Many of us are used to manually cleaning out the Recycle Bin, the Downloads folder (where all downloaded files from the browser are downloaded) and the temporary application files, wasting our free time. Microsoft decided to make life easier for its users and introduced a "Storage Sense" feature in Windows 11 that allows you to set up automatic emptying of the Recycle Bin, Downloads folder and temporary application files that take up space on your storage media.

How do I find the "Storage Sense" function?

  1. Open Settings of the operating system (press the Windows + I)

How do I open Settings in Windows 11?

  1. When you open Settings, you will see a list of available settings for the System section.
  2. Scroll down to the subsection "Storage" and click on it.

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  1. Next, in the Storage subsection, find the setting "Storage Sense" and click on it.

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You will see the "Storage Sense" system settings.

How do I set up "Storage Sense" to work automatically?

  1. In the "Cleanup of temporary files" section, check the "Keep Windows running smoothly by automatically cleaning up temporary system and app files" if it is not checked. By default, this feature is enabled even if Storage Sense is disabled.
  2. Activate the automatic cleaning of user content by moving the slider from the "Off" position to the "On" position.
  3. Set Storage Sense to start on schedule. By default Storage Sense starts when there is not enough free disk space. But if you want, you can configure Storage Sense to start automatically at the following intervals: daily, every week (once a week), or every month (once a month).
  4. Activate delete files from the recycle bin if they have been there for more than a certain amount of time. By default, files are deleted from the resycle bin after 30 days. But also available options: more than 1 day, 14 days, 60 days. You can also disable automatic deletion of files from the recycle bin can by selecting the "Never" setting.
  5. If your Downloads folder is frequently replenished with unnecessary files, you can enable the "Delete files in my Downloads folder if they haven't been opened for more than". By default, the Downloads folder is not automatically cleared, but you can select to automatically delete files if they have not been opened for more than 1 day, 14, 30, or 60 days.

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After setting the automatic cleaning schedule, you can click the "Run Storage Sense now" button to immediately clean up the temporary files, Recycle Bin and Downloads folder (if you have previously chosen to clean up this folder).

Do you find the "Storage Sense" feature useful?

Tell us in the comments 😉