Finding Large Files

Written by Eric Wyatt (last updated October 25, 2021)

1

Have you noticed that your hard drive is running out of storage space or, perhaps, you've received a notice that you are about to run out of available space? Many times, this can be attributed to large files that, alone, take up vast amounts of hard drive space that we either forgot was on our machine or we never realized it was there to begin with. Fortunately, there is a simple way to look for potential storage hogs, and then you can decide what to do with them.

Using File Explorer, navigate to a specific folder, such as your downloads folder, where you might find large files. Then, using the search bar at the top-right of a File Explorer Window, enter one of the following search labels:

  • size:gigantic Ð This returns files over 4GB in size.
  • size:huge Ð This returns files between 1GB to 4GB in size.
  • size:large Ð This returns files between 128MB to 1 GB in size.
  • size:medium Ð This returns files between 1MB to 128MB in size.

When you search, Windows looks not only in the folder to which you navigated, but also in any subfolders within that folder. If you want to search for files other than through the predefined labels, you can also use specific sizes. For example, say you want to look for files larger than 6GB. In that case you would enter (without quotes) "size: >6GB". This causes Windows to display only files over the 6GB threshold you specified. It is important to note that if you search your entire machine (by starting the search in the root directory), the search may take a few moments to list items that fit the size parameters you entered.

Once you have found larger files, you can look at them and see if they still need to be on your computer. If not, you can delete them or store them on a flash drive or other external media.

 This tip (11885) applies to Windows 10 and 11.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...

MORE FROM ERIC

Search a Website Using the Run Dialog Box

The Run dialog box allows you to quickly run a search on a website that offers a search function. Performing web searches ...

Discover More

Share with a Nearby Computer

Have you ever needed to quickly share something with another computer? With Nearby Sharing, part of the Windows 10 April ...

Discover More

Quick Event Creation

Windows 10 November 2019 update provides a quick method to add a calendar event. This new method allows you to create an ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Permanently Deleting a File

If you have a file that you're sure you want to permanently delete (instead of having it go to the Recycle Bin) it's an ...

Discover More

Adding Locations to the Search Index

You can fine-tune Indexed Searches by adding locations to the search index. This tip tells you how.

Discover More

Filtering a Folder's Content

If you have lots of files on your computer, it is helpful to filter the files to more easily find a specific one. When ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 + 1?

2021-10-25 11:31:32

John Zelno

I use a free (for personal use) tool called WizTree. You can get it here: https://diskanalyzer.com/. It provides a fast visual of your hard drive usage, so you can quickly and easily see where your hard drive space is being used up, and you can delete files to free up space.


Newest Tips