Keeping files organized and your drive storage optimized means you have to get rid of files you don’t need. Hard drives have gotten big; you can easily find systems with 1TB drives, but users who are now moving to an SSD have to make do with less storage space if they do not have a hard drive to go with it.
Regardless of your storage situation, you should still keep unnecessary folders off your desktop. It’s a good idea to start with large folders and move them to external storage.
See folder size in Windows 10
Start off from the root of a drive and check the size of the folders there.
To show folder size in Windows 10, try these methods
1. Mouse tool-tip
- Open File Explorer.
- Select the folder that you want to view the size for.
- Wait a second or two, and a tool-tip will appear.
- The tool-tip will show you the size of the folder.
2. Folder properties
- Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder that you want to view the size of.
- Right-click it, and select Properties from the context menu.
- On the General tab, check the Size field to view folder size.
3. Settings Storage
If you need a more holistic view of how storage is being used on your Windows 10 PC, the Settings app has an excellent tool that lets you visualize how storage is used.
- Open the Settings app.
- Go to the System group of settings.
- Select the Storage tab.
- Allow the tab to load the storage usage.
- Once loaded, click the Show more categories.
- You will get a list of how storage is used on the drive. Select a category to view folders under it.
- For non-Windows drive, scroll a little further down and select ‘View storage on other drives.’
4. TreeSize Free
There are lots of third-party tools that you can use to view the folder size on Windows 10. It’s an area where the OS generally lacks, so plenty of tools have been developed to fill the gap.
- Install a free app called TreeSize Free from the Microsoft Store.
- Run the app, and click the Select Directory button.
- Pick a folder or a drive to scan for folders.
- The app will show you each folder and its size. You can sort the results by folder size.
- Expand each folder, and you can see the size of the folders nested under it.
5. Folder size in File Explorer search
You can use File Explorer to search for files and folders, and the results can be sorted by size.
- Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder you want to search in.
- Click inside the search bar, and enter a search term. Tap Enter.
- When the Search completes, go to the Search Tools tab.
- Open the Size dropdown, and select one of the size presets to narrow the results down.
- Alternatively, you can use the size: search modifier to enter a custom size e.g. size:1MB. Add it at the end of the search term.
Folder size in File Explorer
If you set the folder view of a particular folder to ‘Details,’ File Explorer adds a Size column to it. Unfortunately, this column remains empty for any and all folders. Windows 10 and its many predecessors do not show the folder size in File Explorer, and it doesn’t plan on doing so in the future even though users have been asking for the feature.
The reason the feature doesn’t extend to folders is that it can take time to calculate folder size, and that would slow File Explorer down. It’s not a big deal for smaller folders that do not have a complex folder structure but for large folders with many files and many nested folders under it, it can become a problem that Windows would like to avoid.
Deleting unnecessary folders
It’s a good idea to keep junk files and folders off your system. Here are a few ways to do that;
- Clean/empty the Recycle Bin often.
- Enable Storage Sense from the Settings app under System>Storage.
- Remove junk files and delete Windows update files. You can do this by right-clicking the Windows drive, and selecting properties. Click ‘Disk Cleanup’ and delete anything that isn’t needed.
- If you take a lot of screenshots, make sure you delete the ones you don’t need because the folder can get quite big over time.
- Check folders like those created by Apple and remove anything you don’t need e.g., multiple backups for a device.
Folders, especially those generated by apps, can get out of hand. Users may be aware of how big a folder they’ve personally created has gotten, but those created by an app like iTunes can get quite big without warning. Before you know it, your drive has turned red, and your OS is lagging. That’s why it’s a good idea to check in on them from time to time.