Find what’s taking up disk space on Windows and MacOS

If you are wondering how to find out which files are eating up your computer storage then this is the article for you. In this article we have several tips and apps that will give you a good idea what’s using all of your drive space and how to perform the cleanup.

Windows Cleanup

 

1. Windows Built-in cleanup tools

Windows has several built-in tools which will automatically find and delete unnecessary files to free up disk space.

1.1 Start with Disk Cleanup

The first such tool is Disk Cleanup. Simply search for it in the Start menu and right click on Disk Cleanup and run it as administrator.

This will scan your PC an highlight space used by temporary files, downloaded updates, cached files and files in the Recycle Bin. You can tick the boxes to delete some or all of the files.

Windows-Disk-Cleanup-tool

Sometimes gigabytes of Windows update files are left behind and have not been cleaned properly by the Windows.

1.2 Uninstall games and apps that you no longer need

A relatively quick and easy way to free up space is to uninstall games and programs you don’t need or use. From the Start menu search forControl Panel’ and then look for ‘Uninstall a program‘. Click on this option and you’ll see a list of everything installed on your computer and you can rearrange the list by clicking on ‘Size‘ to order it so the programs taking up the most space  they will be placed at the top.

Windows-Uinstall-a-Program

1.3 Limit storage for System Restore points

Windows creates restore points automatically so you can roll back to a previous state if something goes wrong after you install a new driver or program. This of course uses up disk space, but you can adjust how much space System Restore uses.

To do this, search the Start menu for ‘System Restore’, then click on Create a restore point option when it appears. It will bring up the System Properties windows on the System Protection tab. Click the Configure… button to see and change how much space this tool uses it’s recommended to use anywhere between 3-5%. It’s not wise to disable system protection as you’ll have no restore points should anything go wrong in future.

Windows-System-restore-points

2. Use disk usage analyzers to clean your PC

After using Windows built-in cleanup tools the next step is to use third-party disk usage analyzers to find any additional large files on our hard disk.

2.1 WinDirStat (Recommended)

WinDirStat is a free, open-source disk usage analyzer and cleanup software for Microsoft Windows. This program can scan local partitions or entire hard disk drive, presenting the results under a colorful graphical image for used space.

windirstat

The advantage of using this simple cleanup app is that you can identify files that took the most space and you can also delete them directly from the main interface.

2.2 TreeSize (Alternative)

TreeSize is a robust drive analysis tool that gives you a quick directory-oriented view of your hard drive arranged by the folders that take up the most space.

TreeSize-Free
On touchscreen devices (Windows 8 and higher) you can switch to the intuitive touch interface for even easier navigation.

3. Final Cleanup step

CCleaner-free

In final cleanup step it is probably good idea to run CCleaner to remove any missed junk files. CCleaner removes cookies, temporary files and various other unused data that clogs up your system.

Mac Cleanup

Mac OS does a good job when it comes to system cleanup it’s often user files and apps that take large amount of disk space.

1. Uninstall games and apps that you no longer need

A relatively quick and easy way to free up space is to uninstall games and programs you don’t need or use.

1.2 App Cleaner & Uninstaller

App-Cleaner-Uninstaller

Use App Cleaner & Unstaller to remove programs from Mac completely, including all their hidden service files, so as to stop remains eating up precious space on your disk.

2. Use disk usage analyzers to clean your Mac

Next step is to use third-party disk usage analyzers to find any additional large files on our hard disk.

2.1 Disk Inventory X (Recommended)

Disk-Inventory-X

Disk Inventory X is a disk usage utility for Mac OS X 10.3 and later. Like WinDirStat it shows the sizes of files and folders in a special graphical way called “treemaps“.  If you’ve ever wondered where all your disk space has gone on your Mac, Disk Inventory X will help you to answer this question.

2.2 DaisyDisk (Alternative)

DaisyDisk-Mac

DaisyDIsk scan your disk and displays it on a special diagram, where segments represent files and folders, proportional to their sizes. The diagram is easy to read and navigate. You can also quickly preview and delete any file.

3. Final Cleanup step

CCleanerMac-free

In final cleanup step it is probably good idea to run CCleaner to remove any missed junk files. CCleaner removes cookies, temporary files and various other unused data that clogs up your system.