Determining How Much Space the Files in a Folder Require

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 18, 2016)

4

When you are working with the files on your disk drive, it is often helpful to know how much space is used by all the files within a particular folder. This is especially true when you want to know if you've got enough space on a flash drive or some removable media for that folder and its contents.

The traditional way to check how much space the files require is to open the folder, press Ctrl+A to select all the files, and then look at the status bar of the Explorer window to see how much space is used. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Seeing how much space files require.

If pressing Ctrl+A selects quite a few files, the status bar may not show the aggregate size, at first. Instead you may see a link that says "Show more details...". This is just Windows' way of saying it is lazy and that it won't calculate the space unless you really want it to. Click the link, though, and it chunks through all the files and you'll shortly see the size of the selected files.

There's an even easier way to view the aggregate size of all the files in a folder, though. All you need to do is hover the mouse pointer over the file folder, and shortly you'll see the information you want. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Hover the mouse to see the space requirements.

If you don't see the file size information on your folders, it is possible that someone has turned off that feature. To check, follow these steps:

  1. Open an Explorer window.
  2. Display the Folder Options dialog box. There are various ways to do this, depending on your version of Windows and how your system is configured. In Windows 8 and Windows 10, display the View tab of the ribbon, click the Options tool (right side of the ribbon), and then choose Change Folder and Search Options. In Windows 7, click Organize | Folder and Search Options. (If you are using classic menus in Windows 7, click Tools | Folder Options.)
  3. Make sure the View tab is displayed. (See Figure 3.)
  4. Figure 3. The View tab of the Folder Options dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Display File Size Information in Folder Tips check box is selected.
  6. Click OK.

 This tip (7007) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is three more than 8?

2016-04-20 07:35:56

Anne

I like the aspect of the 'view' options in the 'advanced settings' of the folder options dialog box. I've now employed the "use check boxes to select items" option. Neat!


2016-04-18 08:29:03

Henry Noble

You're in luck.
Windows gives you a count of both files and subordinate folders.


2016-04-18 08:02:57

Lou Jones

Good information for people who didn't know it. I was hoping to learn if the number also includes subfolders. (I suspect it doesn't.)


2016-04-18 06:28:21

Henry Noble

In newer versions of Windows, the status bar has been dumbed-down. After selecting a folder or group of files for which you want the count or size, you need to right-click and select Properties. If the ribbon is in use, you can click on the Properties icon, a box with a red check mark.


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