Keep your PC’s drive clean with Storage Sense
1 Make sure Storage Sense is turned on
First, make sure that Storage Sense is enabled. To do that, open the Start menu and go to Settings. Once there, click System, then select Storage. This will give you an overview of all the drives that you have installed in your PC, along with how much storage space is available. Underneath that you’ll see a section called ‘Storage sense’. Make sure this is set to On.
2 Change Storage Sense settings 2
To change how Storage Sense works, click ‘Change how we free up space automatically’. A new window appears, giving you various options. The first lets you set when Storage Sense runs. By default, it will run when drive space is low. Click the drop-down menu underneath where it says ‘Runs Storage sense’ and pick a schedule if you want it to run more regularly, such as every week.
3 Temporary files
When using your PC, various apps (and even Windows 10) will create and store numerous temporary files, which are only required for a short amount of time. After that, they just take up space, so it’s worth letting Storage Sense remove those files after a set period. The default is 30 days, which we think is a decent amount of time to ensure those files are no longer needed.
4 Downloaded files
Usually when you download a program or file, it’s kept in your PC’s Downloads folder. Even after installing a program, the installer itself is usually left in that folder, and over time you may find that you end up with a lot of large files there. To remove your downloads at certain intervals, click the menu under where it says ‘Delete files in my Downloads folder’ and choose a time.
5 Free up space now
If you want to use Storage Sense right now, then click ‘Clean now’, which will start the process of cleaning your PC’s storage drive. It uses the settings you’ve selected from the rest of the page, so if you’ve chosen to never delete files in the Downloads folder, then this will respect that choice. After clicking the button you’ll see a message asking you to wait while Storage Sense runs.
6 Other ways to clean up your PC
With Storage Sense enabled, you can leave Windows 10 to keep your drives free from clutter. However, there are also a number of other tools in Windows that can help you keep them clean. First, open File Explorer and click This PC in the left-hand pane. This will give you an overview of all your PC’s storage drives, and from there you can see how much space is on each drive.
7 Use Disk Clean-up
Disk Clean-up is a tool that preceded Storage Sense, and has been a part of previous versions of Windows for a while now. While Storage Sense now does a lot of what Disk Clean-up did, it’s still a useful tool. In the Start menu, search for Disk Clean-up and press [Enter]. In the window that opens, select the disk you want to clean. This will be your ‘C:’ drive by default.
8 Choose what to clean
Disk Clean-up will scan your PC for various files that are safe to remove, and then will list them in the window above. You’ll see how much space each type of file takes up. Click the checkbox to place a tick in it, which marks those files to be removed, then click OK to delete those files. For more options, click ‘Clean up system files’. You’ll need to be logged in as an administrator to do this.