How Do You Check What Is on Your Computer Hard Drive?


Quick Answer

If you’re using Windows, one way to check what’s stored on your computer’s hard drive is to use the “Search Files and Programs” function on the Start menu. OS X for Apple computers also has a Search function. If you want to look at whole folders at once, in Windows, click the Start menu button, and select Computer. In OS X, double-click the desktop icon for your hard drive.

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Full Answer

Both the Apple and Windows operating systems offer you several ways to review the contents of your computer’s hard drive. If you know the name of the file or program you’re looking for, type that search string into the search boxes of either operating system, and click the magnifying glass icon. If the operating system finds the exact file name or names that are close, it returns a list in a new window. If the search fails, the OS opens an empty results window that displays an error message telling you that it didn’t find any matching items.

To look at the contents of the root directory and its subdirectories in Windows, click the Computer icon on the Start menu and select the computer's hard drive icon, usually lettered “C:”. This opens a window that displays a list of directories on the hard drive. Double-click each folder to display its contents. To do the same using Apple OS, open the hard drive’s icon to review a list of files and directories.

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