Skip to main content

Storage Cleanup Tools In Windows 10 Getting Added Feature

By June 15, 2020May 5th, 2022Technology News

For more than 20 years, “Disk Cleanup” has been a feature in every Windows Build. It’s a quick, easy way to free up hard disk space by getting rid of unneeded system and temporary files.

In the October 2018 release of Windows 10, Microsoft added a checkbox that allowed users to also delete the contents of their downloads folder.

Unfortunately, a significant percentage of users download an important file, access it, make changes to it, and then save those changes, all while leaving the file in the download folder. That means when they later run the disk cleanup feature, if they’re not careful, they can easily wind up deleting an important file they hadn’t intended to. Not good.

In the May 2020 release of Windows 10, the company took steps to correct that issue. The downloads folder is no longer an option you can select when it comes to freeing up hard drive space.

That’s not all. In 2018, Microsoft introduced another new feature called “Storage Sense,” which appears to be an eventual replacement for the venerable disk cleanup feature. Unlike the older feature, Storage Sense monitors the free space on your hard drive in real time and automatically deletes unneeded system and temp files when space gets too low.

Even better, Storage Sense can be configured to treat anything in the Downloads folder as a temporary file and delete them as well. That is, if they haven’t been used for some number of days specified by the user. Best of all though, is the most recent change.

Microsoft had this to say about the latest enhancement:

Based on feedback, if your Downloads folder is synced to a cloud provider, we are disabling the option to have Storage Sense clear out your Downloads folder on a cycle.”

This is an exceptional move, in our view. It prevents any cloud-based files from being inadvertently deleted as an unintended consequence of your particular Storage Sense configuration. Also, it makes it much less likely that you’ll accidentally delete something you desperately need and never intended to be rid of. Kudos to Microsoft for the recent change!

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.