Downloads and Storage Sense

by Eric Wyatt
(last updated September 14, 2020)

Recently a reader, Hazel, described a problem she had with a service technician and her Windows laptop. In her e-mail, she mentions that her laptop was having problems and she enlisted a technician to work on it. In doing so the technician became vehement that she must remove all the items from her My Downloads folder, and without permission moved the contents of that folder to another folder. She questioned why the technician would insist on changing her computer setup. Without much more information I assume it was one of two reasons: The technician may have been either: concerned about the My Downloads folder's size or it could be a decision relating to the Storage Sense feature available within Windows 10.

I believe that the issue had more to do with the second option, Storage Sense. In another article, we talked about how to Get a Sense of Your Storage with regards to Storage Sense. Following the steps in that article to access the Storage Sense settings, you come to the "Delete files in my Downloads folder if they have been there for over" section. Windows provided five options—Never, 1 Day, 14 Days, 30 Days, or 60 Days. If any option other than "Never" is selected Windows may delete files within the My Downloads folder without any warning or notification.

If you, like many computer users, download a large number of files into your My Downloads folder to then work from that folder rather than moving the files out AND you have Storage Sense enabled, you will want to make one of two suggested changes. The first option is to turn off that portion of Storage Sense, preventing your computer from clearing out those potentially important items. The second option, and the one I would recommend, stop working from your download folder; after downloading your files, move them to a logical (to you) location. The reason for choosing the second option is that you never know if a future update could possibly or potentially turn that Storage Sense setting back on by default and then, as a result, delete files without your knowledge. It is not uncommon, even if it's unintended, for this to happen. Recently Adobe Systems, makers of Photoshop and other creative programs, made the news because they updated a much-used program that resulted in users' photo libraries being deleted, with no way to recover the photos.

As with any settings on your computer, it is best to set up your computer the way that works best for you while securing your files.

 This tip (8014) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...


Enabling Speech to Text Dictation

With Dictation feature in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you can quickly say what you want and have Windows 10 ...

Discover More

Connecting a Bluetooth Keyboard

Bluetooth allows electronic devices to connect wirelessly. Discover how easy it is to connect a Bluetooth keyboard to ...

Discover More

Adjusting Print Margins in Microsoft Edge

Printing hard copies of web pages can be difficult when you want the printout to have margins suitable for storing the ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Getting Started with the Xbox Game Bar

Xbox Game Bar is more than just for use in the Xbox ecosystem. What settings correlate to using Xbox Game Bar? Read on to ...

Discover More

Better Wallpaper Quality

When you set an image for your wallpaper Windows 10 compresses the quality of the image. You can improve the quality of ...

Discover More

Recording Video with the Xbox Game Bar

You can use Xbox Game Bar to record videos of applications running on your system. Let's see how to capture a video of ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 - 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.