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Short on hard drive space? JDiskReport can usually explain why

12 October 2012, Mike Williams

When you’re looking to free up a little hard drive space, then you might start by using something like CCleaner to find and remove logs, leftover temporary files and assorted other junk.

But if that doesn’t help very much, then your next step should be to try and get a better understanding of exactly what is filling up your drive. And the free, Java-based JDiskReport is the ideal tool to help.

The process starts by pointing the program at the folder tree you’d like it to examine, then waiting for a moment as it analyses your files.

And then, the report appears, providing both an Explorer-type view of your system, and a pie chart which immediately highlights which of your top-level folders are consuming the most disk space.

Well-designed reports mean space-hogging folders are highlighted immediately

Initially this probably won’t reveal anything too informative. The largest folder on our test system was \Users, for instance – but what does that actually mean?

Fortunately just clicking that folder drills down a level, and once you’ve done that two or three times you’ll have found exactly which user, folder and perhaps file comes top of the space-hogging charts.

But if there’s still a problem, then JDiskReport offers some useful alternative views on your system. Clicking “Top 50” can display your largest or most recently modified 50 files, for instance. While the “Types” tab reveals the file types which are hogging the most drive space.

The program has the occasional frustration. If you spot an unwanted file on the “50 largest” list, for instance, it would be useful to be able to delete it immediately. But, that isn’t possible: the best the program can do is open an Explorer window and leave you to wipe it manually.

JDiskReport does provide a great deal of useful data on how your hard drive is being used, though, and it’s entirely free of adware, nag screens or other marketing hassles. If you need some help figuring out where all your drive space has gone, then give it a try.

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