Checking a Disk Drive for Free Space

by Barry Dysert
(last updated October 6, 2014)

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, 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 and 8.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Quick Ways to Get Back to Your Desktop

There may be times when you need to get back to your desktop by eliminating the "clutter" of all your open windows. Windows ...

Discover More

Toggl

If you want a simple, unobtrusive time-tracking utility to keep track of time you spend on various tasks, Toggl is the ...

Discover More

Improve Performance by Turning Off 3D Effects

Windows does a lot of nuancing to provide the user with a pleasing visual experience. All this attention to detail, though, ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Clearing Items from the Recently Used Documents List

You may wish to clear your Recently Used Documents list or even have them not remembered in the first place. How you clear ...

Discover More

Displaying the Number of Files or Folders within a Folder

You can easily determine how many files and folders there are within a folder by making quick use of Windows Explorer or File ...

Discover More

Understanding File Paths

Every file on your disk drive has a unique file path that defines its location. Understanding how file paths work can be ...

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}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. 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 5 + 0?

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.