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Learn How To Free Up Disk Space In Windows 10


Windows 10 is a series of OS developed by Microsoft and released as part of its Windows NT family of operating systems. It basically replaced Windows 8.1, which was released nearly 2years earlier, and was released to manufacturing on July 15, 2015.

Windows 10 provides an easy dedicated settings menu which can be used to free up disk space. The Storage Sense feature will automatically remove temporary files, Recycle Bin items, and other items you may not need. Here’s how to view your internal storage and clear space quickly.

Storage Settings

storage settings in windows 10

Go to Settings > System > Storage to view the total space you have available, what space has been used across different categories, and how much free space remains on your hard drive.  Turn on Storage Sense to automatically remove temporary files and other items you no longer need. Click the links on the right side of the Storage settings screen to learn more about disk management and low disk space.

Configure and Run Storage Sense 

storage sense menu in windows

If you want to better configure the Storage Sense feature, click the Configure Storage Sense or run it now link. You can then determine how often the tool will run and when temporary files and downloads will automatically be deleted.

Open the Run Storage Sense drop-down menu to determine how frequently the feature should run—Every day, Every week, Every month, or During low free disk space. Unless you're constantly running low on space, running it monthly should be a good place to start.

Under the Temporary Files header, check the box next to Delete temporary files that my apps aren't using to automatically remove unneeded temporary files on a regular basis. You can also tell Storage Sense to automatically purge files in the Recycle Bin and Downloads folder daily—every 14, 30, or 60 days, or never.

Storage Sense must be switched on in order for your scheduled maintenance to take place. However, if you're running low on space, you can take action right away. Click Clean now to make Windows scan for unnecessary files that can be deleted. After the work is done, Windows tells you how much space has been freed.

Review OneDrive Files

screenshot of onedrive files on windows

If you prefer not to automate the process, Windows still gives you enough information to make decisions on your own. Since Windows separates your data into different categories on the Storage settings screen, you can easily see which types of files are chewing up your hard drive's storage and manually free up space. For example, if you use OneDrive to store and sync files on your computer, click the icon for OneDrive 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

screenshot of menu for uninstalling windows apps

You can do the same with the programs downloaded to your computer. Go to Settings > Apps > Apps & features to view a list of installed apps you can review and uninstall if you no longer want them. Here, you can sort the list by name, date, or size. To remove an app, click it and select the Uninstall button.

Manage Photos 


If you store photos and other images on your PC, click the entry for Pictures on the Storage settings screen. Select View Pictures to go to the default Pictures location, where you can look for images to delete.

Remove Temporary Files

temporary files

Another category you'll want to check is Temporary files. Windows has a bad habit of hoarding temporary installation files, temporary internet files, and other items that you typically don't need. To view these, click Temporary Files on the Storage settings screen.

Windows suggests different types of files you can remove, 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 types it believes you can safely remove without hindering your system.

Some content types are unchecked by default. The Recycle Bin may be unchecked so you can restore any deleted files you still need, while your Downloads folder is also unchecked based on the assumption you might still use files stored there. Review checked and unchecked categories to make any changes, then click Remove files to remove all the checked content.

Check External Storage

external storage

Windows 10 also allows you to check the available space on any USB-connected storage device. With your external drive plugged in, scroll down to More storage settings and click the View storage usage on other drives link. Windows shows you both your main drive and the external drive. Click the external drive to view data usage by category and remove files from it.

Change File Destination 

file destination

If your PC houses more than one disk drive, click Change where new content is saved at the bottom of the Storage settings screen. Then, change the location from one drive to another for apps, documents, music, photos and videos, movies and TV shows, and offline maps.

Click the drop-down menu for an item, change the entry to a different drive, and click Apply. You can choose another fixed hard drive or an external drive. A second fixed hard drive is the smoothest option, since it's always available on your computer. If you choose a removable drive, you’ll have to remember to connect it when you want to access any files stored on it.


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