Windows 10 includes the ability to automatically empty your Recycle bin, delete temporary files, and remove a number of other files to free up disk space. This is possible with the Storage Sense feature. With recently released builds, you can make Storage Sense run automatically on a schedule. Also, there is a special Group Policy option that allows forcing a specific schedule for all users.
Storage Sense is a nice, modern addition to Disk Cleanup. It allows you to maintain certain folders by preventing them from getting too large and clean them up automatically. The Storage Sense feature can be found in Settings, under System -> Storage. We have reviewed how it can be used in our previous articles:
- Automatically Delete Windows.old folder in Windows 10
- How to Clear Downloads Folder Automatically in Windows 10
- How to Clear Temporary Files Automatically in Windows 10
Storage Sense can be used to remove Windows upgrade log files, system-created Windows Error Reporting Files, Windows Defender Antivirus temporary files, Thumbnails, Temporary Internet Files, Device driver packages, DirectX Shader Cache, Downloaded Program Files and Delivery Optimization Files.
Run Storage Sense
Starting with Windows 10 build 17074, it is possible to run Storage Sense automatically when you are low on disk space. There are a number of presets which can use to schedule disk cleanup. This will allow you to remove redundant files automatically when required. The appropriate options can be found under Settings > System > Storage > Configure Storage Sense or run it now.
On the next page, you can specify when to run Storage Sense automatically or run it manually.
There is a special Group Policy option that allows you to specify when to run the Storage Sense cleanup procedure for all users. You can force enable the Every day, Every week, Every month, or During low free disk space schedule. Here is how.
To make Storage Sense Run Automatically in Windows 10 using Group Policy,
- Press Win + R keys together on your keyboard and type:
- Group Policy Editor will open. Go to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Storage Sense. Enable the policy option Configure Storage Sense cadence.
- Under Run Storage Sense, select Every day, Every week, Every month, or During low free disk space according to what you want.
Note: The Local Group Policy Editor app is only available in Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education edition. For other editions, you can use a Registry tweak described below.
A Registry Tweak
- Open Registry Editor.
- Go to the following Registry key:
If you do not have such a key, then just create it.
- Here, create a new 32-bit DWORD value ConfigStorageSenseGlobalCadence. Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows, you still need to use a 32-bit DWORD as the value type.
Set it to one of the following values in decimals:
0 - During low free disk space
1 - Every day
7 - Every week
30 - Every month
- To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, restart Windows 10.
To save your time, I made ready-to-use Registry files. You can download them here:
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