shows 1.3 GB empty. Using WinDirStat, it find usage of approx. 65 GB.

    Any idea where I can find the difference between 139 GB and 65 GB?



    Running Windows Vista

  2. I usually don’t bother with leaving remarks, but with this little program I was finally able to find out what was using up so much space on my hard drive. I found out in 5 minutes that it was simply my adobe media cache folder. 35 gigs worth! So a big thanks to the developers of this nifty little tool!

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