One day you get a low disk-space warning and you are wondering where all that space has gone from your 500GB hard drive. With modern hard drives with so big disk spaces, it becomes tricky to find folders which are taking up the most space and to start cleaning data to free up some disk space.
There are are multiple ways to clean hard drive and increase disk space, lets checkout few of them. –
1) System Properties –
There are few properties in Windows OS which you can be tweaked to get more free disk space. Such as you can reduce the System Restore size or you can disable Hibernation feature, but they come with their own cost and are not recommended.
2) Remove Temporary Files –
You can use tools like CCleaner to remove cache and temporary files from system to free up more data. This is a good practice and we should do it frequently.
But problem is that when you start using it frequently, it will hardly give you any significant benefit as there will be only a little amount of data ( like 200-300 MB) to be cleaned.
3) Disk Space Analyzers –
Best solution to clean up your disk is to use a ‘Disk Space Analysis’ software and find all the files and folders which are taking up the most space on your hard drive. Once you know which files are taking up how much space, you can decide to either delete them (as you do not require them anymore) or move them to some external backup such as external Hard drive or to some Cloud storage (such as box.net, Google drive or Sky Drive).
Lets see how can we find the folders which are filling up your hard drive using these two free Disk Space Analyzers –
A) SpaceSniffer –
So this was the first tool which impressed with its overall performance and features. SpaceSniffer comes as a free tool and as soon as you start it, it welcomes you with a list of drives.
Simply double click on any of the drives which you want to analyze, and within next few seconds SpaceSniffer will give you complete overview of drive in the form of nested boxes.
SpaceSniffer uses Treemap based UI to show the disk analysis report, this treemap concept was discovered by Ben Shneiderman . And using this view, we can easily figure out which folder is taking maximum disk space.
We can go into further details by double clicking on any of the boxes. It will open its internal folder data for further investigation.
Apart from checking normal system drives, SpaceSniffer successfully scanned Network Drive also. Just put path of your network drive in path text-box and click on Scan.
Speed and performance of this application was great and result were very meaningful.
Only problem I could see was that Treemap interface looked a bit cluttered and complex. For people using disk analysis tool for the first time, this kind of nested boxes may look a bit difficult to understand.
Few worth mentionable features of SpaceSniffer includes no need of installation, scan results of multiple drives at once screen and ability to scan network drives. Information presented by tool is good enough to help you in analyzing the disk usages and free up the used disk space.
B) Disk Space Fan –
Disk Space Fan comes in two varieties, free version with limited features and a paid Pro version with all features, we tested the Free Version here and found it to have all required features.
Interface of this application is very bright, attractive and clean. Select any of the drives and click on ‘Scan’ button. However you can view only one scan result at one time.
Disk Space Fan is blazing fast in scanning. It took less than a minute to scan almost full a 250GB hard drive.
Result is shown as a colorful circular fan (this is how it has got its interesting name Disk Space Fan), every file and folder is represented by a different color of circle. Clicking on any block of Fan will open its details, again in circular fan mode.
Circular fan interface looks simple and beautiful. What made Disk Space Fan easier to use was its left hand pane which listed names of folders. That can also be used to investigate folders and its content.
Overall Disk Space Fan seemed easier to use and very fast in handling any crammed hard disk. This is the ideal solution for analyzing your disk at regular intervals and moving all the unwanted data from it.