Summary:

I really wish I had found SpaceSniffer before this weekend. I had started to run out of space on my laptop’s hard drive; even after clearing out files I obviously no longer needed and uninstalling certain apps, I was still perilously short of space. So I […]

I really wish I had found SpaceSniffer before this weekend. I had started to run out of space on my laptop’s hard drive; even after clearing out files I obviously no longer needed and uninstalling certain apps, I was still perilously short of space. So I purchased a portable external drive on which to offload my photos and music (a 320 Gb Seagate FreeAgent Go). But if I had downloaded SpaceSniffer I may not have needed to buy it at all.

SpaceSniffer is a Windows app that displays a treemap visualization of the data stored on your drive, offering an easy way to see how much space is being taken up by applications and documents. After a quick scan, you can use it to find out which apps are hogging the most space, how large your collection of photos is and how much space is being taken by Windows restore points. Or, as in my case, you can figure out that at some point you mirrored some of your music collection into two locations on your drive.

A SpaceSniffer visualization of my drive

A SpaceSniffer visualization of my drive

If you need to see more detail you can click on any element and SpaceSniffer will provide a treemap of the contents. So, for example, clicking on “My Documents” will show you the relative amount of space taken by “My Pictures”, “My Music”, etc. You can also zoom in on any folder by double-clicking on it. In additional to clicking around, which feels very intuitive, you can navigate using browser-like forward and back buttons.

You can also apply filters in order to narrow your viewing options — to, for example, only view JPEG files or files that are more than two years old. Handily, you can right-click on any file in SpaceSniffer and access its regular Windows context menu, which means that you can delete, open or move files from within SpaceSniffer.

SpaceSniffer is a free download, and doesn’t require installation — just unzip and it’s ready to go. It’s snappy, really easy to use and, even if you’re not running out of space, offers an interesting view of your data. If you are running out of space, download SpaceSniffer to check whether there are any easily-reclaimed areas on your drive before running out to buy new gear.

(Via freewaregenius)

What do you think of SpaceSniffer’s data visualization?

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