Cleaning up your hard drive is easy – as long as you have the right programs. If you don’t already know the dangers of clutter on your hard drive, then you clearly haven’t been reading our blog. Clutter damages your computer in a number of different ways. It can hide viruses and malware, bring your hard drive’s access times to a crawl, and prevent your programs from working properly.

Fortunately, using a popular free application called WinDirStat, it’s easy to get all of the hard drive information you could ever need. Here’s how to work this strange-sounding program.

Download WinDirStat here and install it on your computer. Once it’s up and running, you should see a screen that displays all of the information currently on your hard drive. While this screen may look strange and foreign at first glance, it is actually packed with useful information.

Each color represents a certain type of file. To see what each color represents, look at the top right corner of the WinDirStat menu. For example, .jpg files tend to be purple while .zip files are a salmon color. Then, look at the top left of your WinDirStat menu to see a basic Windows Explorer interface. From here, you can easily see which folders are taking up the most space on your hard drive.

On most computers, you’ll find that the C: drive takes up most of the space, with Program Files being the primary culprit. However, this may change if you have a large number of HD video files tucked away in a folder somewhere.

Once you’ve taken a quick glance through the Windows Explorer menu in the top bar, you get a better understanding of what the colored table below is representing. Each colored block represents a file or folder. Basically, this is a visual display of your computer’s hard drive that allows you to easily see which files are taking up the most space. Hover your mouse over each colored block to see where it is and where it is located.

Using WinDirStat is easy. It shouldn’t be too difficult to remove at least several gigabytes of data using this program, and many people are surprised what pops up on their hard drive. For example, a hidden folder deep in your system may contain several gigabytes of unnecessary data. Deleting that folder can significantly speed up your PC.

To download WinDirStat and to discover more about the project, click here.

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