How to Configure Storage Sense using Intune

Automatically free up the disk space to clean unnecessary files using Storage Sense on your Intune managed Windows devices

Prajwal Desai
Posted by Prajwal Desai
How to Configure Storage Sense using Intune

In this guide, we’ll explore how to configure Storage Sense using Intune. You can automatically free up the disk space to clean unnecessary files using Storage Sense on your Intune managed Windows devices.

On Windows devices, the storage sense is OFF by default. As per Microsoft, if your PC runs into low disk space, Storage Sense is turned on to manage the temporary files and the user is notified about this.

The Storage Sense and its options can be manually enabled or disabled by Windows users. However, if your organization requires it to be configured for multiple devices, you can use either Microsoft Intune or Group Policy.

After you enroll your Windows devices in Intune, you can configure Storage Sense in Microsoft Intune by creating a configuration profile using the settings catalog. Before you turn on this feature on Intune-managed Windows devices, let’s understand what Storage Sense is and the features it offers.

What is Storage Sense?

Storage Sense is a feature of Windows that can automatically free up drive space by removing unnecessary items, such as temporary files and items in your recycle bin. 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.

Windows 11 users can manually turn on the storage sense by going to Start > Settings > System > Storage and turning it on. When your computer’s disk space runs low, Storage Sense kicks in and cleans up user files to free up space.

How to Configure Storage Sense using Intune

Perform the below steps to create a policy to configure Storage Sense using Intune for Windows users:

  • Sign in to the Microsoft Intune admin center.
  • Select Devices > Windows > Configuration Profiles.
  • Click on Create > New Policy to set up a new policy.
  • Make the following selections on the Create a Profile pane:
    • Platform: Windows 10 and later
    • Profile type: Settings Catalog
Configure Storage Sense using Intune
Configure Storage Sense using Intune

On the Basics tab, specify the policy name and a brief description of the policy. This will make it easier for other Intune administrators to find this profile.

  • Name: Configure Storage Sense using Intune
  • Description: Manage Storage Sense settings on Windows devices with Intune

Click Next.

Configure Storage Sense using Intune
Configure Storage Sense using Intune

In the Configuration Settings section, under Settings Catalog, click Add Settings. On the Settings picker window, type “Storage Sense” in the search box and click Search. From the search results, select the Storage category.

In the bottom pane, you’ll find multiple settings that are related to Storage Sense. If you wish to configure all of them, then select all else, select the ones that you require.

In the below example, all the Storage Sense settings are selected. After making the selections, close the Settings Picker window.

Configure Storage Sense using Intune
Configure Storage Sense using Intune

Storage Sense Settings and Description

The table below lists all the settings that are available in Microsoft Intune when you configure the Storage Sense policy for Windows devices.

Setting NameDescription
Config Storage Sense Recycle Bin Cleanup ThresholdSpecify the minimum age threshold (in days) of a file in the Recycle Bin before Storage Sense will delete it. The default is 30 days.

The supported values are: between 0 and 365.

If you set this value to zero, Storage Sense won’t delete files in the user’s recycle Bin.
Config Storage Sense Global CadenceSpecify the desired Storage Sense cadence. The supported options are: daily, weekly, monthly, and during low free disk space. The default is 0 (during low free disk space).
Config Storage Sense Downloads Cleanup ThresholdSpecify the minimum number of days a file can remain unopened before Storage Sense deletes it from the Downloads folder. The default value is 0.

The supported values are: between 0 and 365.

If you set this value to zero, Storage Sense won’t delete files in the user’s Downloads folder.
Config Storage Sense Cloud Content Dehydration ThresholdWhen Storage Sense runs, it can dehydrate cloud-backed content that hasn’t been opened in a certain number of days.

Specify the minimum number of days a cloud-backed file can remain unopened before Storage Sense dehydrates it from the sync root.

The supported values are: between 0 and 365.

If you set this value to zero, Storage Sense won’t dehydrate any cloud-backed content. The default value is 0, or never dehydrating cloud-backed content.
Allow Storage Sense Temporary Files CleanupEnabling this setting will allow Storage Sense to delete the user’s temporary files that are not in use.
Allow Storage Sense GlobalIf you enable this policy setting without setting a cadence, Storage Sense is turned on for the machine with the default cadence of during low free disk space.
Storage Sense Settings and Description

Note: While enabling Storage Sense with Intune is fairly simple, configuring something for every user in an organization requires careful planning and business approval. It is advised to apply the policy on a smaller number of devices when configuring Storage Sense for the first time with Intune. You can extend the deployment to a broader group of users or devices once you have it operating.

The below screenshot shows the Storage Sense settings configured in Intune. Click Next.

Configure Storage Sense using Intune
Configure Storage Sense using Intune

On the Scope tags tab, you may specify scope tags. Specifying scope tags is optional, and you may skip this step. Click Next.

Configure Storage Sense using Intune
Intune Scope Tags

In the Assignments tab, specify the Entra ID groups to assign the policy. We recommend deploying the profile to a few test groups first and then expanding it to more groups if the testing is successful. Select Next.

Configure Storage Sense using Intune
Policy Assignments

Finally, on the Review+Create tab, take a look at all the settings you’ve configured for enforcing Storage Sense with Intune. Click Create.

Configure Storage Sense using Intune
Configure Storage Sense using Intune

After you create the above configuration policy in Intune, the following notification appears: “Policy created successfully.” This confirms that the policy has been created and is being applied to the groups we chose. The newly created configuration profile appears in Intune’s list of configuration profiles.

Run Intune Sync on Windows devices

To receive the above Storage Sense policy settings from Intune, the Windows devices must be enrolled in Microsoft Intune, and most importantly, they must be online. Regularly, the devices will synchronize with Intune to obtain the most recent policies.

To speed up the policy assignments, you can force sync Intune policies using different methods on your Windows computers to download the latest policies from Microsoft Intune.

Also ReadHow to sync Intune policies on Mac devices

Monitor Storage Sense Policy Assignment in Intune

While the policy settings are being applied to Windows devices, you can monitor the Windows devices and users that have successfully received Storage Sense policy settings in Intune.

In the Intune admin center, select the Storage Sense policy and review the device and user check-in status. Under “Device and user check-in status,” you get to see the total number of devices and users who successfully received the policy settings.

To view the device names that have successfully received the policy settings, click on View Report. In some cases, the Intune policy may fail to apply to certain users or devices. To resolve the issues, we recommend reviewing Intune logs on Windows computers.

Monitor Storage Sense Policy Assignment in Intune
Monitor Storage Sense Policy Assignment in Intune

End-User Experience

Let’s sign in and check to see if the Storage Sense settings are applied as per the policy that we configured in Intune.

On a pilot Windows device that has successfully received the policy, you can see that the Storage Sense option is greyed out (see the below screenshot). This confirms that the settings that we applied via Intune are in effect, and the user cannot enable or disable the Storage Sense anymore.

End-User Experience - Storage Sense Policy
End-User Experience – Storage Sense Policy

All the settings under Storage Sense are also disabled (not configurable) for this user. The values of each of the settings are the same as defined in the Intune policy. This confirms that you can enable and configure Storage sense and its settings using Intune.

End-User Experience - Storage Sense Policy
End-User Experience – Storage Sense Policy
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Prajwal Desai
Posted by Prajwal Desai
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Prajwal Desai is a Microsoft MVP in Intune and SCCM. He writes articles on SCCM, Intune, Windows 365, Windows Server, Windows 11, WordPress and other topics, with the goal of providing people with useful information.
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