As soon as your Windows drive runs short of disk space, the Windows operating system starts to delete files that are probably no longer needed from the recycle bin and from your downloads folder. Still if you want to optimize your storage before running out of free space, you can change the configuration so that older files and folders are automatically removed after a certain time.
Launch Settings from the Windows 11 Start menu, select System and click on Storage from the menu on the right-hand side. On the next page, make sure that Storage Sense radio button is set to active, then click the box. Ensure that the switch for Automatic user content cleanup is set to “On,” and select the setting Every month in the drop-down menu for Run Storage Sense. You may also opt for other options like “During Low Free Disk Space”, but its up to you on how you like to set it.
For the Delete files in my recycle bin if they have been there for over: and “Delete files in my Downloads folder if they haven’t been opened for more than: options, select 30 days in each case, or any other option that sounds good to you. If you want to invoke clean up action immediately, click the Run Storage Sense now button towards the bottom of the page.
There are several other useful settings options to cleanup your system on immediate or schedule basis. Exercise caution while setting them up because they may cause undesired results if your chosen options do not match your working habit.