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Win10 Settings System Storage Sense File Clean-up

I’m something of a compulsive on the subject of conserving and cleaning Windows disk space. That’s why I’ve blogged many times here on various techniques for space recovery in Windows 10 (and earlier OSes). I was both surprised and pleased to realize that MS had slipped a new cleanup into Win10. Access it through Settings → System → Storage Sense → Change how we free up space. When you perform this Win10 Settings System Storage Sense file clean-up, you’ll see a screen like this one:

You must turn Storage Sense on for this to work, and force the clean-up by clicking the “Clean now” button at bottom.

Running the Win10 Settings System Storage Sense File Clean-up

As the image caption relates, you must first enable Storage Sense to use this tool. Then, it will run automatically whenever a drive gets low on storage space. Alternatively, you can force the clean-up to run any time you like. Simply visit this window, then click the “Clean now” button and off it goes. Note also the checkboxes for:

  • temporary files
  • recycle bin files over 30 days old
  • Downloads contents over 30 days old

Only the first two are checked by default, but you can grab some disk space back by clicking the third checkbox, too. I just ran it on a few systems to check it out. It reclaimed anywhere from 179 MB to as much as 24.9 GB on a system I upgraded yesterday to Insider Preview Build 17063. Note the additional information that shows up about the clean-up in that Redstone 4 code base. This may become generally available after MS releases the Spring update. Notice that it skips empty items (unlike Disk Cleanup) and shows only items from which space may be reclaimed. As far as I can tell, though, this is just another way to do what Disk Cleanup already did. Does this spell immanent retirement for Disk Cleanup? Could be!

Thanks and happy holidays to Sergey Tkachenko, whose recent article “How to Free Up Drive Space in Windows 10” alerted me to this feature. He’s something of a Windows space hound, too!