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08/10/2003: Treesize [>> Go]

    Treesize, by JAM Software, is one of those utilities that Windows should come with, but doesn't. You tell Treesize to scan a folder (or entire drive) on your computer. Treesize then generates an Explorer-style view of the folder, its sub-folders, their sub-folders, etc., showing you how much data is in each one. The example screen pictured here shows my C:\Program Files\Common Files folder, with a few of the sub-folders expanded. Windows could tell me that the "Common Files" folder contained 285 MB of data by right-clicking on the folder in Explorer and choosing "Properties", but in order for me to figure out how that data was distributed (was most of it in one or two folders? was it divided fairly evenly among them all?) I'd have to do that to each sub-folder and write down their sizes, then perhaps do the same thing at the 3rd and 4th levels to figure out what was eating my disk space. With Treesize, I just pick my "Common Files" folder, and it calculates the sizes of every sub-folder for me so that all I have to do is expand various folders until I find out what's taking up the most room on my hard drive. Treesize even sorts the sub-folders of any chosen folder from largest to smallest, and uses colored bars to indicate which folders are using the most space (red means that a sub-folder contains a large percentage of the primary folder's total, yellow is a lower percent, green a lower percent still). From the screen above, I can easily see that the largest sub-folders under "Common Files" are the "Microsoft Shared" folder (126 MB) and the "Adobe" folder; from there I can expand the folders to see what's taking up room inside the "Adobe" folder, for example.

    Where Treesize comes in especially handy is when you're running tight on disk space or trying to prepare some data for copying to a CD-ROM or other fixed-size media (DVD-ROM, Zip disk, etc). When my hard drive gets below 1 GB of free space, I break out Treesize and see what's taking up space on my hard drive. "Program Files" is invariably the largest folder, so I scan through that quickly and see if any of the largest programs are ones I still need. Sometimes I find a folder that's taking up way more space than I think it should, so I investigate and often find some large files or folders that I no longer need, and I'm able to free up my hard drive space. When I back up my system to CD, I use Treesize to help me figure out which folders I can put together to fit on a 700 MB CD.

    Treesize is free, but if you scan a folder with a lot of data (1 GB or more, I think), a notice pops up suggesting that maybe you'd benefit from Treesize Professional, a more robust version of Treesize with more features and capable of displaying more detailed information (including graphs and reports) about the folders you're scanning. But unless you're an IT manager tracking dozens of workstations or network servers, the free version of Treesize will suit your disk management needs just fine. I've been using Treesize since 1998, and I've installed it on every family-member's computer I've had to work on (because everyone eventually runs into the "Your computer is low on disk space..." message, and I'm called in to clean it up). As I mentioned before, this is something that Windows should come with, but until it does, I'll be using Treesize.

©2017 Tyler Chambers