Explained: Windows 11 Storage Sense and how it can help manage storage issues on Windows PCs

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Microsoft the Windows comes with lots of new features, design changes and improvements over Windows 10. Apart from the major design overhaul and user interface changes, the operating system also includes several hidden tools that many people don’t unfamiliar with, including the enhanced Storage Sense tool.
Storage Sense is available on both Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating system and it allows users to automate storage management across operating systems. All users have to do is set some basic rules and Windows will comply with them without any extra effort. The good thing is that it works with both online and offline storage.
If you are wondering what is Storage Sense in Windows and how it can help users to manage storage space on PC automatically? Let’s explain.
What is StorageSense?
Storage Sense is a Windows tool that helps manage online and offline storage on the system by automatically deleting temporary files, emptying Recycle Bin, deleting unnecessary files, clearing Downloads folder and more without requiring users remove them manually by jumping between different tools and applications.
Besides, it also helps users to manage OneDrive storage on PC. This includes automatic online-only file creation after a certain interval to save storage space on your computer.
How does the Storage Sense tool work?
The Storage Sense tool requires initial user input, including enabling it as the feature is disabled by default. Users have the ability to set some basic rules such as how often Storage Sense manages storage. Here, users have the option to choose between 1 day and Always.
Similarly, it also gives users option to choose duration after which Trash and Downloads folder will be cleared. The same goes for OneDrive storage.
Once the guidelines are set, the Storage Sense feature automatically manages system storage.
What are the limits ?
Storage Sense isn’t perfect. There are a few things to keep in mind about this tool. The most important thing to remember is that the tool only works for the C: drive. This means that everything from managing OneDrive, trash, and deleting downloads will only work if the primary location for those folders is set to the C: drive only.
Also, you cannot manually add a folder or drive to automate storage management.
How it can make things easier for users
Managing storage in Windows has always been a complicated process. For example, to delete temporary files, users had to open properties of C: drive and click Disk Cleanup option, then manually choose all temporary files and delete them.
Similarly, the trash is supposed to be cleared manually. The same goes for locally stored OneDrive files which apparently consume a lot of disk space.
With Storage Sense, users can choose to automate them all at once and continue using their PC without worrying about clearing storage clutter.
Steps to Enable and Use Storage Sense on Windows
  • Open Settings → System → Storage → Storage Sense → Enable toggle
  • Once enabled, click the Configure button and choose how often you want Windows to run the Storage Sense.
  • Now scroll down and choose the time interval after which the trash and downloads files will be deleted.
  • Next, you also have the option to set the online creation duration of locally stored OneDrive files.

Additionally, to automate things, users also have the option to manually run Storage Sense by clicking the Run Storage Sense now button at the bottom of the page.

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