Everyone runs out of disk space eventually. Even if you have exabytes of space, it’s good to cull once in a while. Here’s a simple, lightweight utility for Windows to see all the files you have as proportionally sized rectangles: WinDirStat. (On their site they recommend some alternatives for Linux and Mac.)

It’s not a beautiful visualization, but it’s fast and free. Tell it what drive or folder to analyze, and it’ll create a colorful summary of all the files, organized by folder. (Filetypes are color-coded.) A directory listing appears on top, with filenames and sizes. You can click either the text or the graphic rectangle to select a file. From there you can get Properties, open in Explorer, Delete and some other administrative stuff.

It’s a great way to spot the huge files (or folders made up of hundreds of small files). I just did this the other day when I saw my Dropbox was full.

There are other utilities that do this, but I love the raw simplicity and ugliness of it. But that’s me. At work I set up Windows 7 to look like 98.

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