How to Find Large Files on Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Finding large files on Windows 11 is a straightforward task that can help you free up valuable storage space on your computer. By using the built-in File Explorer and a few simple search techniques, you can quickly locate and manage these space-hogging files. This guide will walk you through the process step-by-step, making it easy to identify and deal with large files on your system.

How to Find Large Files on Windows 11

Let’s dive into how you can find those large files using Windows 11’s File Explorer. By following these steps, you’ll be able to locate and manage large files that may be clogging up your storage.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

First, open File Explorer by clicking on the folder icon in your taskbar or pressing the Windows key + E.

File Explorer is your gateway to navigating and managing files on your computer. Once it’s open, you’ll see a list of your frequently accessed folders and drives. This is where you’ll start your search.

Step 2: Navigate to This PC

Next, in the left-hand sidebar, click on "This PC" to access all your drives.

Selecting "This PC" ensures that your search will encompass all available storage on your computer, giving you a comprehensive overview of large files spread across different drives.

Step 3: Use the Search Box

In the top-right corner of File Explorer, click inside the search box and type "size:>1GB" (or any size criteria you prefer) and press Enter.

This search query tells Windows to look for files larger than 1GB. You can adjust the size to suit your needs (e.g., size:>500MB for files larger than 500 megabytes).

Step 4: Wait for Search Results

Be patient as Windows scans your drives and compiles a list of files that match your criteria.

Depending on the size of your drives and the number of files, this search might take a few minutes. You will see a progress bar indicating the search status.

Step 5: Review and Manage Files

Once the search is complete, review the list of large files and decide which ones you can delete or move to an external drive.

Look through the results carefully. You might find old videos, unused programs, or other large files you no longer need. Deleting or moving these can free up significant space.

After performing these steps, you will have a list of large files on your Windows 11 computer that you can review and manage as needed. This process helps maintain your system’s performance by ensuring you have plenty of free storage space.

Tips for Finding Large Files on Windows 11

  • Use Advanced Search Options: You can refine your search by adding more criteria, like date modified or file type.
  • Check System Folders: Sometimes, system folders can hold large files like log files or updates that you might want to clean up.
  • Regular Maintenance: Make it a habit to perform this search periodically to keep your storage in check.
  • Utilize Storage Sense: Windows 11 includes a feature called Storage Sense that can automate the process of finding and deleting unnecessary files.
  • Backup Important Files: Before deleting large files, ensure they are not critical by backing them up to an external drive or cloud storage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of files are usually large?

Large files are often videos, high-resolution images, software installers, or game data files. System files like updates can also be quite large.

Can I automate the process of finding large files?

Yes, Windows 11’s Storage Sense can help automate the cleanup process, including finding and deleting large files.

Is it safe to delete large files found during the search?

Generally, yes, but ensure you don’t delete important system files or personal documents. Backup anything critical before deletion.

How often should I check for large files?

Checking for large files every few months can help maintain your computer’s performance and free up storage space.

What if I accidentally delete an important file?

If you delete a file by mistake, you can usually restore it from the Recycle Bin. For permanent deletions, use a backup to restore your file.


  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Navigate to This PC
  3. Use the search box with size criteria
  4. Wait for search results
  5. Review and manage files


Finding large files on Windows 11 doesn’t have to be a chore. With just a few clicks in File Explorer, you can locate and manage files that are taking up valuable space on your computer. Regularly checking for large files not only helps in keeping your system clutter-free but also enhances its performance. By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining an efficient and organized digital workspace.

If you’re looking for more ways to optimize your Windows 11 experience, consider exploring additional features like Storage Sense or third-party tools designed for disk management. Keeping a tidy digital environment can improve your overall user experience and ensure that your system runs smoothly.

Happy computing!