Find the Largest Files on Your Computer

Recently a client asked me to help him find the biggest files on his computer because he wanted to clean up his hard disk and free up some space. There are a couple of ways to do this. In Windows 7, the new search functions allow you to find files of a particular size and then sort them.

Method 1 – Use Windows Explorer

To find the largest files on your computer using Explorer, open Computer and click up in the search box. When you click inside of it, a little window pops up below with a list of your recent searches and then a add search filter option.

add search filter

Go ahead and click on Size and then you’ll get another menu with a couple of options:

file search

Go ahead and pick something like Large, Huge or Gigantic otherwise you will get a list of way too many files. If you just want to see larger files, I suggest choosing huge or gigantic. Then just press enter without typing in anything else.

huge files

You’ll start getting a list, but it’s not sorted yet as you can see above. To sort it by size, you have to click on the little options button:

options button

From there, you can to select Details view. Then you will see the size column and be able to sort by size.

details view

Here’s the final list of files on my computer sorted by size. This is the easies way since it’s built right into Windows and you don’t have to install anything. It also has enough options so I can see just the largest files on the computer.

sort by size

If you’re not running Windows 7, then you can use a third-party program. My favorite program for several years for finding the largest folders or files on my computer has been TreeSize.

You can download TreeSize Free from here:

http://www.jam-software.com/treesize_free/

Once you install it, go ahead and run it and you’ll see a window like this:

treesize

The program will automatically start to scan the C drive and you’ll see in realtime as the sizes of the directories are calculated. Once it has finished, the blue progress bar will disappear and you’ll be able to see the largest folder by size.

largest folders

You can then expand out the folders and see the largest files in each folder. With this program, it’s still not possible to instantly see the largest files on the entire computer, just the largest by folder. Still it’s a really useful app and it’s not hard to find the largest files quickly because those tend to be the largest folders also.

What do you use to find the biggest files on your computer? Post a comment and let us know. Enjoy!

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