What is taking up space on my computer
What is taking up space on my computer

To check what’s taking up space on your computer, you can use built-in tools in Windows and macOS or third-party applications. Here’s how:

Using The Built-In OS Tools

  1. For Windows:
    • Use Storage Sense in Settings. Navigate to System > Storage and click on “Show more categories” under the “Local Disk (C:)” section. This displays different file categories and their sizes. Clicking on categories like “Apps & features” shows a detailed list of installed apps and their sizes. Storage Sense can also automatically delete temporary files.
  2. For Mac:
    • Use the About This Mac tool. Click on the Apple menu > About This Mac > Storage tab. A pie chart shows how storage is used, and the “Manage” button provides a detailed view of file types using space. The “Optimize” button can help automatically manage storage.
  3. Third-Party Tools:
    • Tools like WinDirStat, TreeSize, and WizTree scan your drive, offering a detailed view of space usage, and help identify large or unnecessary files.

Using Search

A really good way to find large files on your computer is to use the ‘Search’ functionality and either Sort By Size or Filter By Size. For example, in Windows:

  1. Open up Windows File Explorer
  2. Navigate the Drive/Folder you want to search in
  3. Enter any filtering combination you wish into the Search Field at the top. You can also hit CTRL-F to get there. There are some wildcard values you can enter if you want to see ALL files or ALL files with a certain extension. See the table below for some commonly used search wildcard entries.
  4. Once your search concludes you can do things like “Sort By Size” or if you’re using Windows 10 you can filter by size by entering size:{VALUE} where value is equal to:
    • Empty (0 KB)
    • Tiny (0 – 10 KB)
    • Small (10 – 100 KB)
    • Medium (100 KB – 1MB)
    • Large (1 – 16MB)
    • Huge (16 – 128 MB)
    • Gigantic (> 128 MB)

Commonly Used Search Wildcard Entries

*.*Show All Files / All Types
*.movShow All MOV (Movie) Files
*.mp4Shop All MP4 (Movie) Files
*.zipShop All ZIP (Archive) Files
*.jpgShow All JPG (Image) Files

Regularly checking storage usage and managing space can enhance your PC’s performance and ensure sufficient space for new files. For further assistance, consider upgrading your storage drive or consulting a technician.

Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at GadgetMates.com.  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at ericchan@gadgetmates.com if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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