Anda berbicara Bahasa Indonesia? Baca artikel terjemahannya di sini.
Imagine, one day, you received a warning in your PC that you were running out of storage. Then, you thought, “How come? I didn’t download anything large recently…”. Then, what would you do? Normally, you would suspect that either your Downloads or Program Files folder is your culprit, right? But what if neither of those folders is the culprit?
Well, fortunately, there’s a free software that you can use precisely for that case, called WinDirStat. It scans your whole storage to help you identify which files and folders that take up the most space in your drives. In this article, I’m going to demonstrate how to use it. No more looking through the properties of your files and folders manually!
You can download WinDirStat directly from one of the mirrors listed in its official website here.
WinDirStat Installation and UI
Installing WinDirStat is just like installing your usual PC software. Just click next until the installation finishes. Of course, you can change the configurations if you want, but the default installation configuration is sufficient for me.
As for the UI, it is rather old. The window style reminds me of the Windows XP days, while the icons remind me of older version of Windows. Well, to be honest, I don’t really mind, as long as it’s functional. Many other free and open source software have similar UI. Perhaps to keep it free and simple?
On the bottom right side of the window, there’s a nice gimmick: the amount of RAM used by the application, as well as the keyboard locks that are currently active.
Using WinDirStat is fairly simple and straightforward. Upon opening the application, you’ll be asked to scan your drives. You can simply choose all your drives, individual drives, or even a folder. The number of drives you choose will affect the scanning time.
Once the scan is finished, WinDirStat will show you a collapsible tree of your selected drives as well as its details on the left. On the right-hand side, there’s a list of file extensions as well as its contribution to your used space. This section also serves as a legend to the simple graphic in the bottom that visualizes your files. You can simply click on the largest rectangle to quickly navigate where that file is.
You don’t have to manually navigate to that file’s location with Windows Explorer, as you can do it directly from WinDirStat. There’s a Clean Up menu bar at the top, in which you have the following options:
- Open in Windows Explorer
- Open a Command Prompt window and navigate to that file / directory
- Move to Recycle Bin
- Delete the file permanently (irrecoverable, please note!)
- Open the file / folder’s properties
- Clean up Recycle Bin
- Execute a user-defined script (more on this later)
Advanced WinDirStat Features
Aside from identifying which files take the most space, WinDirStat also provides a couple of advanced features: send email report and user-defined cleanup script.
Send Report by Email
The feature basically composes a basic email in which lists the folder you selected in the scan result. That’s it. One use case in which this might be useful is to remind yourself which file / folder to clean up, since you’ll need to rescan your drives every time you open WinDirStat. Still, I doubt that you’re going to use this feature often.
To add more salt to the wound, this feature seems to only support Microsoft Outlook, which isn’t free anymore. I’ve already added my email account in the stock Windows 10 Mail app, but WinDirStat still asks me to add a profile in Outlook.
There’s also this annoying Server Busy pop up every time I try to use this feature, which makes the application unresponsive, and can only be killed by Task Manager. Perhaps something to do with legacy Windows APIs no longer supported by Windows 10?
I’ll stay away from this feature as far as possible.
User-defined Cleanup Script
Aside from the default cleanup options I previously mentioned, you can also define your own cleanup script. This is especially useful if you want to run additional commands after cleaning up the file, like executing scripts or something like that. You do need to have some knowledge in Command Prompt scripting, though. You can even use variables and there are some additional configurations worth tinkering.
Again, since this is an advanced feature, I don’t think average users will ever need to use this, so I’m not taking a deeper dive. Besides, Command Prompt scripting is not my forte.
Well, for storage space identification and cleanup, WinDirStat is more than sufficient for me. It’s simple and straightforward to use. The downsides? Well, perhaps the old-style UI and the caveat in the obscure send email feature which may not be relevant anymore to Windows 10. But hey, since I probably won’t ever use that feature, I don’t really mind. The old-style UI? Meh, I’ve seen worse. Also, since it’s free and functional, I’ll still give it thumbs up anyway.
- Simple and straightforward to use
- Old style UI
- Send report by email feature may not be compatible with Windows 10 and freezes the application.
Finally, as usual, thanks for reading, and I hope this article is useful for you. See you in the next article, stay safe, and stay healthy! 😀