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Do-It-Yourself Windows File Recovery Software: A Comparison

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Freeing Up Space On Your Hard Drive Using TreeSize Free

There has been a long running issue with Windows that has bothered and inconvenienced many users battling with clogged hard drives. When deciding which programs and folders to keep, the inability to compare files and folders on the fly is a great hindrance. Unfortunately attempting to sort folders by size does not help, because Windows only calculates the size of files—not folders and subfolders. The only real built in way to check the size of a folders contents is by left clicking the folder then right clicking and bringing up the properties menu. From here, Windows calculates the size of the contents, but on occasion continues to do so for several minutes (particularly if the hard drive is not a solid state drive) and provides no indication as to when it has reached its final size estimate.

Another issue is that the Windows properties menu uses a linear search algorithm, meaning that it does not locate the largest files and folders first, it just starts calculating at one end until it gets to another. The type of algorithm would not really matter if it executed quickly, but the time to calculate a size estimate means that it can be way off what you are expecting for up to a few minutes (especially if you are checking your program files folder). Even with a SSD, the quicker file size estimates do not solve all of your problems if you are trying to get a comparison of all files and folders.

This is where TreeSize Free comes in. TreeSize Free allows you (for free) to scan a hard drive and view folder sizes alongside one another, giving you an idea about what is the most greedy. This can be great for finding out which applications may be lurking in your drive taking up a ton of space. While the scan is not instantaneous, it operates a lot faster than manually checking each folder. Simply start the scan and leave the application running for a few seconds while it calculates everything. For example, on a very full, ageing 750GB Hard Drive (at 7200 RPM) TreeSize Free has the list almost entirely complete in 30 seconds.

The folders are displayed in a drop down style, allowing you to explore 'trees' to pinpoint the location of the largest offenders. Often, there can be folders sitting in your local and roaming AppData, using gigabytes of space. A neat feature of TreeSize Free is that you can send files straight from its built in explorer to the recycle bin. However, caution is advised when managing these folders, and changes should only be made by a confident and experienced system administrator.

The utility is a really great addition to your computer and makes freeing up space that little bit easier. It can often be particularly useful for your C drive because some programs will always install to that path without giving you the option to choose another drive. Of course, there is a professional paid version, but if all you need to do is check folder sizes and perform general file management tasks, then the free version is perfectly adequate.


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