You can automatically free up disk space on your Windows 11 computer

This story is part 12 days of advicehelping you get the most out of your tech, your home and your health this holiday season.

You never want a computer with little or no disk space available. A hard drive with no space negatively affects your computer; inevitably, this will slow down and your apps will freeze and crash more frequently.

And while the fix is ​​obvious – you need to clean your drive – you might have a hard time deciding exactly which files to remove. Luckily, Windows 11 makes it easy to get rid of what you don’t need and free up space on your computer.

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Instead of downloading third-party software to free up disk space, Windows 11 has a few settings you can configure to quickly delete temporary and system files, as well as old downloads you probably don’t need.

And if you’re worried about getting rid of important files, don’t worry – Windows 11 will help you decide what to get rid of to improve your PC’s performance.

If you want to know more, check out more features we love about Windows 11. You should also read on the best desktop computers this year.

Not everyone needs an expensive SSD for storage. Maybe you just want to transfer photos and videos to free up some space on your computer. If you’re looking for extra storage but don’t want to break the bank, check out Seagate’s 1TB external hard drive for your Windows computer.

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How to automatically free up storage space on Windows 11

On your Windows 11 computer, go to Settings > System > Storage room. If this is your first time visiting this setting, wait a few seconds for your computer to scan your data storage. Once Windows has collected what it needs to know, you will be able to see your total free memory at the top of the page. Below, you’ll see a breakdown of your storage, divided into apps and features, temporary files and other. You can also click Show more categories to display another breakdown.

However, the parameter we are interested in is Meaning of storage, which automatically frees up space on your computer whenever your disk space is low. It does this by deleting temporary files, emptying your trash and getting rid of old downloads, in the background, without you having to do it manually.

Storage management page with Storage Sense enabled

Enable Storage Sense to have Windows 11 free up space automatically.

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To turn on Meaning of storage, just enable it here. If you click on the setting, you can configure several features:

  • Run storage scan: Run Storage Sense when disk space is low (default) or daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • Delete files from my trash if they’ve been there for over a year: Choose 1 day, 14 days, 30 days (default) or 60 days.
  • Delete files from my Downloads folder if they have not been opened for more than: Choose never (default), 1 day, 14 days, 30 days or 60 days.

These Storage Sense settings can help you limit what files are deleted and when, so you don’t have to worry about deleting important files from your computer.

Configure cleanup schedule settings

You can configure how often Windows 11 cleans up your disk space, as well as what files it deletes and how often.

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At the bottom of the page, you can click Run storage scan now to use the function here and there.

And if you want to get rid of more files to free up space, use the Cleaning recommendations functionality under Storage Sense. If you click on it, it will scan your system and recommend files for you to manually delete, such as temporary files, large or unused files, files synced to your cloud, and unused apps.

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Want to know more about Windows 11? Check biggest differences between Windows 10 and Windows 11. As well, these are the best Windows 11 features you need to know about. And if you haven’t downloaded Windows 11 yet, here’s what you need to do.

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