How Do You Rid Your PC Of Unwanted Files?

How Do You Rid Your PC Of Unwanted Files?

If you have lots of time, you could go rummaging around your drives in Explorer (or the command-line if getting nothing else done in the next few years doesn’t bother you) in an effort to reclaim space. Alternatively, you could do what the rest of us do and fire up WinDirStat or SequoiaView, which display the files and folders of your hard drives as coloured blocks of various sizes. With these visualisation tools, it’s easy to identify where your space is going.

Then there’s JAM’s TreeSize, which is ridiculously fast at calculating the size of directories — it puts Explorer and the other programs I’ve mentioned here to shame. It doesn’t break down where your drive space is going as well as WinDirStat or SequoiaView, but if you’re just trying to find the biggest culprits in terms of folders, then it’ll sort you out fairly quickly.

These programs are great, but sometimes your space isn’t being consumed by large files, but by many smaller ones that could be duplicates, or at least very similar. That’s where an app such as Fast Duplicate File Finder comes in handy.

Most of my drives are taken up either with backups, videos or games, and I imagine most have a similar breakdown. Between the aforementioned programs, CCleaner and the low price of magnetic HDDs, I’m able to run a tight ship, but I’m interested to hear what you guys use.


  • if you’re willing to pay the dollars the pro version of TreeSize is amazing. It’ll do all sorts of advanced searches as well as being able to focus on files of particular types.
    For example if you want to know where all of your picture files are you can filter down on that particular type,

  • I don’t get unwanted files in the first time. Only ever put files in Music, Videos and my Games folder. Other than that my Downloads folder, but I know where everything is and keep it clean. Learnt from mistakes on previous windows installations.

    Used to use Disk Space Fan though, is a useful and easy to use program.

    • This, big time.

      Past installs were just a mess, but after I sat down and gave it a little thought (and bought my first 1TB HDD) I made sure to have a system and stick with it. I have “legacy” folders full of mess, which I dip into from time to time – but for the most part I maintain my folders by thinking before I copy/move a file: “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”

  • There hasn’t been a duplicate file finder that can store the file hashes in a database file since DupeMaster released in 2001. That way I can scan a list of files. Store the file hashes. delete a lot of stuff I don’t want. Then when I get my next collection of 25,000 files I run it through there first to delete half of them again without checking over them again.

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