System Enable or Disable Storage Sense in Windows 11

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Storage_Sense_banner.png

Storage Sense can automatically free up drive space for you by getting rid of items that you don't need, like temporary files and items in your Recycle Bin.

Storage Sense is off by default. If your PC runs into low disk space and you have not interacted with Storage Sense in the past, Windows may turn on Storage Sense to manage select temporary files, then notify you. If you prefer, you can choose to turn Storage Sense off right away or after the low disk state is resolved.

If Storage Sense is turned on with the default settings, it will run when your device is low on disk space and will clean up unnecessary temporary files. Content from the Recycle Bin will be deleted by default after some time, but items in your Downloads folder and OneDrive (or any other cloud provider) will not be touched unless you set up Storage Sense to do so.

You can configure the Allow Storage Sense policy to enable or disable Storage Sense for all users on the computer.
  • Enabled = Storage Sense is always turned on for the machine, with the default cadence as ‘during low free disk space’. Users cannot disable Storage Sense, but they can adjust the cadence (unless you also configure the "Configure Storage Sense cadence" group policy).
  • Disabled = Storage Sense is turned off the machine. Users cannot turn on Storage Sense.
  • Not Configured = By default, Storage Sense is turned off until the user runs into low disk space or the user enables it manually. Users can turn on or off Storage Sense, and adjust the settings.
This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable Storage Sense to automatically free up system drive space for all users in Windows 11.


You must be signed in as an administrator to enable or disable Storage Sense.


Contents

  • Option One: Enable or Disable Storage Sense in Local Group Policy Editor
  • Option Two: Enable or Disable Storage Sense using REG file


EXAMPLE: Storage Sense disabled and always enabled
Storage_Sense_always_enabled.png
Storage_Sense_disabled.png






OPTION ONE

Enable or Disable Storage Sense in Local Group Policy Editor


The Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

All editions can use Option Two to configure this same policy using a REG file instead.


1 Open the Local Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc).

2 Navigate to the policy location below in the left pane of Local Group Policy Editor. (see screenshot below)

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Storage Sense

Storage_Sense_gpedit-1.png

3 In the right pane of Storage Sense in Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Allow Storage Sense policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)

4 Do step 5 (default), step 6 (always enable), or step 7 (always disable) below for what you want.


5 Default - Allow Users to Turn On or Off Storage Sense

This is the default setting.


A) Select (dot) Not Configured, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)​

Storage_Sense_gpedit-2.png

6 Always Enable Storage Sense for All Users

A) Select (dot) Enabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)​

Storage_Sense_gpedit-3.png

7 Always Disable Storage Sense for All Users

A) Select (dot) Disabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)​

Storage_Sense_gpedit-4.png

8 When finished, you can close the Local Group Policy Editor if you like.





OPTION TWO

Enable or Disable Storage Sense using REG file


This option changes the same setting in Option Three.


1 Do step 2 (default), step 3 (always enable), or step 4 (always disable) below for what you want.


2 Default - Allow Users to Turn On or Off Storage Sense

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the REG file below, and go to step 5 below.​

Default_user_choice_to_turn_on-off_Storage_Sense.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\StorageSense]
"AllowStorageSenseGlobal"=-

3 Always Enable Storage Sense for All Users

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.​

Force_Storage_Sense_always_turned_on_for_all_users.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\StorageSense]
"AllowStorageSenseGlobal"=dword:000000001

4 Always Disable Storage Sense for All Users

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.​

Force_Storage_Sense_always_turned_off_for_all_users.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\StorageSense]
"AllowStorageSenseGlobal"=dword:00000000

5 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

6 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

7 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

8 If you like, you can now delete the downloaded .reg file.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • Storage_Sense.png
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  • Default_user_choice_to_turn_on-off_Storage_Sense.reg
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  • Force_Storage_Sense_always_turned_off_for_all_users.reg
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  • Force_Storage_Sense_always_turned_on_for_all_users.reg
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