How to Quickly View the Size of a Folder in Windows Explorer

This tutorial will show you how to view the size of a folder, and all of its contents, in Windows Explorer.

Please note: This guide was originally published back in 2007. The software outlined in this guide not only still exists, but now also works in Windows 7 and 8, and probably even Windows 10.

  1. Start by downloading FolderSize, which is not only free, but open source – and available in 32 and 64bit versions (if you’re not sure which use, check out this guide on how to determine if you’re using a 32 or 64 bit version of Windows). To install, you’ll click next a few times, OK once or twice, and then it’s done. Now open an instance of Windows Explorer and select View -> Details.
  2. Right-click one of the column titles (Size, Type, Date Modified – it doesn’t matter) and select Folder Size.
  3. Now you’ll have a column that displays the size of the contents of each folder.

  4. click to enlarge

  5. You may want to remove the Size column, as it’s now made a bit redundant. To do so, just right-click one of the column titles, and remove the check from the Size entry.
  6. Drag the Folder Size column to wherever you want it to appear in Windows Explorer (the order it appears vs. your other columns).

  7. click to enlarge

  8. Folder Size even includes a set of preferences you can set from the Control Panel.

  9. click to enlarge

  10. For example – you can switch to Compact which makes calculating the size of a folder even easier (particularly a large folder).
  11. The Service tab of the Folder Size lets you start and stop Folder Size – you can even pause it if you’re doing hard disk intensive operations and don’t want Folder Size to slow things down.
  12. If you’re happy with Folder Size, you can make sure that Windows Explorer always uses your new ‘view’ by following the instructions in this brief tutorial.

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