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I'm wondering if there's a way to see easily the space things take up in the File explorer. When you select files, it's easy. For one, in the Details view, there's a Size column, in KB. And in the status bar, as you select files, you see how many files you have, and how large the total is. "6 elements selected 130 MB", it says.

But as soon as you factor folders in, it's a whole different story. For one, their Size field is empty. And as soon as a folder is included in your selection, you have no size information. If I just ctrl-click a folder to add it to the above, poof, I just have "7 elements selected".

I realise the file system doesn't know folder sizes, and you have to ask it to evaluate it. But isn't there a way for it to analyse the system, and then update it when the folder's contents are modified?

I really wish there existed a way to fill up that info in the Explorer. I know I can just right-click a folder and ask for its properties, but that's impractical. And when you have multiple complex folders, it's really long to analyse. That's why it would be great if there were a way, somehow, to store, somewhere, be it in a hidden file (ideally one that doesn't show up on Dropbox and FTP transfer to Web servers) or in a sort of database held by the explorer, or anything else. Then it would only need to add the total it knows, instead of analysing every file in every subfolder, taking several seconds.

I saw this old tweak for Windows Xp, which seems to be pretty much what I need. But here. Windows Xp.

So, is there a way for me to do this? I feel waiting several minutes for one long initial analysis, and perhaps one additional hundredth of a second for each file operation, is a low price to pay to see folder sizes immediately, like with files.


  • I did check out external software that can analyse and show such values a bit more easily. But if I'm going to use something else, I might as well click Properties and wait. What I'm looking for is something that integrates to the file explorer.

  • I did see the few questions closed as duplicates, but I was wondering if maybe there was something new like the old Windows Xp solution, or something exclusive to Windows 8. Or something I could do (customising the file system upon formating or installing Windows or something? oo') when I mount my newly bought drives. Which, by the way, will be an SSD and an HDD.

share|improve this question
Would PowerShell be of any use? – Guy Thomas Jan 10 '13 at 22:41
@GuyThomas: Well, uhm, you tell me..? I barely know anything (if I do know anything) about this thing, and it looks like something fairly complex. And in command line, at that, which doesn't exactly sound easy to understand. – Ariane Jan 10 '13 at 22:45
The only thing I've found is this, and uhm, looks like someone is more playing at cloning Mac OS than anything else... >.<"… – Ariane Jan 11 '13 at 2:29
Oh yeah, you don't get notifications from comment replies without your name. @Karan . Here. – Ariane Jan 11 '13 at 19:24
Sadly Microsoft still has not included a built-in option to for this, nor have they made it so that shell-extensions can do it again. – Synetech Mar 1 '13 at 14:40
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Read this thread for alternatives, including a VBS script. If you strictly want a fully integrated Windows Explorer solution like Folder Size, then unfortunately as long as Microsoft does not fix the column provider API, I don't see how this can be accomplished. (If they had, Folder Size would have been updated as well so it would work.)

share|improve this answer
  • Principle: PowerShell can solve this file-size maths problem

  • Practicalities: The key cmdlet is Measure-Object Get ChildItem is like a 'DIR' in DOS. Add -recurse if you want subdirectories

  • I have introduced a variable for you to alter the file location.

  • There is cleverer stuff you could do with the maths.

    $Pathy = "C:\Windows\System32"
    $Sizey = (Get-ChildItem $Pathy | Measure-Object -Property length -Sum)
    [math]::floor($Sizey.Sum /1MB) 
share|improve this answer
Oh, and it tells me that inside the command line interface? That's almost useless for me, then... :c – Ariane Jan 11 '13 at 17:03

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