My laptop has a 100Gb drive, and recently it was 98% or so full! As part of the job of cleaning it up, I used SpaceMonger to see where it the space was going. I noticed a few largish directories whose names indicated they were caches of some sort, and wondered how much disk was being lost to copies of files that I didn't really need to keep around.
I cobbled together this Python script to recursively list the size of folders and files, but only if they exceed specified minimums:
""" List file sizes recursively, but only if they exceed
import stat, os
# Minimum size for a file or directory to be listed.
min_file = 10000000
min_dir = 1000000
format = "%15d %s"
dir_format = "%15d / %s"
err_format = " !!! ! %s"
""" Process a single directory, return its total size,
and print intermediate results along the way.
files = os.listdir(d)
except Exception, e:
print err_format % str(e)
total = 0
for f in files:
f = os.path.join(d, f)
st = os.stat(f)
size = st[stat.ST_SIZE]
is_dir = stat.S_ISDIR(st[stat.ST_MODE])
size = do_dir(f)
if size >= min_file:
print format % (size, f)
total += size
if total >= min_dir:
print dir_format % (total, d)
if __name__ == '__main__':
Running this on my disk, and grep'ing for "cache", I came up with this list of cache directories:
77428736 / .\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Apple\Installer Cache
193088296 / .\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Apple Computer\Installer Cache
127431856 / .\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Symantec\Cached Installs
1283586 / .\Documents and Settings\All Users\DRM\Cache
8904444 / .\Documents and Settings\batcheln\Application Data\Adobe\CameraRaw\Cache
3109555 / .\Documents and Settings\batcheln\Application Data\Dropbox\cache
9141658 / .\Documents and Settings\batcheln\Application Data\Microsoft\CryptnetUrlCache
6639905 / .\Documents and Settings\batcheln\Application Data\Sun\Java\Deployment\cache
244047364 / .\Documents and Settings\batcheln\Local Settings\Application Data\Adobe\CameraRaw\Cache
35706839 / .\Documents and Settings\batcheln\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\0ou4abpz.default\Cache
1559441 / .\Documents and Settings\batcheln\Local Settings\Application Data\johnsadventures.com\Background Switcher\FolderQuarterScreenCache
381984768 .\Documents and Settings\batcheln\My Documents\My Pictures\Lightroom\Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata\thumbnail-cache.db
44671279 / .\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Help Center\AdobeHelpData\Cache
1093120 / .\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\SFPCA Cache
1139888470 / .\Program Files\Cyan Worlds\Myst Uru Complete Chronicles\sfx\streamingCache
73237698 / .\Program Files\Hewlett-Packard\PC COE 3\OV CMS\Lib\Cache
46559334 / .\WINDOWS\assembly\GAC
20606686 / .\WINDOWS\assembly\GAC_32
55143608 / .\WINDOWS\assembly\GAC_MSIL
105975390 / .\WINDOWS\Driver Cache
96353450 / .\WINDOWS\Installer\$PatchCache$
1898024 / .\WINDOWS\SchCache
1174871 / .\WINDOWS\pchealth\helpctr\OfflineCache
451465998 / .\WINDOWS\system32\dllcache
(I also included the GAC directories: .net Global Assembly Caches). Summing these sizes, I see that 3 Gb or so of space is occupied by self-declared caches. For many of these I don't know whether it is safe to delete them. Luckily the largest was a game I installed for Max and could completely uninstall.
Windows provides the Disk Cleanup utility, which knows how to get rid of a bunch of stuff you don't really need. Application developers can even write a handler to clean up their own unneeded files, but it seems application developers don't, as I don't have any custom handlers on my machine.
CCleaner is a Windows utility to scrub a little harder at your disk, but even it missed some of these folders: for example, it removed the smaller of the CameraRaw caches (8 Mb), but left the larger (244 Mb). I read online that CameraRaw really doesn't need those files, so I removed them by hand.
I'm all for applications making use of disk space to improve the user experience, but they should do it responsibly: give me a way to see what's being used, and give me a way to get it back. And only keep what makes sense: why do my Apple Installer Cache directories have kits for three different versions each of iTunes, QuickTime, and Safari, and seven kits for Apple Mobile Device Support? Why do I need to keep installers for versions that have already been superceded?