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Windows 10 Guide: How to Find Large Files in Windows

Hard disk filling up? You can use Windows built-in functions and other apps to find large files in Windows. Here is how to search for large files in simple steps.

If you are using your computer for long enough, it is only natural that the hard disk is filled up with unnecessary files. This is especially true if you download a lot of things and forget to clean after them. One of the side effects of not cleaning up unnecessary files is that they fill up your hard disk pretty quickly. You can quickly get back some disk space by finding large files and deleting them as needed.

The good thing is, the File Explorer has several advanced search commands that make it easy to find large files in Windows. All you have to do is execute the search command in the File Explorer and it will show all the large files over a certain size. For a bit more control and ease of use, we can also use a free software called WinDirStat.

In this quick Windows 10 guide, let me show you the steps to find large files in Windows 10 using File Explorer search commands or WinDirStat.

Find large files in Windows 10

The File Explorer has something called Advanced Search Syntax that lets you filter files and folders based on different criteria. Since we want to find large files, we can use the size command to find files bigger than a certain size. Here is how to use the size command to search for big files.

1. First, open the File Explorer with “Start + E” shortcut.

2. Next, go to the folder where you want to find the large files. If you want to scan the entire hard disk, select “This PC” on the sidebar. In my case, I want to find big files in my Downloads folder. So, I opened the Downloads folder.

3. In the File Explorer, you will see a search bar on the top-right corner. In that search bar, use one of the below commands to find big files.

  • To find files between 1MB – 128MB — size:medium
  • Find files between 128MB – 1GB — size:large
  • To find files between 1GB – 4GB — size:huge
  • Find files between larger than 4GB — size:gigantic
find large files in Windows file explorer

4. Other than the predefined flags like medium, large, huge, and gigantic, you can also use the command with a specific size. For example, to find files larger than 5GB, you can use the command size: >5GB. To find files less than 1MB, you can use size: <1MB.

Keep in mind that if you are scanning the entire hard drive for large files, it can take some time for Windows to filter them. The scan time completely depends on how big your hard disk is and how many files you have. So, sit back and wait a bit until the scan is completed.

Use WinDirStat to find large files

WinDirStat is a small and simple application that lets you find large files in Windows and lets you visualize them for better comparison. In fact, WinDirStat is one of those applications that every Windows user should have installed.

1. First, download WinDirStat from the official website and install it. After installing, open the application by double-clicking on the desktop shortcut or by searching for it in the Start menu.

2. Now, select the “Individual Drives” option, select the drive of your choice and click on the “Ok” button. To scan the entire hard disk, select the “All Local Drives” option.

select drive in windirstat

3. As soon as you click the Ok button, WinDirStart will start the scan. Depending on the drive size and the number of files, the scan will take some time to complete. So, sit back and wait till the scan is complete.

4. Once the scan is complete, WinDirStat will show the percentage of disk space used for each root folder and supporting visualization at the button.

windirstat scan results

5. Simply expand the folder tree or click on the visualization to go to the largest file.

find large files using windirstat application

6. To see the file in the File Explorer, right-click on the file and select “Explorer Here” option. You can also delete a file by selecting it and pressing the delete key on the keyboard.

That is all. It is that simple to find large files in Windows 10. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.

Check out how to improve Start menu search speed in Windows 10.

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