Use OneDrive and Storage Sense in Windows 10 to manage disk space

Use OneDrive and Storage Sense in Windows 10 to manage disk space

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Files On-Demand gives you easy access to your OneDrive files without taking up storage space on your computer. But, if you view and edit a lot of files in OneDrive, those files can take up extra space. You may no longer need to store files that were downloaded when you opened them.

Windows Storage Sense is a silent assistant that works with OneDrive to automatically free up space by making locally available files that you aren't using anymore online-only again. Online-only files stay safe in OneDrive and are visible on your device. When connected to the Internet, you can continue using your online-only files just like any other file.

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Important: Storage Sense is available for Windows 10 version 1809 and later. Storage Sense runs only on the C: drive, so your OneDrive location must reside on the system partition (C:\). Storage Sense ignores other locations, including physical drives, such as CD and DVD drives, and logical partitions, such as D: drives.

Turn on Storage Sense

  1. Select the Start Menu, and search for Storage settings.

  2. Under Storage, turn on Storage Sense by shifting the toggle to On.

    Windows 10 Storage toggle to activate Storage Sense

Any files that you haven't used in the last 30 days can be set to online-only when your device runs low on free space. Storage Sense will only set files to online-only until there’s enough space freed for Windows to run smoothly, so you can keep your files available locally as much as possible.

Set how often Storage Sense runs

If you prefer, you can make Storage Sense run periodically instead of running only when the device is low on storage.

  1. On the Storage page in Settings, select Configure Storage Sense or run it now.

  2. From the drop-down menu, set how often you want Storage Sense to run.

    Windows 10 Storage dropdown menu selecting frequency to run Storage Sense

If you’d like Storage Sense to be more proactive in setting your OneDrive files to online-only, under the Locally available cloud content heading, change the default value in the drop-down menu. For example, if you choose to run Storage Sense every week and select a 14-day window for Files On-Demand, Storage Sense will run once a week and identify files that you haven’t used in the past 14 days and make those files be available online-only.

Windows 10 Storage dropdown for selecting when to make OneDrive files online-only

Note: Files that you have marked to be always available are not affected and will continue to be available offline.

Self-activate when storage space is low

Storage Sense can now turn itself on when your device is low on storage space. Once activated, Storage Sense will intelligently run whenever your device runs low on storage space, and clear temporary files that your device and applications no longer need.

Storage Sense looks for and removes files such as, but not limited to:

  • Temporary setup files

  • Old indexed content

  • System cache files

  • Internet cache files

  • Device driver packages

  • System downloaded program files

  • Dated system log files

  • System error memory dump files

  • System error minidump files

  • Temporary system files

  • Dated Windows update temporary files

If you’d like to clear even more space on your device, you can turn on the removal of old files in your Downloads folder.

Note: Downloads folder cleanup is not turned on by default.

Windows 10 Storage dropdown menu for deleting older downloaded files

Run Storage Sense now to clean up space

  1. On the Storage page in Settings, select Configure Storage Sense or run it now.

  2. Under Free up space now, select Clean now.

    Windows 10 Storage option to manually free up space

  3. Storage Sense scans your device for files that are safe to clean and cleans them off your hard disk .

Need more help?

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Get online help
See more support pages for OneDrive and OneDrive for work or school.
For the OneDrive mobile app, see Troubleshoot OneDrive mobile app problems.

OneDrive Admins can also view the OneDrive Tech Community, Help for OneDrive for Admins.

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Contact Support
If you still need help, contact support through your browser or shake your mobile device while you're in the OneDrive app.

OneDrive Admins can contact Microsoft 365 for business support.

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Got feedback?
OneDrive UserVoice is your place to suggest the features you’d like to see us add to OneDrive. While we can’t guarantee any specific features or timelines, we will respond to every suggestion that gets at least 500 votes.

Go to the OneDrive UserVoice.

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