Space used by programs, Part 2

Dennis Faas's picture

Last week's Visitor Feedback question asked, "How how can I tell what programs are taking all my space in my hard drive?"

My first thought to this question was to use a minimalist approach, because I believe in "doing things myself" -- providing that the proposed solution is relatively simple.

If you recall, my answer to the above question was straightforward: right-click on a folder and display its folder Properties, and have Windows display its disk usage. This gives a very general idea as to how much space was being used by an installed program.

Fact: Programs that are installed to a Program Folder are also installed to other areas on the system.

Yes, it's true. I didn't bother to mention this in my method-of-madness because of two reasons: Reason #1: As I mentioned throughout the article, my method is only a generalization. There is no need to search for any of the remaining files which (in all probability) would have been installed in other locations on your computer (example: .DLL files, temporary files, etc). Yes, these other files DO take up space -- but it's a pretty safe bet that the majority of the installed program exists in a single folder, which is most likely listed in your Program Files directory.

Reason #2: In my opinion, it's quicker to right-click a folder and view its Properties than it is to go to a web site, download a third-party utility, install it, run it, and find out (almost) the same information as if you would have if you used my suggestion in the first place. But hey, you might be shooting for greater accuracy -- in which case, read on!

A 'more accurate' representation of the total size of installed programs

I received some wonderful suggestions from Infopackets Readers who pointed out some useful third-party utilities for finding out the size of installed programs within Windows. Here are some top picks in no particular order: Bryce M. sent a Google ( directory link for a bunch of web sites that have various Hard Disk Usage utilities available.

BeeBop suggested TreeSize: "There are two options, freeware and the Professional version. I use it often and have used it for a long time." I had a quick glance at the screenshots on this program -- it looks pretty good.

Bruce G. suggested Disk Frontier. "Disk Frontier (formerly called WinDU) looks at any hard drive or directory and gives you a very useful graph of what directories take up the most space ... it offers Disk Usage integration with Windows 95/98, 2000, XP shell via right mouse click."

And finally, Gary R. suggested Folder Size by eXtech: another shell extension.

Side note: A "shell extension" is like placing a "link" to a program inside of a Window that is already present under Windows. Example: right-clicking on any folder would normally give you the Folder Properties option, as I have been discussing thus far. If you were to install Disk Frontier on your system, the same menu which gave you Folder Properties will also have an option to use Disk Frontier.

Thanks to all who wrote in!

Rate this article: 
No votes yet