Storage usage on Windows 10
Disk analyzer

How to see what’s taking up space on a hard drive on Windows 10

Windows 10 includes a tool to quickly analyze and find out how the hard drive space is being used to help understand where to begin deleting files to free up space.

When your computer’s hard drive begins to fill up, you will start wondering what’s taking up all the available space, and this is when “Storage sense” will come in handy.

On Windows 10, most people know Storage sense as a feature to free up hard drive space. While this is true, it is also a tool you can use to analyze the content of a drive to figure out how space is being utilized to know where to start cleaning up files you cannot remove using this feature.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to use Storage sense to understand how the storage is being utilized on Windows 10.

Find out what files are taking up space on Windows 10

To see the files taking up space on the hard drive on Windows 10 version 1903 all the way to 20H2 and 21H1 (and later), use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Storage.

  4. Under the “(C:)” section, you will be able to see what’s taking up space on the main hard drive.

    Storage settings on Windows 10 version 1903 and later
    Storage settings on Windows 10 version 1903 and later
  5. Click the Show more categories option to view the storage usage from other file types.

    Windows 10 storage usage for the main drive
    Windows 10 storage usage for the main drive
  6. (Optional) Under the “More storage settings” section, click the View storage usage on other drives option.

    Windows 10 storage usage for other drivers
    Windows 10 storage usage for other drives
  7. If you have multiple hard drives, select the one that you want to see its storage usage.

    Windows 10 other drives storage usage
    Windows 10 other drives storage usage
  8. See storage usage for the other drive.

    Secondary drive storage usage
    Secondary drive storage usage

Once you complete the steps, you will understand what files take up most of the space on your device. (See also a video tutorial.)

Find out what files are taking up space on Windows 10 1809 and older

To see how the hard drive space is being used on Windows 10 version 1809 or older releases, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Storage.

  4. Under the “Local storage” section, click the drive to see the storage usage.

    Local storage on Storage sense
    Local storage on Storage sense
  5. While on “Storage usage,” you can see what’s taking up space on the hard drive. Also, you can click each item to get more details and take additional actions.

    Storage usage settings on Windows 10
    Storage usage settings on Windows 10

    For instance, if you notice that some of the apps are taking most of the space, you can click the “Apps & games” item to see and uninstall apps you no longer need.

    Apps & games settings on Windows 10
    Apps & games settings on Windows 10

If temporary files are the items consuming most of your storage, you can use this guide to free up space quickly.

Storage usage offers an overview of virtually everything that is stored on the hard drive, including system files, apps, games, temporary files, and those files stored in the Documents, OneDrive, Pictures, Music, Videos, and files from other people if you are sharing your device with other users.

Alternatively, you can also use third-party tools, such as WinDirStat, to see what files fill out the hard drive to take action accordingly.