How to quickly free up space using Storage sense on Windows 10

On Windows 10, Storage sense is a feature to free up space when your device is running low on available storage. Similar to Disk Cleanup, it allows you to get rid of files that are only taking up space, such as temporary files, recycle bin items, and other unnecessary files. However, Storage sense is a lot easier to use than Disk Cleanup.

Storage sense offers two ways to reclaim disk space. You can select and remove the same junk files listed on Disk Cleanup manually, and it’s also possible to configure the feature to free up space automatically when you’re running out of space.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to quickly free up space on a hard drive by deleting junk files using the Settings app on Windows 10.

How to free up space removing temporary files using Storage sense

Starting with version 1803 (April 2018 Update), Windows 10 is updating Storage sense adding the ability to delete even more temporary files without having to use the Disk Cleanup tool.

To free up disk space removing junk files, including the previous version of Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Storage.

  4. Click the Free up space now link.

    Storage sense settings on Windows 10

  5. Check the temporary files that you want to delete to free up space, including:

    • Windows upgrade log files.
    • System created Windows Error Reporting Files.
    • Windows Defender Antivirus.
    • Thumbnails.
    • Temporary files.
    • Recycle Bin.
    • Previous Windows installations.
    • Temporary Internet Files.
    • Device driver packages.
    • Delivery Optimization Files.
    • DirectX Shared Cache.
  6. Click the Remove files button.

    Remove temporary files on Windows 10

After completing the steps, Windows 10 cleanup the drive and make room for you to store more important files.

How to free up space automatically using Storage sense

Using Storage sense, you can allow Windows 10 to automatically free up space when your device is running low on disk space.

To free up disk space automatically on Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Storage.

  4. Click the Change how we free up space automatically link.

    Change Storage sense settings

  5. Turn on the Storage sense toggle switch.

  6. Use the drop-down menu to select when you want to run Storage sense automatically when your device is running low on storage.

  7. Under “Temporary files,” check the Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using option.

  8. Using the “Delete files in my recycle bin if they have been there for over” drop-down menu and select 1, 14, 30, 60 days, or never to disable the option.

  9. Using the “Delete files in my Downloads folder if they have been there for over” drop-down menu and select 1, 14, 30, 60 days, or never to disable the option.

    Storage sense automatic settings

Once you’ve completed the steps, you can continue using your device, and Windows 10 will automatically delete junk files. However, you can always click the Clean now button to run Storage sense immediately.

If you still don’t have enough space to store more files or perform an upgrade of Windows 10, you’ll need to get an external drive to expand the available storage. Here are some suggestions under $100:

Storage sense has been available on Windows 10 for a long time, but it’s not until the April 2018 Update that you have more options and control over this feature.