Windows 10: first look at Storage Sense

Storage Sense in Windows 10

Microsoft is moving toward making a unified experience of Windows, no matter which device you are using. We’ll start seeing more features for Windows Phone coming to Windows and features in Windows coming to Windows Phone until they merge and become a single experience. For now, in Windows 10 Technical Preview build 9879, users will notice Storage Sense arriving to the PC settings.

Like in Windows Phone, Storage Sense is a feature to manage the storage in your computer. In Windows 10, you can use the feature to understand what’s filling out the storage and free up some space as necessary.

The new feature is located in the main list of items for PC settings, and when you go inside the new page, you’ll find two sections: Storage overview and Storage locations.

Storage overview

In Storage overview, you’ll find all the drives currently attach to your PC (e.g. SD Card, external USB drives, internally attached hard drives, etc.), excluding OneDrive. The main hard drive is labeled “This PC” and it’s the drive that contains the Windows installation and programs. Clicking or tapping the drive will give you a more detailed view of which locations are taking the most space.

Currently Storage space only shows storage related information of known locations in the following categories: System and reserved, Desktop apps, Apps and games; Pictures, music and videos, Mail, Documents, OneDrive offline files, Downloads, other user profiles, Temporary files, Other. Each category is color-coded to easy understand what’s is filling your storage.

This PC Storage Sense

You can even click or tap each category to get more details and recommendations. For example, on System and reserved, you’ll be recommended not to delete anything for obvious reasons, but you’ll get the recommendation to optionally uninstall Windows Features to save space as needed.

System and reserved

Going to Desktop apps, you’ll have details on how much space traditional desktop apps (e.g. Chrome, Office, Photoshop, etc.) are using in your system and from there, you can click Uninstall programs, to open Programs and Features to get rid of unnecessary apps.

In Apps and games, you’ll get the same view you get with App sizes in Windows 8.1. You’ll see how much space a particular Universal app or game is using in your system, and you can click or tap any app to access the Uninstall button. And the same concept is the same for the other categories, though it’s also predefined and you cannot add your own locations to monitor.

Apps and games

Save locations

The Save locations section allows you to change the default locations to store your music, pictures and documents, but you cannot change these setting in the Windows 10 build 9879, perhaps in later releases.

Save locations

One thing you’ll notice is that Storage Sense is not fully implemented in Windows 10 build 9879. You can manage various aspects of the storage attached to your PC. But you have to restart your computer to view changes or updates, you can’t yet access to different drives only the one that has the Windows installation. And you currently cannot change the default save locations for your files. Maybe when Microsoft resumes shipping more builds in 2015, this feature will be more integrated.  

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].