Checking a Disk Drive for Free Space

by Barry Dysert
(last updated December 18, 2017)

Having sufficient free space on your disks is helpful for performance reasons, and it's absolutely essential for the proper functioning of your computer. Without sufficient free space, the disk and its files become badly fragmented over time, and this has an adverse impact on performance. And, of course, if your disk is full then Windows can't create the files it needs to properly function.

It's a good practice, therefore, to keep an eye on your disks to ensure that they're not getting full. There are a couple of ways to check a disk to determine how much room it has left. One way is to display the drive listing for your computer in Windows Explorer. If you are using Windows 7, go to Start | Computer. If you are using Windows 8 or Windows 10, press Win+E. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Computer window.

Here you can look at the Hard Disk Drives area and see how much space is free and how much space in total there is for each drive. In the above figure, for example, you can see that my "C:" drive is not very full, with 886 GB free out of a total capacity of 923 GB.

Another way (and, I believe, the easiest way) to check available disk space is through the Properties dialog box for a drive. Display the drive overview, as already discussed, right-click on the drive, and select Properties from the Context menu. Windows displays the Properties dialog box for the drive. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Properties dialog box for a drive.

The dialog box tells you, both visually and numerically, how much space is being used, how much is free, and what the total capacity of the disk is.

 This tip (12069) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Understanding ReadyBoost

ReadyBoost promised to provide a hot-swappable addition of memory that could end up improving system performance. Whether ...

Discover More

Changing the Size of Icons Used by Windows

Microsoft Windows can be highly personalized to suit your needs. This personalization includes the ability to change the ...

Discover More

Using the FOR Statement

In another tip we were introduced to the various FOR loops that exist in Windows. The actual use of these loops was left ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Checking the Size of Apps

Need to know how much disk space is consumed by the small applications (apps) installed on your system? Windows makes it ...

Discover More

Making a File Read-Only

If you have an important file that you want to be sure doesn't get accidentally edited, you can set it to read-only. This ...

Discover More

Using Sync Center

Sync Center is a centralized place where you can deal with your offline files. You can do a manual sync, set up a sync ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

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 1 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.