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how to free up space and delete duplicate files in Windows 10

Spring is about to start and with it it is usual for many of us to clean at home, so why not take the opportunity to also clean the computer. Now that so many spend more time than ever working from home, for many this adjustment period may also include the do your own maintenance on Windows 10.

One of the most frequent problems that we find when we use the PC a lot is that it begins to run out of space, especially if we do not use a cloud storage service to backup and erase, or if we have a small or very old hard drive . With these tips you can free up a few gigs and even optimize the operation of Windows 10.

Enable storage sensor

Storage Sensor

Before starting you should take the opportunity, if you have not already done so, to activate the Windows 10 storage sensor at once. This is a tool that has been integrated into the system for a couple of years and that free up space automatically by deleting files you need.

Doing this will save you from having to keep an eye on delete temporary files or empty the contents of your recycle bin. When we activate this function, Windows takes care of it by itself, and you can configure when you want it to run.

Open the Setting Windows 10 (Windows key + I), select System and click on Storage. Then click on the switch to make it say "Enabled", and then click Configure Storage Sense or run it now.

Storage Sensor Configuration

There you will find multiple options, the first one leaves you choose how often you want the storage sensor to run. This can be monthly, weekly, daily, or only when disk space is low.

Below you can decide how often the temporary files and those in the recycle bin are deleted, and also decide if your Downloads folder is part of these files, I recommend that you do not activate this or you may lose files that you save there unintentionally.

Storage Sensor Windows 10 Cloud Content

Another very useful and most recent function of the storage sensor is that, if you have files in the cloud synchronized with Windows 10, such as those from OneDrive, iCloud or other services, you can decide if you want the sensor to stop storing those files locally and put them online only to free up space, and you can choose how often depending on whether you spend a long time without opening those files.

In the same storage sensor configuration window there is a button at the end to free up space. If you click on that button that says "Clean now"You can delete all the files that the sensor handles manually.

Now if you want to remove more space in Windows 10 by deleting other types of files, you can go back to the Storage section in Settings and see how your storage is being used and how you can free up space. A good idea is see how much space your apps occupy and decide if there are any that are not worth keeping if you never use them.

Use the classic cleanup in Windows 10

Windows 10 Cleanup

Another option is to use the old Windows 10 cleanup, the classic version. To do this, open the Start Menu, type "space cleaner" and press Enter. In the window that appears, click on Clean system files and wait for a new window to open with more options:

Free Up Space In Windows 10

In that window you will have some extra options, such as deleting Windows 10 update files that you no longer need, and that tend to accumulate quite a few gigs if you leave it without cleaning for a long time and have installed several new versions of Windows 10.

Duplicate files: how to detect and delete them in Windows 10

Delete duplicate files

Another source of unnecessarily occupied disk space is duplicate files, but finding them is not usually easy for everyone, especially those with lots of files in lots of folders.

The simplest solution in these cases is to use a third-party application, because while we can use Windows Explorer to search in detail and compare, the process will be much slower and more complicated.

System Ninja Duplicate Finder

One of my favorite tools for this is System Ninja, an app with a free version with practically no limitations and without adware in a weird installer that adds things you don't need. System Ninja is used to free up space by looking for junk files that may be passed to the Windows space cleaner, especially from browsers and other apps, but it can also find duplicate files.

The app is also very easy to use, you just have to download it, run it and click on "Junk Scanner" to find and delete junk files. Or, if what you want is delete duplicate files you just have to click on System tools and choose Duplicate Finder.

The more files you have, the longer it will take to scan your files, but in the end you can delete everything instantly if that is what you want.

Cover image | Andrei Trinidad - WallpaperHub