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How to free up drive space in Windows 11 / 10 with Storage Sense

Admin Posted on February 10th 2024, Last Updated on July 1st 2024

Storage Sense in Windows 11 or Windows 10 is a game-changer for maintaining optimal disk space management. Its user-friendly interface, automation capabilities, and customizable settings make it an indispensable tool for anyone looking to streamline their digital storage experience.


Instead of downloading third-party software to free up disk space, Windows 11 / 10 has a few settings you can configure to quickly delete temporary, system files and old downloads you might not need. 


Note: Storage Sense works on your system drive only, which contains the Windows operating system and is usually referred to as C: drive. To free up space on other drives, go to [Start] > [Settings] > [System] > [Storage], then select [Storage used on other drives] under [Advanced storage settings].


Here are step-by-step instructions for using Storage Sense to clean up your PC or laptop's storage


  1. Type and search [Turn on Storage Sense] in the Windows search bar ①, then click [Open] ②.


  2. Select [Storage Sense]③.


  3. Check the box in [Cleanup of temporary files] section④.


  4. Toggle Automatic User content cleanup to "On" ⑤.


  5. Configure cleanup schedules: 
    Choose when to run Storage Sense. You can select how often you would like to run automatic, periodic cleanup via drop-down menu ⑥.
    Under Delete files in my recycle bin and Delete files in my Downloads folder if they haven’t been opened for more than, choose how often the files from your [Recycle Bin] or [Downloads] folder will be deleted ⑦.


  6. If your computer is signed in to a cloud account, you can choose how often your inactive files will become online-only ⑧.
    (You will only be able to see cloud content settings if you’re signed in to your cloud account.)


  7. You can also click [Run Storage Sense now] ⑨ to run Storage Sense immediately using the previously selected settings.




Instructions: Accessing Storage Sense: Click on the Start button in the taskbar. Select "Settings" (the gear icon) from the Start menu. In the Settings window, click on "System" from the sidebar menu. Choose "Storage" from the options listed. Enabling Storage Sense: Toggle the switch under "Storage Sense" to turn it on. Optionally, click on "Configure Storage Sense or run it now" to access advanced settings. Configuring Storage Sense: Select how often you want Storage Sense to run (daily, weekly, or monthly). Customize which types of files Storage Sense should delete by clicking on "Change how we free up space." Adjust additional settings like deleting files in the Downloads folder or removing previous versions of Windows as per your preferences. Reviewing Storage Usage: Scroll down to see a breakdown of your storage usage by file type. Click on each category to view more details and manage individual files if needed. Fine-Tuning OneDrive Integration (Optional): If you use OneDrive, you can enable automatic file offloading to free up local storage. Click on "Manage Storage" under the OneDrive section to configure settings related to OneDrive integration. Monitoring Storage Sense Activity: Once configured, Storage Sense will run automatically according to your settings. You can also manually initiate a storage cleanup by clicking on "Free up space now" under Storage Sense. By following these instructions, you can effectively utilize Storage Sense in Windows 11 to optimize your device's storage management and ensure a clutter-free computing experience.