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What Is Storage Sense in Windows Operating Systems?

For a long time, not many years ago, storage space on computers has been an issue that many have grappled with. And of course, that issue has diminished as a valid concern as time has passed by — because of the technological advancements, increased competition, and reduced costs for hard drives with large capacities. Yet, managing what files are saved, what’s deleted, and how the recycle bin in Windows OS operates, is still a fascination for the modern users of the progressive and forward-looking world.

Microsoft is wary of this inner desire of their audience and has cleverly invented “Storage Sense” for their Windows operating systems.

So, What Is Storage Sense in Windows?

When activated, storage sense can automatically free up storage space on your device by deleting temporary files and app files.

In this day and age, with ample storage capacities, one rarely should have a need to turn this feature on — for reasons of conserving hard-drive space. However, for many, it’s also about being consistent on constantly purging temporary files and app data so that things are more up to date and the system is running smoothly.

Windows Storage Sense Frequency and Intent

what is storage sense in windows
What is storage sense in windows?

When turned on, Window’s intention behind storage sense is from a perspective of freeing up disk capacity. But, that default behavior can be adjusted based on your preference. In fact, inside the storage sense settings, there is a section called “Configure cleanup schedules” (Windows 11) where you can tweak around with different choices, as described below:

  1. Run storage sense: This can be run:
    • During low disk space (default setting)
    • Every day
    • Every week
    • Every month
  2. Delete files in my recycle bin if they have been there for over:
    • 30 days (default)
    • Never
    • 1 day
    • 14 days
    • 30 days
    • 60 days
  3. Delete files in my Downloads folder if they haven’t been opened for:
    • Never (default)
    • 1 day
    • 14 days
    • 30 days
    • 60 days

Lastly, under the same section, there is a button that says “Run storage sense now.” Clicking on it will initiate storage sense at that moment.

Storage Sense cleanup schedules in Windows 11
Storage Sense cleanup schedules in Windows 11.

Commonly Asked Questions Surrounding Windows Storage Sense

Should I Run Storage Sense Every Day?

There really shouldn’t be any need to run storage sense every day, although it is an option. If you constantly run out of hard drive space on an everyday basis, storage sense is only a band-aid. At that point, the real solution is to upgrade your disk capacity, if you can.

Also, running storage sense every day shouldn’t really provide any benefit over sticking to Window’s default frequency settings if disk space is not an issue for you.

Does Storage Sense Delete Downloads?

It can if you let it. Howbeit, do keep in mind that Window’s default, in this case is not to let Storage Sense delete downloads.

If ever so inclined though, you can configure storage sense whereby it can delete downloads at the intervals of: 1 day, 14 days, 30 days, and 60 days. You can decide on the recurrence.

Does Storage Sense Slow Down the Computer?

It should not. In fact, it’s supposed to do the opposite by cleaning up junk and unneeded files.

Is It Good To Turn On Storage Sense?

The answer is both yes and no. Turning it on should not have any side effects. In contrast, keeping it off shouldn’t either if your Windows device has more than enough storage capacity, fantastic RAM, processors, cores, etc.

How Do I Turn Off Storage Sense?

In Windows 11, the main Storage Sense component can be accessed at: System > Storage > — after navigating to the main settings in Windows. Then, under the sub-heading of “Storage management,” you can turn off Storage sense by using the toggle switch button. If on, click on it once to deactivate it.

You May Also Want to Check Out:

Is Storage Sense Safe To Use?

Absolutely. There aren’t any surprises with storage sense. Windows clearly defines which areas storage sense can affect. Precisely, you can double-check things on your end by going to: System > Storage > Storage Sense. (For Windows 11).

Plus, if you’re still hesitant about using this feature, keep it off and manually control what files you want to remove.

Everything that storage sense cleans up, can be manually deleted too. So it’s not that storage sense is the only way to do it. At the end of the day, it’s nothing but a convenient and automated way of doing things, which of course, has its benefits, but you don’t have to follow along with it.

Expert Source: Microsoft