How to Find Large Files on Windows 11

When you have thousands upon thousands of files on your PC, you might want an easy way to find large files on Windows 11. This guide explains how.

If you need to save space on your PC’s drive or find a specific file, you can use the search feature to find large files on Windows 11. Once you find the large files, you can move them to a different drive to free up local storage space.

The largest files will typically be games, media, or large databases. However, searching by name may not get you desired results.

Instead, you can search for large files on Windows 11 using File Explorer, the command line, or a third-party app.

How to Find Large Files on Windows 11 Using File Explorer

Using the Search feature in File Explorer is a great way to find files based on their size using simple parameters.

You can use different parameters to find specific file sizes, from large to gigantic.

To find files by size in File Explorer:

  1. Press Windows key + E to open File Explorer and navigate to the drive you want to search.
  2. In the Search field, type size:Large to discover files between 128MB and 1GB in size.
  3. Type size:Huge to only show files between 1GB and 4GB in size.
  4. Type in size:Gigantic to display only files that are 4GB or larger.Large Files on Windows 11

Once the file sizes you are searching for are pulled up, you can sort them between ascending or descending order by clicking the Size tab.

How to Find Large Files by File Type on Windows 11

Media files and certain software files (like OS system images or games) are typically large, and you can find files by type to discover large ones. For example, you might have large ISO files or MP4 or MKV video files you need to access.

To find files by their file type on Windows 11:

  1. Press Windows key + E to open File Explorer.
  2. In the search field, type *.ISO (or the file extension you need to find, like *.mp4), and press Enter.
  3. The * character indicates a “wildcard” and doesn’t pull up specific files by name but shows all the file types.
  4. The large files will be displayed, and you can open them with a compatible program or move them to another drive to free up disk space.
  5. You can do this for any file type extension, even if they aren’t large. Once displayed, you can sort them by ascending or descending size order. For example, if you are looking for an app to install, type *.exe and press Enter.Large Files on Windows 11

How to Find Large Files on Windows 11 Using PowerShell

If you prefer to do your computing from the command line, you can use the Windows Terminal to display a descending list of the largest files on your system.

To find large files on Windows 11 using PowerShell:

  1. Open a new PowerShell window.
  2. When the Terminal opens, type the following command and hit Enter:
    gci -r| sort -descending -property length | select -first 20 name, length

  3. A list of the largest 20 files will be listed in descending order. Note that if you want to see a different amount, change the number 20 to 10 or another number of files you want to display using the command.Large Files on Windows 11

Use WinDirStat to Find Large Files on Windows 11

Another way to find large files that are taking up the most drive space is the free and open-source WinDirStat app. It gives you a graphical representation of your local drive and what’s taking up space.

To use WinDirStat to find large files:

  1. Launch the app, select the drive you want to scan, and click OK.
  2. You will get a color-coded representation of what’s using drive space.
  3. Click the file extension in the top right corner, select the color code, and it will display the file taking up space and its location on the drive.Large Files on Windows 11

Once you identify the large files, you have different options, like opening the file with a compatible app or deleting it to save drive space.

Manage Storage Space on Windows 11

If you need to find large files quickly, using the File Explorer options shown above works well. And if you have a full drive, using a third-party app like WinDirStat can make large file identification and management easy.

There are other ways to manage large files and free up drive space on Windows 11. For example, you can limit the amount of disk space used by Recycle Bin or free up disk space on Windows 11 with the Cleanup Recommendations feature.

Another way to reclaim drive space is to delete files without Recycle Bin on Windows 11. In addition, you might want to delete duplicate files on Windows 11 to free up space on your drive. And don’t forget to configure Storage Sense to clean drive space automatically.

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