Free HDD LED – Get back the old hard-disk LED on your desktop

Some people got so used to see the flickering HDD’s LED that it simply became part of the scenery. If for whatever reason you don’t have a visible LED anymore, try out Free HDD LED, a tiny program that will display an LED icon, tracking your hard-disk’s activity and offer a few extra features.

Installation & Requirements

Since Free HDD LED is portable, the program runs by simply launching the executable file. Concerning supported systems, Free HDD LED runs on 32 & 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 and requires .NET Framework 2.0/3.5 installed.


Free HDD LED doesn’t have a user interface. The system tray icon (which imitates the HDD LED and displays hard disk activity) has a context menu from where you can access all the options and settings included in the program.

The desktop gadget (called “window” in the program’s settings) includes a Donate button and LEDs for all the drives present on your system (support is enabled for portable drives too). The context menu is also available via right-clicking the desktop gadget. Holding the mouse on a drive’s LED will display a pop-up text box showing its type, file system, total capacity and free space. The “Window style” option offers various transparency levels for the gadget from opaque to 75% transparency.

From the menu, users can lock the position of the gadget on the screen, minimize it to system tray (in other words hide it) and hide the system tray icon. As a result, you can choose to keep both the gadget and system tray icon, just one or hide both of them (defying the program’s purpose, but hey…it’s your choice).

The context menu also lets users choose which drives they want to monitor and set the HDD refresh rate. “Disk space check” is a notification for low disk space that can be configured to issue a warning when available disk space is below a certain size. If you want a real LED, you can even set the Scroll Lock key to display HDD activity. Nevertheless, before enabling this feature, the developer warns users, that it may cause some strange problems.

Besides all the above mentioned options, the context menu allows users to perform a rescan of drives, check updates manually and enable/disable automated update verification.

Tip: If you want to see the system tray LED icon at all times you must go the taskbar’s Customize menu and select “Show icon and notifications” for the Free HDD LED entry.


– Portable application.
– The HDD LED can be displayed as a system tray icon, movable desktop gadget or using the Scroll Lock key LED.
– The desktop gadget shows separate LEDs for each partition.
– The program can also notify you when free disk space goes below a specified size.


– A “Donate and Register” pop-up window appears occasionally.


– DiskLED
– FloatLED


Free HDD LED is a simple program for simple needs, but it does include a necessary collection of settings. While its feature list is somewhat basic, it does offer more than the physical HDD LED, without getting too complicated.