How to Check Your Hard Disk Space

Two Methods:WindowsMac

Are you wondering if you have any more space on your computer's hard disk? Finding out is easy! Just follow the instructions below for Windows, Mac, or Linux.

Method 1

  1. Image titled Check Your Hard Disk Space Step 1
    Open the Start menu and select Computer or My Computer. Windows Vista and 7 label it Computer, Windows XP labels it My Computer. To access this in Windows 8, type “this pc” when on the Start screen and select This PC from the Search results.
    • The Computer window will list all of the disk drives and devices attached to the computer.
  2. Image titled Check Your Hard Disk Space Step 2
    Locate your hard drive. This will denoted as Local Disk (C:) or Windows (C:) on most computers. Note that if you have multiple hard drives, you can use these steps to check each of them individually.
    • Clicking on the drive in this window will show the Free and used space at the bottom of the window. Continue on to see your hard disk space represented by a pie chart.
  3. Image titled Check Your Hard Disk Space Step 3
    Right-click on your hard drive icon and select "Properties". This will open a window that displays all the information that you need about your hard disk along with a pie chart illustration.
  4. Image titled Check Your Hard Disk Space Step 4
    Look at your hard disk space. This will not only be listed in the properties dialog, but also demonstrated in the pie chart.
    • Pink represents the free space remaining on the drive,
    • Blue represents occupied space on the drive.

Method 2

  1. Image titled Check Your Hard Disk Space Step 5
    Click the Apple menu. Select About This Mac from the menu that appears.
  2. Image titled Check Your Hard Disk Space Step 6
    Click More Info. This will open the About This Mac information window. The default tab is Overview.
  3. Image titled Check Your Hard Disk Space Step 7
    Select the Storage tab. This will show a breakdown of how storage is used for all of your attached hard drives. You can see how much space your movies, music, installed applications, and other files take up, as well as how much free space you have remaining.[1]
  4. Image titled Check Your Hard Disk Space Step 8
    Open Finder. Press Command+ Option+Spacebar to open a Finder window. Look at the bottom of the window. Your amount of available space will be listed there.


  • If you're trying to clear space on your computer, note that you cannot change your hard disk space simply by dragging files into your trash; you must empty the trash to make more space.
  • A bit is the most basic unit of data size in current computers. It can either represent 0 or 1 (from the Binary numbering system, NOT decimal). There is no unit currently smaller than a single "bit" of data.
    • 1 Byte is 8 bits.
    • 1 Kilobyte is equal to 1024 Bytes.
    • 1 Megabyte is equal to 1024 Kilobytes.
    • 1 Gigabyte is equal to 1024 Megabytes.
    • 1 Terabyte is equal to 1024 Gigabytes.
  • There are varying data size units, some of which are confused with each other. The "byte" named units are standard for data size on storage devices. Two unit systems commonly confused are Megabytes (MB) and Megabits (Mb), Gigabytes (GB) and Gigabits (Gb), Kilobytes (KB) and Kilobits (Kb), etc, etc. The "bit" suffixed units are more commonly used for measuring data sent over a network or through a "computer bus", whereas the "byte" suffixed units are used to measure the size of stored data. The two can be intermixed, but standards dictate that "byte" suffixed units are used for data storage and "bit" suffixed units are used to measure the size of data in-transit (being moved through a circuit, such as from the CPU to the RAM, CPU to the Hard Drives "bus" from a Wireless adapter to a router, etc.).
  • On most file systems, files take up more space than their actual size. Refer to a definition of "cluster".
  • If you still need help checking your hard-drive space, see How to check hard drive space.


  • Sometimes manufacturers use 1,000 kilobytes in place of 1,024 kilobytes when advertising space. For instance, floppy disks have closer to 1.38 megabytes rather than the common number 1.44.
  • Note that for all data storage devices (i.e USB Flash Drives, CD/DVD disks, hard drives, SSDs, etc), a certain amount of space must be reserved for filesystem data. This data contains information such as physical locations of files, meta-information (file system type, revision, etc), security properties, etc. The larger the drive, the larger this area will be. Therefore, a tiny percent of missing space unaccounted for is not the fault of the manufacturer but merely a technological requirement.
    • This reserved space should not take up a very large percent of the drives space. If more than 5% is missing, either the filesystem on the device is corrupt (in which case a format should be performed), or the device is physically damaged/cheap quality. It should be noted that Linux usually reserves around 5% of the system drive's (the drive the operating system is installed on) capacity to prevent the drive from being completely filled (if the system drive becomes completely full, instability may result). There are methods to raise/lower this, though completely removing the reserve is inadvisable.

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Categories: Windows | Mac