Windows can have a bad habit of keeping old temporary files on your hard drive and taking up space. Storage Sense is a feature introduced with Windows 10 that helps solve the problem by periodically deleting temporary files and emptying the recycle bin automatically. The feature is not enabled by default, so we’ll show you how to enable and use it.

How to use Storage Sense in Windows 11

To activate it, click the button Beginning and open Setting. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + I to directly open the Setting.

Once you have the Setting, click System in the list on the left. Then on the right, scroll down and click Storage.

Note: A faster way to get there is to press the Windows key and to write: storage sense. Then, in the list of results, click on “Activate Storage Sense”.

Either way, the Storage section in Settings will show how much space the files are using on your system. You can then turn on the switch Storage Sense in the “Storage Management” section.

After turning it on, you should see a pop-up notification that you are about to turn it on. Click the button Activate.

Click again Storage Sense from Settings and you can configure it. You will have several options, such as determining how often you want it to run. You can also choose how often the recycle bin should be emptied. You can choose between daily, weekly, monthly or only when disk space is low.

In general, keeping the default settings should be good. The option to delete temporary files is enabled by default.

Another thing to note is that Storage Sense will delete the files in the Downloads folder if they haven’t been opened for a certain amount of time. You can set it from one day, 14 days, 30 days (default), 60 days or never.

Lastly, you have the option to run Storage Sense manually. Just click the button Run Storage Sense now – is the last button on the page.

The time it takes to run varies depending on your files and storage space. When it’s done, you’ll see how much disk space has been freed up.

More about storage space

For more information on how to get the most out of your hard drive or SSD storage, see how to limit the amount of disk space used by the recycle bin. And another cool Windows 11 feature is called Cleaning recommendations. It’s the option under Storage Sense in Settings.

It scans your system and recommends “Temporary files”, “Large or unused files”, “Files synced with the cloud” and “Unused applications” that you can delete.

If you have a unit with little space and you want to keep it as free as possible. The new Windows 11 storage settings may come in handy.

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