REVIEW: WinDirStat 1.1.2.80

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Do you know what this is?

I finally installed and tested WinDirStat. I’ve been hearing a lot about it and quite frankly, was really curious about the pictures I kept seeing. The graphic displayed at the top of this post is the heart of WinDirStat – it is a graphical representation of the data contained on your storage device.

WinDirStat is a free tool that scours your storage devices and outputs usage statistics data. You can easily manage files/folders from within this graphical tool, so you can think of it as a comprehensive cleanup tool as well.

Scanning a 500gb HDD took about 10 minutes and what I got at the end of it I got a single window with several panes displaying what it had found:

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The upper left-hand pane initially displayed an interactive tree structure of my disk sorted by the percentage of disk space consumed by each folder. This makes it extremely easy to see exactly where your largest data is stored. This pane contains helpful information including the number of files contained in a given folder, the total and individual file sizes, last modified date, etc. Each column is interactive and you can sort by any given metric. Clicking on either a folder or a file will highlight its location in the graphical map at the bottom of the window.

The pane on the upper right-hand side shows file breakdown by extension type. This makes it convenient to view how much space, say, MP3 files are taking up on your storage device. Again, each column is sortable. You’ll notice a column called, “Color”. This maps to the graphic displayed in the bottom half of the window. Clicking on any given file type will highlight all instances of that file type in the graphical map.

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I found WinDirStat extremely useful and intuitive to use. It was somewhat of an enjoyable time sink playing around with the interactive map and investigating my disk. I don’t think the graphic shows fragmentation data, which I think would probably be the tipping point for making this a more useful tool.

At the end of the day, though, the information is pretty much what I’d get out of Glary Utilities (my favorite all-in-one tool), so I’m not sure it justifies its existence on my rig. My point of view is that I don’t like to keep a lot of redundant applications installed on my PC. But, WinDirStat does it’s job in an easy to use and eye pleasing way. Best of all, it’s free.

Give it a try and let us know what you think!

– Download it here –

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