A 32GB iPhone cost $100 more than its 16GB variant, with no difference in specs. Similarly, SSDs are more expensive than HDDs but offer less storage. So, if you are one of those, whose smartphone has a small internal memory or if you are running an SSD on your computer, then here is how you can quickly see what’s taking up space on your Hard Drive and delete them easily.
While the popular ways to free up device’s storage includes — uninstalling unused application, deleting temp files and empty recycle bin etc. But, in a long term, these methods are not practical. Because, uninstalling apps are not everyone’s cup of tea and these temp files/caches are usually small in size, so deleting them won’t make any significant difference.
We often download huge TV shows on our devices but once we are done watching it, we often forget to delete them. Or, there may be other big files that we don’t need anymore. So, a better way to get your space back is — by finding files that are taking most space on your Hard Drive and then delete them.
Now, even though every OS lets you delete files manually, it’s pretty difficult to find the larger ones. So, we’ll use a third party Disk Visualizer for it. This will give you a visual representation of your hard drive and let you delete files from within the app.
See What’s Taking up space with Disk Visualizer
To free up space on a windows computer, use WinDirStat. It’s free, has a portable version and weight only a few KBs.
Simply download the app and run it. The portable version does not require any installation. Once the app is running, it’ll take few seconds to analyze your hard drive, and then show you a bunch of color coded rectangles. The larger is the rectangle, the more memory it’s hogging. And the color-coding helps you identify the file type.
Now, say the biggest rectangle consist of .mkv file, then it means the movies are taking space, and if you don’t need it anymore, you can simply delete it from within the app.
To visualize your hard drive on Mac, I suggest Disk Inventory X. It’s free and works similar to WinDirStat. As you run this app, you have the option to analyze entire hard drive (this make take few minutes) or a specific folder, and then it’ll show you a bunch of color coded rectangles.
Look for the biggest rectangle and see if you can delete it. To give you a better overview, it also shows the type of file and its location in finder. To delete the file simply right-click the rectangle and select move to trash option.
Android has in built-in storage analyzer (in Android M and above) which tells you how much memory is used and by which files. But still to get a better overview of your disk, try DiskUsage android app. Compare to its alternative, this app is very intuitive, you can delete within the app and it’s free with no ads.
Like all the other apps, it’ll give a visual demo of total storage in the form of rectangles proportionate to its size on the disk. This can be further expanded into subfolders. Look for a big rectangle that you don’t need any more like screen recordings, movies, mp3 files etc. Then tap on the three vertical dot on the top right and choose delete.
Alternatively, you can also use link2SD to move apps along with its data to SD card. It requires ROOT, though.
I didn’t find any Disk Visualiser app for iOS, but thankfully, you also don’t need one. Simply go to Settings > General > Usage > Storage. Here, you can see the amount of data taken up by every app on the device, sorted by top offenders. Look for the top contender like say Video, then edit and delete the show you have already watch.
To get a better overview of the file system, you can also use a third party file manager.