Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Identify Space Hogs: Which Are The Largest Files/Folders In Your Hard Disk?

Visual Hard Drive Navigator Shows At-A-Glance Where Your Space Hogs Are
= breakthrough tool
Desktop Tool (Win)

Let me introduce to you a wonderful little jewel: Folder Sizes. As the name correctly implies, this simple and well designed utility allows you to effectively find out which are the files and directories that have become memory hogs in your mass storage system.


At times we realize, for example after a computer crash or after having lost some major work, that there are huge files in our system, but we are not really sure of where they are.

Alas as the Windows operating system has grown more rich and complex it is difficult to find the places where temporary files may be stored or to identify other folders containing lots of data that we have forgotten about.

Our great limitation in being able to "see" where the space is occupied is determined by the fact that we only have a textual description for our files, along with a visual representation of their location (the Windows explorer tree). If and when Microsoft Windows will incorporate an extra pane of view, providing the file size factor to be represented visually, we will gain a lot in usability and ability to manage effectively our space.

FolderSizes does an amazingly good job at anticipating something Microsoft should have built-in its Mac clone since the very beginning. FolderSozes achieves this effortlessly and without requiring you to learn anything but to click on the drive you want to "see".



Once you are inside FolderSizes, you have a top left vertical pane in which you can see all of your drives and network resources.


Once you click to select one drive FolderSizes starts automatically to scan your selected hard disk and within a few seconds it starts displaying a very simple and apprppriately designed horizontal bar chart showing your directories/folders as bars of differet lenghts.


The immediacy and effectiveness of this approach is phenomenal.
The graph display can be resorted in real-time and in any way you like.

It took me less than 15 seconds to find two stupid hog files that I had left behind me and that were using over 4GB of my laptop.

I realized in less than other 20 seconds that my Outlook mail is becoming a monster and that Outlook generates a complementary file as big as your main archive, effectively doubling it overall space occupancy. Having already reached several times Outlook limit of a maximum of 16384 messages in one folder I was glad to have found one more reason to test my new life on Eudora.

The interface of FolderSizes is well designed and in tune with the look of the latest icons from Netscape/Mozilla. Commands are simple and intuitive and one can start working immediately.


Among additional unique features is the ability to save a complete report if your hard disk usage in a variety of formats including HTML and several graphics file formats.


The software does not contain any spyware or hidden adware that you should be suspicious of. Entirely a work of love, this marvelous little jewel is the baby of Mark Richards. He has developed the tool alone and by just using is available spare time. Mark loves to program in C++ and this was an application that caught his attention and ability.

Mark, for what I can see, I would love to donate some money to help you have more and more free time. With your leisure time we can all work a lot less. ;-)Thanks for your great tool. FolderSizes is truly invaluable and I can't recommend it enough.

Make that donation button available!
System Requirements:
FolderSizes will run on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, and XP. Internet Explorer version 4.0 or better must also be installed on Windows 95 and 98. Any Pentium-class computer with at least 64MB of RAM should be a suitable host.

FolderSizes is free downloadable software. Get your copy here. (1.8 MB)

A must have.

Readers' Comments    
2006-02-15 23:41:37


If you want to identify space hogs efficiently, then you should try Drive x-Ray. I prefer it's display of disk structure.

2004-10-06 11:26:31


This software is NOT free. It is a 15 day trial disguised as freeware (as shown by the 'FREE' text at the top of the review).

2004-01-26 12:55:49


i would like to find a software to dovelap my office.

2003-08-30 21:01:36

Mark Richards

Robin, thanks so much for your kind words about FolderSizes. As you mention in your excellent article, it has indeed been a labor of love.

But the best is yet to come. I have numerous plans for improving FolderSizes, much of it based upon the tremendous feedback I've received in recent weeks.

Thanks again, and keep up the great work on this site!

posted by Robin Good on Saturday, August 30 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




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