How to Free Up Disk Space in Windows

Need to free up some disk space on your Windows PC? Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 provide a dedicated Settings menu to make the process easier. From this menu, you can see how much space and what type of content is used on your device.

Windows’ storage settings allow you to enable Storage Sense to quickly free up space and automatically delete temporary files and recycle bin items. The process works similarly in Windows 10 and 11, though some of the screens and settings are slightly different.

open storage settings

windows storage

Open Settings > System > Storage To see the total space you have, what space is used by different content and categories, and how much free space you have on your drive. Click show more categories To see the storage used by additional types of content.

Configure Storage Sense in Windows 10

Win 10 Storage Sense

Storage Sense is a feature built into Windows that can help free up space automatically by deleting files you no longer need. Windows 10 users will find the Storage Sense option at the top of the Storage Settings screen. turn on switch for storage sense, then click Configure Storage Sense or run it now Contact.

Click on the drop-down box below run storage sense And select one of the options: Every day, Every week, Every month, or During less free disk space. If in doubt, go with while low disk space, Next, check the box next to Delete temporary files that my app is not using,

Configure storage sense

Click on the drop-down box below Delete files in my Recycle Bin if they haven’t been opened for a long time, If you don’t want the Recycle Bin files to be deleted, select Never. Otherwise, you can select one of the other options, such as 1 day, 14 days, 30 days or 60 days.

do the same under menu Delete files in my Downloads folder if they haven’t been opened for a long time, Finally, click clean now Now button to free up disk space.

Configure Storage Sense in Windows 11

Win 11 Storage Sense

In Windows 11, the Storage Sense feature has been moved to the Storage Management section of the Storage Settings page. Find it at the bottom of the screen, below the graph of your current storage location. turn on switch for storage sense And click on the entry to configure it.

Configure storage sense

Check the box next to Keep Windows running smoothly by automatically clearing temporary system and app files, Click on the drop-down box below run storage sense And select one of four options: Every day, Every week, Every month, or During less free disk space.

Click on the drop-down box below Delete files in my Recycle Bin if they haven’t been opened for a long time And never, choose Day 1, 14, Day, 30 Day, or 60 Day. do the same for Delete files in my Downloads folder if they haven’t been opened for a long time,

run storage sense

If you want to clean the drive immediately, click Play Storage Sense Now Button. Give at least a few minutes to clean the drive. After the process is finished, you will be told how much disk space was freed.

Review OneDrive files

OneDrive Files

Even if you prefer not to automate the process of freeing up disk space, Windows still gives you enough information to make your own decision. Since Windows separates your data into different categories on the storage settings screen, you can easily see what types of files are chewing up your drive’s storage and freeing up space manually.

For example, if you use OneDrive to store and sync files on your computer, click the OneDrive icon and then click View OneDrive, This will display all your OneDrive files and give you a chance to review everything and delete what you don’t need.

uninstall apps

uninstall app

You can do the same with programs installed on your computer. go for Settings > Apps > Apps & Features, where you can sort the list by name, size or installation date. In Windows 10, click on the entry for the app you want to remove. Click on the three-dot icon in Windows 11 and then select uninstall ordered removal. (For more information on uninstalling apps, see our guide.)

manage photos

manage pictures

If you store photos and other images in your PC’s Pictures folder, click pictures Entry on the Storage Settings page. Choose View pictures To go to the default picture location where you can view the images to delete.

remove temporary files

Another category you should check out is temporary files. Windows has a habit of accumulating temporary installation files, temporary Internet files, and other items that you don’t usually need. Click to view temporary files On the Storage Settings screen.

temporary files

Windows suggests a variety of files that you can delete, including Recycle Bin files, Windows Update cleanup files, upgrade log files, device driver packages, temporary Internet files, and temporary files. Windows automatically adds a checkmark to any content type it believes you can safely delete without disrupting your system.

Some content types are unchecked by default. The Recycle Bin option can be unchecked so that you can still restore any deleted files, while your Downloads folder is also unchecked based on the assumption that you can still access files stored there. Review the checked and unchecked categories to make any changes, then click delete files To delete all checked content.

check external storage

Win 10.  in external storage

Windows allows you to check the available space on any USB-connected storage device. Once connected in Windows 10, click View storage on other drives, Windows shows you both your main drive and the external drive. Select the external drive to view data usage by category and delete files you don’t need.

external storage in win 11

Windows 11 users have to click advanced storage settings entry, and then select Storage used on other drives, Click on your external drive to review it and delete any files.

change file destination

file destination

If your PC has more than one disc drive, you can change where the new content is saved. In Windows 10, click Change where new content is saved Contact. In Windows 11, you click advanced storage settings and then choose Change where new content is saved,

From here, you can change the location where files are saved for apps, documents, music, photos and videos, movies and TV shows, and offline maps. Click the appropriate drop-down menu for an item, change the entry to a different drive, and click To apply, You can choose any other fixed drive or external drive.

The second fixed drive is the easiest option, as it is always available on your computer. If you choose a removable drive, you’ll need to remember to connect it when you want to access any files stored on it.

cleaning recommendations

cleaning recommendations

Windows 11 offers advice to help you free up disk space. Click cleaning recommendations Under the Storage Management section of the Storage Settings page. Click on each category to see Windows’ recommendations for cleaning up temporary files, large or unused files, files synced to the cloud, and unused apps. Check the items you want to remove and click cleanliness button for that category to delete those files.

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