How To Turn On or Turn Off Storage Sense in Windows 11

Storage Sense helps you automatically free up space in Windows 11. Here is how to turn on or turn off the Storage Sense in Windows 11.

If you have been using Windows for long enough, you will know that the C drive fills up with time. No matter how big the C drive partition is, it will be filled with all kinds of files and data. A few of the main reasons for this behavior are temp files, application cache, files in recycle bin, update files, system cache, restore points, and more. All in all, many unnecessary things occupy the C drive and waste disk space.

Windows 11 will show the “low disk space” warning message when there is no more space. In addition to that, you will not be able to install new applications and Windows updates.

To deal with that, Windows 11 comes with a disk cleanup tool. You can use this tool to delete many temporary and unnecessary files to claim the C system space. However, you have to run this tool manually as and when needed. As you can guess, though not a big deal, it is not an ideal setup.

So, Microsoft added a new feature called Storage Sense in Windows 11. When enabled, Storage Sense will free up disk space by deleting temporary files, unnecessary Windows update files, and clearing the recycle bin. The best thing is, you can configure Storage Sense to run on a schedule.

Without further ado, let me show you how to turn on Storage Sense in Windows 11, turn off Storage Sense in Windows 11, and how to configure Storage Sense in Windows 11 for optimal results.

Jump to:

Turn on Storage Sense in Windows 11

You can turn on the Storage Sense from the Storage settings page in the Windows 11 Settings page. Here is how to find and enable the Storage Sense feature in Windows 11.

  1. Open the Settings with the “Start + I” shortcut.
  2. Select “System” on the sidebar.
  3. Choose “Storage” on the right panel.
  4. Turn on the “Storage Sense” feature.
  5. With that, the Storage Sense feature is turned on.

Detailed steps.

Right-click on the Start menu and select “Settings” or press the “Start key + I” shortcut to open the Windows 11 Settings app. Next, go to the “System > Storage” page. Here, turn on the “Storage Sense” feature.

turn on storage sense in Windows 11

After turning it on, Windows will run the Storage Sense feature as needed. To customize when it runs, follow the “Configure Storage Sense” section in this guide.

Turn off Storage Sense in Windows 11

The settings app lets you disable or turn off Storage Sense with a single click. Here is how.

  1. Open the Settings with the “Start + I” shortcut.
  2. Select “System” on the sidebar.
  3. Choose “Storage” on the right panel.
  4. Turn off the “Storage Sense” feature.
  5. With that, the Storage Sense feature is disabled.

Detailed steps:

Open the Settings app with the “Windows key + I” shortcut. Next, go to the “System > Storage” page. Here, find and turn off the “Storage Sense” feature on the right page.

turn off storage sense in Windows 11

As soon as you do that, Windows 11 will disable the Storage Sense feature. i.e., it will not run automatically. That being said, you can still use the Disk Cleanup tool to free up disk space.

Configure Storage Sense in Windows 11

By default, the Storage Sense feature will only run when the disk space is low. However, you can configure the Storage Sense feature run on schedule and tell what to delete (kind of). Here is how to configure and customize Storage Sense in Windows 11.

First, open the Windows 11 Settings app and go to the “System > Storage” page. On the right page, make sure the Storage Sense feature is enabled. Next, click on the “Storage Sense” option.

On this page, you have five options to configure. They are as follows:

First, select the “Keep Windows running smoothly by automatically clearing up temporary system and app files” checkbox. It will make sure Windows 11 deletes temp files and cache.

Next, choose “Every month” from the “Run Storage Sense” dropdown menu. It will schedule Storage Sense to run every 30 days starting from this day. Of course, choose another option if you want it running more frequently.

Now, select the “30 days (default)” option from the “Delete files in my recycle bin if they have been there for over” dropdown menu. This option will make Storage Sense delete files in Recycle Bin that are older than 30 days. As you can guess, this option will not delete files from the recycle bin that are not older than 30 days. So, you don’t have to worry about losing files that are just deleted.

Choose “Never” from the “Delete files in my Downloads folder if they haven’t been opened for more than” dropdown menu. If you are comfortable deleting unused downloaded files, you can choose other options like 1, 14, 30, and 60 days.

Finally, select “30 days” from the “OneDrive” dropdown menu. It will make the files “Online only” if they are unused or not opened for more than 30 days. OneDrive will automatically download the files when you try to open them. 

configure storage sense in Windows 11

Run Storage Sense on Demand in Windows 11

Along with scheduling Storage Sense, you can run it on demand. All you have to do is click the “Run Storage Sense Now” button. Here’s where to find and click it.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the “System > Storage” page.
  3. Click on the “Storage Sense” page.
  4. Press the “Run Storage Sense Now” button.
  5. Storage Sense will run immediately and shows how much space it freed up right under the button.
run storage sense on demand in Windows 11

That is all. It is that simple to turn on and turn off the Storage Sense feature in Windows 11.

I hope that helps.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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