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WinDirStatfor Windows

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WinDirStat is one of the leading popular disk space analyzers in the market. Just perform a scan and you get a clear idea about what’s taking up space on your flash drives, external hard drives, and internal hard drives.

Easy cleanups with color-coded stats and file categorization

Use WinDirStat to get directory lists, treemap, and extension lists in one place.

Using WinDirStat, easily check the amount of disk space you’ve been using. This free software provides a comprehensive visual display of hard drive usage. Based on the popular Linux application KDirStat, it can even analyze local devices. Though a bit slow, it gives detailed information you need to clean disk space and improve the processing time of the machine.

Depending on the disk size, a usual scan can take up to 10 minutes. When compared to competitors like Disk Analyzer Pro and TreeSize, which take a couple of minutes to run scans, it’s quite slow. But where WinDirStat loses on scanning speed, it wins with comprehensive categorization.

The view

WinDirStat features a color-coded extension list and two different views. The top view in the program works like a basic file browser. It displays files according to size in descending order. If you want to change the display order, simply click the preferred category.

At the bottom, you’ll notice the largest view, which is the treemap. Each square in this view represents an individual file on the computer. In the top-right view, these files are color-coded as per the extension list.

The square layout not only makes everything easy to understand but shows the distinction between file types. You won’t find any other software making it so easy. After the scan, all the files are grouped according to specific system folders, which lets you view multiple files from the same time right next to each other.

At the bottom, the treemap only shows the path of the file. Unlike its leading competitor Disk Analyzer Pro, you won’t be able to view any specific file information. In case you want to check full details, you can click on a square, which will take you to the top view of the file.

Using the extension list, it’s easy to understand the entire treemap. Simply put, it’s a visual representation of all the files on your computer. While the files represented by larger squares take up more space on the hard drive, the files marked by smaller squares do not.

Color codes

A typical scan will yield a rainbow of colors on the screen. All the files in a drive or directory will be assigned colors according to file types, such as ZIP, MP3, JPG, EXE and more. The default settings give blue color to the largest files, followed by red and green. Only the first 10 file types are color-labeled, while the remaining are gray. It’s easy to change these settings from the ‘Options’ menu.

Multiple features

With WinDirStat, you can easily identify the files that take up a lot of disk space on the computer. This lets you make certain choices about saving space on the machine. WinDirStat comes with a wide range of features for managing files. For instance, if you want to exclude certain file types for a backup, WinDirStat lets you do that to save time. The ease of use, visual representation of files, and advanced features make it an excellent choice.

Where can you run this program?

WinDirStat is available for Windows 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000, NT4 (SP5), ME, 98 SE and 95 (IE5).

Is there a better alternative?

In a discussion about disk analyzer tools, you can’t miss WinDirStat. At the same time, the slow speed of scans is a deterrent. Some alternatives deal effectively with this problem. Here are a few you may want to try.

- Disk Analyzer Pro: efficiency is one of the biggest reasons people prefer Disk Analyzer Pro. It even scans zero-byte files, which take up space on your computer without containing any data. Additionally, it scans and finds junk files, temporary Internet files, compressed files and everything else. Since it gives detailed information about the location and size of the files, you can easily get rid of them.
- SpaceSniffer: unlike WinDirStat, this tool is portable. It lets you organize disk space using a treemap concept. During the scan, SpaceSniffer doesn’t affect your current registry. Since there’s no setup file, you can easily extract the ZIP file on any computer.
- TreeSize: is one of the most popular alternatives for WinDir Stat. This one uses treemap to analyze the disk space thoroughly. It’s a free tool that works on Master File Table, which offers high scanning speed, an area where WinDirStat loses big. While one version is free, there’s also a paid one with advanced features.

Our take

WinDirStat is a simple, free software that meets expectations. If hard drive space has been an issue you face, it will perhaps be one of the most impactful software programs to use.

Should you download it?

Yes, without a doubt! Though there are several other disk analyzer tools available, WinDirStat is something you should try first. It gives you a good idea about disk space usage, and its numerous features make every bit of the job easier.

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