The Best Tools to Free Up Disk Space on Your Hard Drive

If there is one thing I cannot stand it is how quickly my Windows computers pile up with garbage files that eat away at computer performance. In fact, I dare say I am a bit of a fanatic about how fast my computer runs – it must be speedy!! As a result, I have wound my way through a number of crappy programs over the years to find these few nuggets that really save me from pulling out my remaining hair. I expect over time this list will grow but here are a few tried and true programs I have used.

I feel it is important to note that here and there I have used affiliate links when linking to programs I recommend. This does not take away from the fact that I do 100% recommend each program; I simply figure I needed to link to the products anyway so why not make a dollar or two?

Favourite #1: WinDirStat (Free)

WinDirStat is a small program that, when run, will read all of the files on whatever drive you select and then provide you with a number of ways to find files that are taking loads of space on your hard drive.

a screenshot of windirstatMy favourite view is the default which shows my hard drive as though I was looking at it through Windows File Explorer but it shows which folders take up the most space. I can then dig into each folder and its subfolders to find the largest file culprits. Next, with just a little research (if necessary) I can determine which large files I can safely delete. Often times I can free up 20 to 40% of my primary hard drive space (drive C) in less than 30 minutes using this method and VOILA my computer is back to running smoothly!

I should note that one of the other options of finding large files is the slick graphical layout which shows the size of files in coloured blocks proportional to the percentage of the drive space they fill. I imagine many visual learners will find this interface quite pleasing to use and a refreshing change.

All-in-all, I don’t know what I would do without WinDirStat! It is quite simply a fabulous tool and the free aspect is compelling 😉

… more to come!