Windows 8.1 Update 1 ‘Disk space’ feature helps to manage storage Metro style

Disk space new PC settings feature in Windows 8.1 Update 1

Previously I wrote a thorough dive into the changes coming to Windows 8.1 Update 1, which is focus on improving the operating system for the majority of customers using a keyboard and mouse, but Microsoft is also adding a few tweaks for those users with touch-enabled devices. This is the case, for example, of a new feature called “Disk space” that appears in PC settings.

Disk space in Windows 8.1 Update 1 is a new feature that allows users to view and manage the available space in the PC. Disk space has four main sections that you can access by going to PC settings, PC and devices, Disk space:

First the “Free up space on this PC” will show you the total amount of space of the primary hard drive and the available free space (keep in mind this utility won’t show available space from secondary hard drives or external drives).

Then we have the “Apps” section that simply tells the amount of space Windows 8-style (Metro) apps are using in the hard drive with a link (“See my app sizes”) to view all the apps and see which to uninstall as necessary. Though you can access the same utility in Windows 8.1 by going to PC settings, Search and apps, and diving into App sizes.

Disk Space PC settings in Windows 8.1 Update 1

“Media and files”: This is an interesting new addition, as this is the first time we can see how much space is using a particular folder, in this case Windows default folders. On Media and files section you can now see how much space Pictures, Videos, Music, Documents, and Downloads folders are using in your PC, that way you can easily identify from where to delete files when you’re running out of space — Although you cannot tap the list of folders to access the files, which could make things a bit easier.

The last section is the “Recycle Bin”. We delete too many files, but sometimes we forget we need to empty the trash to make more space in our PCs. So in Windows 8.1 Update 1, Microsoft is making super easy for users with touch-enabled devices to empty the Recycle Bin with a single button. Though surprisingly, it appears you can only empty the bin, but you cannot preview what you’re deleting before it happens — incomplete, someone forgot something obvious, I don’t know…

Thus far I like the changes Microsoft is making in the spring update, but some of the improvements still feel half-baked. For example, not being able to check what you’re deleting seems wrong, or being unable to access the default Windows folders directly from Disk space seems odd, or listing all the hard drives by default would be something logical. Finally, I would also like to see an option in Disk space to send Store apps directly to a microSD card. This will be really useful for tablets with little storage space.

Stay tuned for more…

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.