072: Reclaiming used disk space with Space Sniffer.

Hey there do-it-yourself technicians! so your computers running out of disk space? The C drives almost full and your systems getting sluggish. What can you do? Space sniffer to the rescue! if your C Drive is seeing red like this, it’s time to free up some disk space.

Having at least 2 gigabytes of free space on the C drive is a must, but it’s ideal to have more like 15 to 20 gigabytes free. There are lots of ways to clear up space. The easiest might just be emptying the recycle bin, or even running Windows built-in it disk cleanup tool, but sometimes it’s your own files that are causing the problem and you simply don’t know where they are. Hunting through all the directories and folders on your machine can be really time-consuming. There must be a better way. There is and it’s called Space Sniffer!

Space Sniffer is a free tool available from my new Doctor’s Favourites page linked here. Space Sniffer scans your entire hard drive or the portion of it that you select, and present you with a graphical display of what’s taking up the most space. You can then drill down to each folder to see what it is there’s actually causing the problem.

Because it searches inside the windows folder it’s best to run Space Sniffer by right-clicking on it and ‘run as administrator’ it then pops up a window asking which drive or folder you wish to scan. This is usually the C Drive but you can choose another Drive or pick a particular folder to scan that on its own. Double-click the C Drive to start or enter your preferred path and click scan. The system will spend a few minutes scanning the drive and showing you the progress up in the top right corner.

Once complete it will display an interactive tile map of the file or folder that you chose, with tile sizes proportional to the size of the file or folder on the disk. On this system, which is my video editing machine, the bulk of the space is taken up with the ‘TD video’ folder that I’ve highlighted here which is the archive and working folder for all of these videos. Over to the right, we have the Program Files folder and the Windows folder while the user folder is down below. There are a couple of big files down the bottom right pagefile.sys and HyberFill.sys that are system files that we really don’t want to mess with! The same likely goes for the windows folder. In the user’s folder, we have a fairly large app data folder which is chrome and all of its bits and pieces usually, as well as a copy of my Evernote database. Some of these I can do more about than others.

To find a folder in the file system you just right click on the ‘folders’ title and click on open, and it will open a Windows Explorer window with that folder’s contents in it. You can also delete files directly from within Space Sniffer by clicking on the file and then clicking the ‘Delete key’ on the keyboard. In fact, you can do everything you normally could with the file just simply by right-clicking on it and selecting one of the items from the context menu that pops up.

I hope you found that useful let me know in the comments below if your gonna give SpaceSniffer a try!

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