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What is Microsoft Storage Sense?

One of the new features making its debut in Microsoft Windows 10, Microsoft Storage Sense provides yet another means of automatically managing data and optimizing your system's hard drives. However, there are a number of things you need to know before using Storage Sense – including how to enable the feature in the first place.

Enabling Storage Sense

By default, Microsoft Storage Sense is disabled on new installations of Windows 10. To enable Storage Sense, click on the Windows Start Menu and navigate to "Settings." From there, click on "System" and, finally, "Storage."

Generally speaking, the purpose of Microsoft Storage Sense is to periodically delete temporary files as well as items in your system's Recycle Bin. Once enabled, the utility will automatically target these files. However, Storage Sense won't delete any other files unless you specifically configure it to do so.

Once you've loaded Microsoft Storage Sense, click "Configure Storage Sense or run it now" to access the utility's options. Not only will this let you schedule the utility to run at certain times, but it lets you control how often files are scanned and a few other options, too.

Managing Other Folders

Although the default setting of Storage Sense only concentrates on temporary files and those in your Recycle Bin, you can access the utility's extended options to manage and optimize other folders on your hard drives, too.

To do this, start by clicking on the "Temporary files" tab. From here, you can specify whether or not you want to include your Downloads file when deleting temporary files. Like with other folders, you'll be able to control how often these files are deleted.

You can also use Microsoft Storage Sense to manage your locally available cloud content. To do this, adjust the settings found under the "Content will become online-only if not opened for more than" option. Note that this option will not permanently delete any files, as they'll still be available online via your cloud service provider. You can also restore these files to your local hard drive automatically based on whether or not there is enough free space or an active network connection.

Things to Consider

Like most apps, there are a few nuances to consider when using Microsoft Storage Sense. Firstly, the utility won't run unless you're signed in and online for longer than 10 minutes. If you're signed out, if you're only on for brief amounts of time, you might not be able to benefit from Microsoft Storage Sense.

You'll also receive regular notifications when using Microsoft Storage Sense, particularly when one of your hard drives is running low on space. As this can affect other areas of your system, such as automatic system updates and upgrades, it's recommended that you resolve such issues as soon as possible.

As you can see, Microsoft Storage Sense can go a long way in maintaining system health and usability. By deleting unused or unnecessary files on a regular basis, you'll be able to free up some much-needed hard drive space when you need it the most.


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