Determining available hard drive space

To determine the available hard drive space will vary depending upon the operating system that is currently being used. Below is a listing of various operating systems and the methods of determining how much space is available in that operating system.

Windows 8 users
Windows Vista and 7 users

Windows 95, 98, NT 4.x, 2000, ME, and XP users
MS-DOS and Windows command line users
Windows 3.x and NT 3.x users
Linux and Unix users

Windows 8 users

From the Desktop click This PC or press the shortcut key Windows Key + E. In This PC you'll see each of the drives with a small percentage bar indicating how much disk space for that drive is being used. If you're wanting additional information right-click the drive and click Properties. Below is an example of what this may look like, as can be seen in the picture the Local Disk (C:).

Drive space in Windows 8

Windows Vista and 7 users

Open the Computer Icon or press the shortcut key Windows Key + E. In Computer you'll see each drive with a small percentage bar of how much disk space is being used as well as a description of how much is free and the total disk space. If you're wanting additional information right-click the drive and click Properties. Below is an example of what Computer looks like with the percentage barsthis looks like.

Windows Vista computer hard disk drives

Windows 95, 98, NT 4.x, 2000, ME, and XP users

  1. From the Windows Desktop open My Computer
  2. Within My Computer highlight and right-click the C: Drive or the drive you want to determine the capacity or available space on the drive.
  3. From the menu that appears after right-clicking the drive click Properties.
  4. The Properties window displays the used space, free space, and the total capacity of the hard drive or other drive similar to what is shown below.

Volume properties

Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP users:

If you're running Windows 2000 or higher My Computer also display the Total Size and Free Space for each of the drives in the main My Computer Windows. If you want to display more information as well as a graph of available space follow the above steps.

Tip: In addition to the steps listed above you can also still view the available space through MS-DOS.

MS-DOS and Windows command line users

Open the MS-DOS prompt.

To determine the available space on a hard drive using MS-DOS we recommend that the 'dir' command be used.

At the MS-DOS prompt type:

dir <press enter>

At the end of the directory listing you will see information similar to the example below.

  2 file (s)                         578 bytes
15 dir (s)               16,754.78 MB free

As you can see above the hard drive has over 16GB of free space. If you want to see all files and how much space they are occupying type the below commands.

cd\
dir /s

The above command will list all files on your computer (except the hidden files) and give you the total amount of disk space they utilize as well as the free disk space.

Windows 3.x and NT 3.x users

In Windows 3.x or Windows NT 3.x you can determine the available free space by highlighting the C: drive and on the status bar at the bottom of the screen see the available free space and total.

In addition to the steps listed above you can also still view the available space through MS-DOS.

Linux and Unix users