How to Use Storage Sense to Clean Up Hard Drive On Windows 10

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Windows 10 Creators Update has a lot of new features added and one such tool is ‘Storage Sense’. This feature will delete all the temp files and a month or so old Recycle Bin files automatically. Let’s see how to enable and use it.

Storage Sense is like a small version of Desk Cleanup. This will clean up unwanted files like temp files and Recycle bin files periodically when enabled. This may not help in freeing the disk in large, but to an extent, it helps in keeping your storage a bit tidier.

Open settings by clicking the Windows icon in the bottom-hand corner of the screen or press Windows + I, then select Systems options.

Windows Settings

Now in the Systems Windows select Storage and now scroll down a little and you’ll see Storage Sense. Turn On the option.

storage sense

You have the option to change what Storage Sense erases. To change the preferences, click on the link Change how we free up space

storage sense

You have only two options here – To delete temp files or old Recycle Bin files. You can either choose Storage Sense to deleted old Recycle Bin files or temp Files or both. If you want Windows to clean up the disk right away, you can click the option Clean now.

storage sense

Hopefully, this will include more cleanup options in the future. Nevertheless, it helps you to free up a little bit of drive space – particularly when you are using apps that stores lot of temp files.

Apart from this, there’s one more option to clean up or to manage the disk space. Let’s see what it is:

Go to setting > Systems > Storage, here click on C: Drive to see what’s taking up the storage space.

Once you open, you’ll see a color palette. This shows which program has occupied how much space.

Go through each section to check where you can save the disk space by deleting unwanted files.

System and reserved

You should really not touch this one. It contains all the necessary elements for your PC to function. It has ‘system files’ to run your Windows properly, few files for ‘Virtual Memory’ to let your computer do multi-tasking, ‘System restore files’ – to restore the previous version, and a ‘Hibernation file’ which allows your computer to sleep while continuing the user state. This file takes up a lot of space almost 6 GB, if you are not using it, we recommend to disable it to free up the disk space.

Apps and Games

Here you can see all the games and apps installed on your computer. You can search these programs on any drive and sort them according to size, installation date or name.

Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Desktop

You can manage your files saved in each folder at ‘User Account Directory’ which is at C:\User\User Name\. you can see the spaced consumed in their respective window.

Mail, Maps, OneDrive

Files saved on OneDrive on your PC to take up space. You can see how much space has been used, by downloading email attachments, maps, documents and other related apps in their respective folders. And subsequently, delete the unwanted files.

Temporary files

This is where you can throw away all the unwanted files and get the disk space back. This folder contains all the downloads, temp cache files, recycle bin files, and previous build of Windows including Windows.old files. Search each of the folders for where you can free up space. Deleting Windows previous version will let you with lots of free space.

Interesting Read: How to Partition an External Hard Drive on Windows 8?

Other files

This section contains folders that have taken up huge space on your drive and do not come under any category mentioned above. You can search around this folder to see if you can get some disk space.

Be cautious while deleting the files. In case you have deleted some useful documents permanently from the hard drive, you can always go for data recovery software. There are plenty of them which does an excellent job of recovering data on Windows.


You see how much of the space you got back just by simply deleting unwanted files. You can take advantage of Storage Settings and Storage Sense in particular if you ever want to clean your hard drive on Windows.

About the Author: John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines. John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms.…