Recycle Bin on a Windows 10 desktop

Windows 10’s Storage Sense feature automatically runs when you’re low on disk space. It automatically deletes files more than 30 days old in your Recycle Bin, too. This was on by default on a PC running the May 2019 Update.

This is a useful feature! If your computer is low on disk space, you probably want more. Windows will clear old files out of your Recycle Bin. You shouldn’t be storing files in your Recycle Bin, anyway. But, if you want to stop Windows from doing this automatically, you can.

To find these options, head to Settings > System > Storage. You can press Windows+I to open the Settings window quickly.

If you’d like to stop Storage Sense from doing anything automatically, you can flip the Storage Sense switch to “Off” here. To configure Storage Sense further, click “Configure Storage Sense or run it now.”

Storage options on Windows 10's May 2019 Update

The “Run Storage Sense” box lets you control when Windows 10 runs Storage Sense automatically. By default, it runs “During low free disk space.” You could also have it run every day, every week, or every month.

Controlling when Storage Sense runs on Windows 10

To stop Storage Sense from automatically deleting files in your Recycle Bin, click the “Delete files in my recycle bin if they have been there for over” box under Temporary Files and select “Never.” By default, Storage Sense will delete files that have been in your Recycle Bin for over 30 days.

Option to control whether Storage Sense automatically deletes files in the Recycle Bin

The “Delete files in my Downloads folder if they have been there for over” box will let Storage Sense automatically delete files from your Downloads folder. This option was off by default on our PC, however.

RELATED: Everything New in Windows 10’s May 2019 Update, Available Now

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6 and Chicago's WGN-TV, and his work has been covered by news outlets like The New York Times and the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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