Windows 11: How to automatically free up space on PC?

Enable and configure Windows 11 Storage Sense to automatically delete some junk files to free up space on your computer.

Always having enough space on your computer requires special attention. Without regular maintenance, your machine’s storage can fill up quickly, sometimes with undesirable consequences. Because in addition to running out of space to store new files, your computer can show signs of slowing down very quickly. To fix this, it’s best to start by cleaning your computer’s hard drive, removing all junk files, for example.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended to manually and at regular intervals delete items from the trash, large files in the download folder, or even temporary files stored on your computer. But instead of doing this operation manually, you can ask Windows 11 to do it for you. The Microsoft operating system has a very practical storage assistant that, when configured, automatically performs these maintenance operations for you. Here’s how to activate it.

1. Open settings

Start by opening Windows 11 Settings with the keyboard shortcut Windows + i. Then select System in the left column, then enter the menu dedicated to Storage.


2. Turn on Memory Sense

When the storage settings window opens, in the Storage Management section, enable the Storage Sense option.

Memory Sense Windows 11©

3. Set up a cleaning schedule

Then click Storage Sense to open the configuration window. By default, the Keep Windows running smoothly by automatically cleaning up system files and temporary applications should be checked. If not, do it.

Memory Sense Windows 11©

Windows 11 launches Storage Sense by default when your PC runs out of disk space. However, you can change its behavior and set up a cleanup schedule so that your PC’s storage is cleared more regularly.

To do this, under the Start Memory Monitor heading, click the drop-down menu and change the default setting so that Startup Control runs automatically on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Memory Sense Windows 11©

Similarly, you can set up Windows 11 Memory Sense to empty the Recycle Bin more often. In the Delete files from the Recycle Bin if they are more than line, change the default value (30 days) to 14 days or 1 day.

Memory Sense Windows 11©

Finally, the Downloads directory, where large files are logged very often, can also be automatically cleared using Storage Sense Windows 11. By default, the Microsoft operating system does not touch it, but you can choose to “Delete files in the Downloads folder” if they haven’t been opened for a long time. You can choose to automatically delete all items that have not been opened for more than 1, 14, 30, or 60 days.

4. Set up cloud content available locally

Files stored in the cloud but available locally on your PC can also be a major source of filling up your computer’s storage. Again, Storage Sense in Windows 11 can help you manage the space they take up on your computer by removing the ones you don’t use from your device. By default, Microsoft OS never deletes this data from your PC’s local storage. By changing the retention period for data stored locally on your computer, Windows 11 Storage Sense can save you several tens of gigabytes on your PC.

In the Windows 11 Storage Sense configuration window, under “Cloud content available locally”, for each of the cloud services configured on your PC, specify how long it takes for files stored online to be deleted from local storage.

Memory Sense Windows 11©

If you choose to access your data online only if it hasn’t been opened for more than 1, 14, 30, or 60 days, Windows 11 Storage Sense will automatically delete the locally stored versions of your files. Content marked “Always store on this device” will still be excluded from this purge. Finally, click the Run Storage Sense Now button to start cleaning up your PC immediately.

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