Configure Storage Sense with Microsoft Intune

Introduction

In this blog post, I will show you how you automatically can configure Storage Sense on a Windows 11 device by using a Configuration Profile in Microsoft Intune. In my honest opinion, Storage Sense is one of those features in Windows that gets far too little attention.

What is Storage Sense?

Storage Sense is a feature in Windows 10/11 designed to help users manage their device’s storage space more efficiently. It works by automatically freeing up space by cleaning out temporary files and content from the recycle bin you no longer need. With Microsoft Intune, we can customize how Storage Sense operates, such as setting it to run when disk space is low or on a regular schedule.
Additionally, it can be configured to delete files in the Downloads folder that haven’t been opened for a certain amount of time, which is handy for keeping unnecessary data from piling up. With Storage Sense, maintaining your computer’s storage becomes a more hands-off process, allowing you to focus on more important tasks.

Which options are there?

Within the Storage Sense configuration, you have several options you can configure. It can clean up your Downloads folder, Recycle bin, Temporary files, and also locally cached OneDrive/SharePoint files.

NOTE: By enabling Storage Sense, it will clean up the desired space when disk space is low. If you want to run Storage Sense frequently, you need to configure this option.

Configuration

If we want to enable Storage Sense with Microsoft Intune, all we need is to create a Configuration Profile and assign it to a user or device group.

Go to https://intune.microsoft.com and sign in with your administrator credentials. Make sure your administrator has at least the Intune Administrator role assigned.

Then go to Devices | Windows | Configuration profiles and choose + Create.

In the next step choose Windows 10 or later as Platform, and Settings catalog as Profile type, and choose Create.

In the Basics settings screen give your profile a Name and Description, feel free to use my naming convention but if you already have your own (that’s the way to go) make sure you use it. Now choose Next.

In the Configuration settings pane, choose +Add settings, and in the Settings picker search for Storage. Now select the settings shown in the screenshot below.

Now let’s go through every setting and explain briefly what it does on your Windows devices once it’s configured.

ATTENTION: Make sure you communicate this with your end users. During my service desk days, I noticed that some end users (don’t ask me why) use the Downloads folder or even the Recycle Bin as their “Archive”. So make sure they are up-to-date and prevent yourself from having a confrontation with the end user when their “Archive” is gone.

  • Allow Storage Sense Global: This setting will enable Storage Sense on the device. In our example, we will set this to “Allow“.
  • Config Storage Sense Global Cadence: These settings will determine when Storage Sense needs to run and clean up, by default it is set to “0” which means it will only run when your hard drive is on low disk space. In our example, we will leave this by default at “0“.
  • Allow Storage Sense Temporary Files Cleanup: This will enable the deletion of Temporary Files on the devices that are not in use. In our example, we will set this to “Allow“.
  • Config Storage Sense Downloads Cleanup Threshold: This setting can determine when the Download folder needs to be cleaned up. By default, this is set to “0” which means there will be no deletion of files in the Downloads folder. In our example, we will set this to “60“. This means that only files that have been unopened for longer than 60 days will be deleted.
  • Config Storage Sense Recycle Bin Cleanup Threshold: This setting can determine when the Recycle bin needs to be cleaned up. By default, this is set to “30” which means there will be a deletion of files that have been there for over 30 days. In our example, we will leave this at “30“.
  • Config Storage Sense Cloud Content Dehydration Threshold: This setting can dehydrate cloud-backed content that hasn’t been opened in a certain amount of days. The default is set to “0”, which means there will be no Cloud Content Dehydration. In our example, we will set this to “30“. This means that files that are locally cached and haven’t been accessed for more than 30 days will be dehydrated.

NOTE: The Storage Sense CLoud Content Dehydration Threshold setting is only active when you are using OneDrive locally and signed in with your account.

Once you’ve configured all your desired, choose Next and go straight to the Assignments pane.

In the Assignments pane, add your group to who/what you want to assign this policy to by choosing + Add groups. I always create a dynamic device group based on Windows Autopilot devices. Once you’ve chosen your group, choose Next.

In the final screen, you’ll get a nice overview of all your settings, now choose Create to finalize your Configuration Profile.

Your Configuration profile is now ready for deployment.

End user experience

Now how will this look on your end user’s device? On your Windows 11 device, go to Settings | System | Storage | Storage Sense, you’ll see a screen that looks kind of like the screenshot below.

Conclusion

Activating Storage Sense allows you to manage your device’s hard disk space effectively. Taking proactive measures prevents end users from encountering issues related to low disk space and reduces the number of related service desk tickets.

Hope you guys found this post informative and stay tuned for more interesting posts.

Nicky De Westelinck

Nicky De Westelinck is a Modern Workplace Expert for Arxus with several years of experience in Microsoft 365. His main focus is Microsoft Intune and Microsoft 365 Administration. He is also a Microsoft Certified Trainer since 2021.

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