Click here to Skip to main content
15,179,257 members
Articles / Web Development / ASP.NET
Posted 24 Jun 2007


11 bookmarked

Recursive directory sizing application

Rate me:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
1.25/5 (9 votes)
24 Jun 2007CC (ASA 2.5)2 min read
A recursive directory sizing application.


DirectorySizer is a simple ASP.NET page programmed in C# that allows you to quickly and easily find the largest subfolders from a collection. This is a demo that covers different topics such as: Generics, the collection class known as SortedDictionary, an example of how to use enums, how to partially output data before it has been fully processed (giving the user feedback right away), and how to get data from the file system using .NET.


This DirectorySizer application was born out of the need to find out which subfolders were the largest so that I could quickly delete them in order to free up space in the file system. I was attempting to clean up some old back ups of our site which had become far too bloated! Unfortunately, Windows does not have this feature built in, and using dir /s from the command prompt is far too messy and difficult to find the largest files easily.

Using the Code

I have broken down the code into several helper methods. What follows is an example. Please note: I did not handle exceptions, so if you do not have proper permissions on a folder, as mentioned below, it will throw an exception which will crash the program if not handled properly.

protected static long GetDirectorySize(string dir)
    //note: unauthorized access to any of the folders will throw an exception
    string[] dirs = System.IO.Directory.GetDirectories(dir);
    long size = 0;
    size += GetFileSize(dir);
    foreach (string directory in dirs)
        size += GetDirectorySize(directory);
    return size;

Here is where I used a SortedDictionary, because it inherently orders our data for us:

//SortedDictionary will return our values sorted, from smallest to largest
//we are using SortedDictionary in a funny way, by putting
//the filesizes as the key, and the path as the value
//this is because this collection is intrinsicly sorted by key,
//not by value, and we wanted sorted by sizes.
//a potential problem is that if there are two folders
//with the same size, one will be lost!
//its easy enough to code around this by adding a check before insert
System.Collections.Generic.SortedDictionary<double, /> directorySizes = 
                   new System.Collections.Generic.SortedDictionary<double, />();

Adding to the collection is very simple; all I have to do is assign it. Note that I am putting the folder size as the key and the value as the path (a twist on the traditional way of using this class).

foreach (DirectoryInfo subdir in dir.GetDirectories())
    subdirSize = GetDirectorySize(subdir.FullName);
    directorySizes[subdirSize] = subdir.FullName;
    totalSize += subdirSize;

The last step is very easy; just loop through and display the output (it will be automatically sorted):

IDictionaryEnumerator ie = directorySizes.GetEnumerator();
string subDirpath;
double size;
Response.Write("table start");
while (ie.MoveNext())
    subDirpath = (string)ie.Value;
    size = (double)ie.Key;
    Response.Write(string.Format("{0}, {1}", subDirpath, 
                   Math.Round(size / bytes_in_a_megabyte,2)));
    //Flush the output so the user can see it as it is being calculated
Response.Write("</ /></tr />
</tbody />
</table />

Points of Interest

You can use Response.Flush() in order to partially output the page while you are creating it so the user gets immediate feedback.

Response.Write(string.Format("{0}{1}", subDirpath, 
               Math.Round(size / bytes_in_a_megabyte,2)));
//Flush the output so the user can see it as it is being calculated


I will keep a running update of any changes or improvements I've made here. Please note, the code has much more explanation in it as well as ideas for possible improvements, so go look there first. I will update this page with more explanation when I have a bit more time.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License


About the Author

Sameer Alibhai
Web Developer
Canada Canada
I am the author and writer for SharpDeveloper.NET - C# articles (and VB.NET too)

Here are some recent articles I have written:


Comments and Discussions

GeneralTreeSize Pin
miies24-Jun-07 23:32
Membermiies24-Jun-07 23:32 
AnswerRe: TreeSize Pin
Sameer Alibhai25-Jun-07 4:01
MemberSameer Alibhai25-Jun-07 4:01 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.