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Calculate folder size from the command line

by Steve Wiseman on July 23, 2010 · 8 comments

in Tips,Tools,Utility,Windows


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Even with the huge amount of space that I have, I am always running out. When that happens I start digging.

Usually I wait through this:

Folder Properties

If you have more than just a few folders, it can be a huge waste of time.

I ran across a free tool from Microsoft called “Disk Usage”

You can download it from here

It is a command line tool. Point it at any folder, and get the same information:

Folder Properties DU

With one catch – it is much faster than using Windows Explorer 😉

For example, I went to the properties of a development folder on our server. It took 1 minute and 10 seconds to get the total size.

With Disk Usage it took 15 seconds.

The next part I am about to show you is even better. It is the real reason I love this tool. If you use the -v option, it will show you a breakdown of how much each sub folder is taking up:

Folder Disk Usage

Now with a quick glance, I can see what folders are taking up the most space. From there I can investigate and clean out anything that is not needed.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sam January 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm

DU is much slower then windows explorer on my network tests. ON 49 gb folder took over 5 minuets longer.

2 cheryl March 24, 2012 at 6:09 am

how do i specify level? my list is way too long with -v for me to copy it out…

3 TK November 30, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Does this work with 64bit windows? It won’t run on my windows 7 64bit machine

4 Yael May 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Sweet!! Thanks! Brand new!

5 jaygdee June 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Great find! Works great locally and on remote machines. Any way I can batch this to check the size of a list of remote users’ desktop, documents, and pictures folders?

6 Dr Paul Lam January 28, 2014 at 8:38 pm

I like DU very much.
This is a very useful DOS command that I have come across recently.
BTW, I am a DOSmania.

Many thanks to you, Mr Steve Wiseman.
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7 eeldivad March 11, 2015 at 3:05 am

This powershell function is much faster, at least 10-100 times faster it seems for very large folders from my tests.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/heyscriptingguy/archive/2013/08/03/weekend-scripter-use-powershell-to-get-folder-sizes.aspx

8 eeldivad March 16, 2015 at 12:43 am

I’ve polished the script from previous link into my own powershell function with more features that is faster than anything else I’ve found to calculate folder size.

https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/get-foldersize-224916dd/view/Reviews

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