by Chris Taylor
have an issue with my desktop computer’s hard drive. I am only
using about 665 GB of the 2 TB drive, so I’m not in dire need of
free space. What’s bugging me are backups. I use a 5 TB external
hard drive to store backup images. A backup set (full backup and 30
days of incrementals) takes about 1.2 TB of space, meaning I can only
store 3 full month’s worth of backups. I want more!
I could shave the monthly backup set by a couple of hundred
gigabytes, I could store 4 months of backups. A file cleanup was
clearly in order. I could do it manually, but I knew using a program
designed for the task would be a much better approach.
Professional from JAM Software is the most powerful program I’ve
seen for analyzing how disk space is being used. Just load the
program and specify the areas you want to scan. These can be one or
more local partitions or paths, or partitions or paths on networked
computers. Hit the Scan
button and wait a while.
you don’t have to wait long! TreeSize is lightning quick. My local
hard drive, which is partitioned as a main C: partition and a
supplementary D: partition, has almost 450,000 files using 665 GB.
The scan completed in 37 seconds!
are many ways of looking at the results. The left-hand panel always
displays the tree structure and is sorted by size or number of files.
Customizable highlighting shows the relative size of folders. In the
tree, selecting any line from the combined virtual root of all scans
down to a single bottom-level folder shows the details of that
section of the tree in the right-hand panel under a series of tabs.
click any segment of the chart to drill down through a folder
structure. The chart updates to show you either the size or number of
files at that folder level and below.
Windows File Explorer-style display … on steroids! Besides the
date and Size,
you can display any of 38 attributes collected by TreeSize, including
(number of sub)Folders,
(for Microsoft Office documents), and more. Sort on any column by
clicking on its header.
has classified hundreds of different file extensions and displays
summary information on 17 groupings such as Graphics,
etc. Groups can be expanded to show the details on individual file
extensions. You can modify existing groups and add your own. I
created a new group called Photo Files
that included just the file extensions used for my photos.
photographs taking up 490 GB
by NTFS file owner. Outside of an enterprise environment, this may be
of limited use. But if you have multiple user accounts on the
computer, this will let you track down who is using a lot of space.
You can create any number
of file age groups (e.g. last week, 1 week to 6 months, 7 months to 2
years, & over 2 years). It can be based on creation, last
modified, or last accessed date. Data is shown as a bar chart.
Double-click a bar to display the files in that age group.
Details the largest 100
keeps track of total size of your scans and displays how the total
used space varies over time.
used a variety of methods to track down files that might be
candidates for deletion.
few quick wins were found in the Top 100
Files. I no longer need some videos, a
few huge Photoshop images, installation files for programs I haven’t
used in years, and driver packages for computers I no longer own.
That freed up over 10 GB very quickly.
selected the virtual root and clicked the Extensions
tab. 76% of in-use disk space was being used by my custom group Photo
Files. I expanded that group. 25% of
space was being used by 5,923 Nikon RAW.nef files. My main camera
records both .jpg and .nef files. While RAW files are useful in
certain circumstances, they are not always required.
double-clicked the line for .nef. TreeSize filtered the left-hand
tree to show the folders that contain that file type, but I found it
better to click on Show files for this
extension. The companion TreeSize File
Search program loaded and showed me all .nef files in a single list
that could be sorted by path, size, date, etc. I quickly saw that
many were in folders for projects where I don’t need the RAW files.
I sent about 20 GB of files to oblivion.
Search for Nikon RAW files
File Search would have allowed me to play it safe. Clicking on the
button gives options to delete files, move them to the recycle bin,
move them to a ZIP file, or move them to a different location (such
as a different drive or computer). When you move items to a different
location, you can preserve the path name, leave a shortcut in the
original location pointing to the moved file, log the operation, and
even create an undo
script to reverse the action. Very cool!
Search has some pre-defined search criteria and I used Temporary
Files, and Duplicate
Files which turned up a few other
candidates for deletion. One powerful capability of File Search is
de-duplication. For Duplicate files,
TreeSize can replace all but one of the files with an NTFS hard link.
can export data to a wide variety of formats including Excel, CSV,
XML, and PDF for record keeping, later comparison, or further data
people will never run into limits when using TreeSize Professional. I
have used it in an enterprise environment to scan several hundred
areas on over 50 servers. With 20 GB RAM on the computer doing the
scanning, I found that I was hitting the paging file (which slows
things dramatically) after scanning about 100 million files, so I
broke scans down into separate scanning job and scripted them so I
could automate running monthly scans in an easy and repeatable
manner. Besides performing the scanning, the scripts export the data
in several formats that allow me to analyse the data further.
included 171-page PDF manual is impressive in its completeness and
clarity. It includes an FAQ section that is highly recommended for
getting the most out the program, as is the command line section for
those who want to automate processes. But rest assured you don’t
need to read the manual to use TreeSize effectively. As the Managing
Director at JAM Software told me “I always try to design software
in a way that the manual is not needed, especially for average use
TreeSize a cure-all for solving my disk space issues? No. It
certainly exposes where the problems lie. But for me, the biggest
reclamation moving forward will be going through my remaining 140 GB
of RAW photos to see just which ones I need to keep. More cleanup is
probably in order to get that fourth monthly backup to fit on my
are three versions of TreeSize.
TreeSize Free is stripped down to the bare
essentials, but may be useful for those who only need the Details
tab or a TreeMap
(helps you hone in on large folders). TreeSize File Search is not
included, although a free program called UltraSearch is available
from JAM Software.
Personal removes support for Windows Server and automation through
scripting. I think this is the version appropriate for users outside
of an enterprise environment.
Professional is the version I used for this review.
Free v4.1: Free
TreeSize Personal v6.3.7: US$24.95
Professional v. 6.3.7: US$54.95
published: May 2018
top of page