Windows

Use TreeSize to stay on top of disk space issues

System engineer Jerry Smith shares one of his favorite free tools for keeping track of disk space issues.

As a System Engineer responsible for over 60 servers both virtual and physical, I am always juggling disk space issues. My company is a SaaS provider; if our IIS logs fill up our disks, the application goes down. And that is not good for anyone. Enter TreeSize Free, a lightweight application that quickly and efficiently provides a graphical view of a hard disk in a hierarchical (hence the name tree) format. While TreeSize isn't a new product, I wanted to take this opportunity to be sure all network admins are aware of its usefulness.

There is ample competition as one might expect. Offerings from WinDirStat and FreeCommander offer similar results, however, I like the interface of TreeSize and the lack of invasiveness to my systems of the application itself.

If you crave more information in the form of reporting, TreeSize Pro is available with prices starting around $50.

TreeSize Free can be found with a quick web search.

The download is less than 3MB and, for this example, is being installed on Windows 2003 SP2. TreeSize Free supports Windows products from XP to Server 2008, and I'm sure support for Windows 8 is in the pipeline.

Installation is a snap; just launch the executable, accept the defaults, and choose where you want shortcuts placed.

TreeSize wizard
When the application is launched you simply click Open and then select which drive you want analyzed. TreeSize quickly displays the analysis with the largest collection of files at the top in descending order.

Click to enlarge directory view.

If you hover over any particular folder you'll get the yellow box you see above. While providing necessary and important data, it can be a bit irritating if you're simply trying to review the results. Just remind yourself that it is free software. TreeSize is very minimal and doesn't take up much space when installed. I have it listed in my documentation for all new server installations.

If you are an IT Admin this application saves you valuable time sorting through directories looking for rogue log files or ripped DVD's in user home folders.

About

Jerry Smith is an IT Pro with over 15 years experience. He currently is a Systems Engineer for a leading SaaS firm in Birmingham, AL.

20 comments
david.monckton
david.monckton

I've been using SpaceMonger for years and think its one of the best utilities I ever found. It has saved me loads of disk space over the years. Showed it to my CEO, checked in after a week and he also said it was excellent. I use v1.4.0 which works fine and is still free. http://www.sixty-five.cc/sm/v1x.php TIP: use subst B: C:\blah\blah to speed up the searching of a specific directory.

tdh2112
tdh2112

This is a great tool! Fast, simple, and clean. I just went from ~3.5gb of free space to ~19gb of free space on my laptop due to finding videos that were ripped under another Windows user. This is going on my "Vital Tools" flash drive.

ray
ray

Is a tool like this that will save a report and compare it to the latest report so I can drill down into both of them and see just where all the disk space has gone after a backup. Anyone know of such a thing?

cjones
cjones

Treesize is great, and I use it a lot, but it's a "reactive" tool. It doesn't help to provide proactive support. That's when you need another tool. But usually my other tools report the space as low in advance, and I bust out Treesize Free and find those many GBs of iTunes Music Libraries!!!!

jana.squires
jana.squires

I've not used any other products but I find that TreeSize is great. Quickly helps to resolve low disk space alerts - especially when it comes to user data.

dariusz
dariusz

I have been using FolderSizes (http://www.foldersizes.com/) for number of years with great success. This program does an excellent job of representing the information visually, numerous charts are available. The only thing is that it is not FREE, but still very affordable ($59 for a single license). Let's not forget that a free trial is available as well.

APSDave
APSDave

Is your choice of TreeSize over, say WindirStat, just a matter of personal preference, or did you see something you liked better in this one that makes you use it instead?

ideason88
ideason88

I just tested it on my local network and didn't get any errors scanning a network drive using the free version referenced. Running it local would be better as mentioned, but looks like it will work either way. Also the tooltip is easy to turn off as another poster mentioned - just go to options and un-check Show Long Tool Tips. Great little tool - thanks for this post. I like the way you can easily change the display to show size/percentage, etc. Lots of useful options without being overdone.

fjyoung
fjyoung

The free version won't scan network drives. You get the message "I'm sorry, but scanning network drives in Windows domains and on Windows servers is not supported in the Free edition". Guess I'll stick with Glarys Utilities. It scans network drives, runs pretty fast and provides the ability to right-click on a folder and chose to analyze the folder contents (similar to the TreeSIze report). And it is free and works as a portable app too.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

The first thing I do after installing - under options somewhere I think

spage
spage

I've been using TreeSize for years. This is a great tool and has come in handy for auditing storage usage--especially for user folders. I've been using it for so long, I thought everybody knew about it!

seanferd
seanferd

Serves me right for not looking for a couple years, I guess.

MyopicOne
MyopicOne

Simple, clean, reasonably fast. Good tool...

aimarzhang
aimarzhang

Disk Space Fan is really cool to find my useless files. And I agree, it is fast when scanning the drives. :)

JerrySmithTR
JerrySmithTR

Hello sorry for the delay. I use it over the others for the tiny install and the overall cleanliness of the look. But they all do the job it boils down to simple preference. Thanks!

reggaethecat
reggaethecat

You can just log onto the server and run it on its local drives, it's far faster that way anyway.

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