Finding Large Files

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


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. ...


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What is 5 - 0?

2021-10-25 11:31:32

John Zelno

I use a free (for personal use) tool called WizTree. You can get it here: 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.

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