How to Find Disk Space Hogs

During my regular computer maintenance I tend to delete unnecessary files to conserve and recover hard disk space. Files such as temporary Internet files, regular temporary files, and old shortcuts are usually files that I like to remove. There have been times in the past when I have removed the unnecessary files but still have little disk space. Unless you go through each directory, it could be difficult to find which files are hogging all the disk space.

A few months ago I stumbled on a small application (less than 2MB) that has helped find files and directories that use up the most disk space. I use this application on all computers that I have used since then and have been easily able to recover disk space by finding other unnecessary files that have been using up a lot of disk space.

Map Hard Disk Space with SequoiaView

The application that I discovered recently is called SequoiaView. While the name may not indicate what it does, once you run it you may be able to figure it out. The tool simply reads a hard drive or directory that you specify and creates a map of all the directories and files. Each square in the map represents a single file on your computer. The larger the square, the larger the file.

SequoiaView Main Window

When you first start the tool it analyzes the last hard drive or directory you specified. It may take some time for larger hard drives, but it will usually complete within a few minutes at most. Once the hard drive has been analyzed, all files are displayed on the screen as squares.

SequoiaView File Properties

To determine the file a square represents, simply move your mouse cursor over the square. By default, a large yellow square will surround all the squares in the directory, and a red square will outline the individual file. The path and file name will be displayed as a tooltip. By hovering over the larger squares you can easily see which files are using the most hard disk space.

SequoiaView Directory Properties

If you want more information about the file, right-click a square and select “Properties”. You can then see more information about the file, as well as the directory where the file is located.

While not enabled by default, choosing “View->Colors” will display a colour dialog box. This dialog allows you to assign specific colours to different file types. After selecting the colours, click “OK” to close the dialog and you will notice the some squares within the display will now be coloured. This is handy since you can locate specific file types easily by using an individual colour.

In my case, I was able to find and delete a log file that was taking up over a gigabyte of hard disk space using SequoiaView. Keep in mind, however, that before deleting any file, it is important to understand what the file is before deleting it.

One Response to “How to Find Disk Space Hogs”

  1. Andrew Walker says:

    Hm… interesting. Thanks a lot for sharing this. It’s a very useful tips!

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