Some people think that a hard drive with hundreds of free gigabytes needs little in the way of management. There's no need, they say - you're not going to run out of space for a very long time.

While they have a point, the reality is that hard drive clutter has a very real effect on your PC, no matter how much space you've got free. The more files you have, the longer it takes to search your hard drive, to defragment it, and to scan for viruses, for instance. Even navigating around in Explorer takes longer as the program has more work to do.

It pays to keep a careful eye on where your hard drive space has gone, then, and TreeSize Free is just the tool to help. Right-click a folder in Explorer, click TreeSize Free, and the program will open and display a list of all your subfolders, sorted according to how much drive space they're consuming.

Trying this out on a test PC revealed that our Program Files folder has swallowed up some 30GB. So who's using that? You can zoom in on any folder by expanding it, just as in Explorer, and then TreeSize Free displays the space used by all the subfolders. Showing that, in this case, the biggest space hog was the Steam folder created by a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 installation, which had gobbled up more than 11GB of hard drive real estate.

If you're still using the largest applications on your system, then no problem - they can stay. Scan down the list, though, and you may find TreeSize Free has highlighted space-hogging programs, or folders you'd created long ago and forgotten about. In which case you can remove them, recover some space, and many PC operations will now be just that little bit faster.

TreeSize Free 4.2.0.465 changes (see changelog for more info):

•TreeSize Free is now available with French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese translation. More languages will follow. 
You are missing a language or want to contribute to the translations? Great, please help us translate!

•Increased the performance when scanning local drives as administrator (using the MFT) significantly.

•The element highlighted in the directory tree is now also highlighted in the treemap chart.

•TreeSize Free no longer integrates with the context menu for the recycle bin or ZIP-files.

•Updated the product icon for TreeSize Free.

•The progress of an ongoing scan is now also displayed in the status bar at the bottom of the window.

•Improved the support for high-resolution monitors and multi-monitor setups.

•Bugfix: When examining the OneDrive folder, subfolders were sometimes recognized incorrectly as symbolic links. TreeSize Free now scans the OneDrive folder as expected.

•Bugfix: Under certain circumstances, a shown context menu would refer to another entry than the one selected in the directory tree. This issue has been fixed.

•A few minor fixes and improvements have been incorporated.

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A simple and effective way to identify hard drive space resource hogs