How to Check Disk Usage in Windows with WinDirStat

Estimated reading time: 2 min

Introduction

Is your server suddenly running out of space? In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to follow in the WinDirStat app to find out what files are filling the hard drive on Windows. WinDirStat is a free third-party tool that has been around for a long time, and it’s a hard drive usage statistic viewer that allows you to see exactly what files are taking the most space on your device.

Prerequisites

  • Windows Server
  • WinDirStat

Step 1: Install WinDirStat

You can only use winget on desktop versions of Windows (10 and 11). Winget is not officially supported for Windows Server 2022, but can be installed in experimental mode. WinDirStat can be installed downloaded from the official website:

  • https://windirstat.net/download.html

Step 2: Scan the drive

  • Click on Start
  • Search for WinDirStat and open the app.
  • Select the Individual Drives option.
  • Select the drive you want to see what files are taking up space and press Enter

Step 3: Analyze and delete

After you complete the steps, WinDirStat will scan the drive, showing you a graphical report allowing you to understand what files are taking up the most space on the hard drive.

On the top-right, you can see what file extensions use the most space. Also, at the bottom, you’ll find a graphical view known as a treemap representing each file as a rectangle—the bigger the rectangle, the bigger file. The color of each rectangle represents the file type as shown in the extension list. If the file using a lot of space is one of your files, then you can use File Explorer to find and delete it. Also, you can right-click the file within WinDirStat to access options to copy the file’s path, open folder location with File Explorer or Command Prompt, and you will even get two options to delete the file. However, sometimes, files growing huge on your device are system files; typically, you can’t just click the delete button to remove them. If it turns out that it’s a system file, then make a note of the file’s name and research online how to remove it or reduce its size to free up space

Conclusion

In this article we have explained on how to use the WinDirStat to analyze the disk on the server and to identify the huge files which are talking up the space and how to delete them in order to free up the disk space.

Dont’ have the time or knowledge to be handling these kinds of issues yourself? A managed server is what you need.

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