It’s interesting how some people, including myself, describe Windows 10 as the new Windows 7 and how many steps back the Windows team made to make it more appealing to traditional desktop users. Surprisingly, Windows 10 adopts many of the functions of its mobile sibling on Windows Phone in this release. One such feature is the new Storage Sense. In prior versions of Windows; support for the redirection of personal folders was not a supported configuration, especially when you had to upgrade to a future revision of Windows or perform a repair install. Windows 10 changes this by making users redirect folders easily to other drives or partitions. I can’t tell you how much this is a welcome. Storage Sense provides some other capabilities too which we will look at in this article.
Using Storage Sense on Windows 10
Go to Settings > System > Storage, or use the keyboard shortcut Windows key+Q and type: storage sense then hit Enter. As you can see, there is not much to the user interface, but it does provide a list of drives i.e. internal, flash drives, SD cards. It also gives the option to change the save locations for common folders such as Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos.
Clicking on my System drive where Windows 10 is installed, Storage Sense intelligently scans and calculates how much space is used by your personal data. Each category is represented by a color so you can easily identify each data type. Unfortunately, I discovered, it does not work as described at times since I have a large collection of files stored on the drive in all my personal folders, yet I am seeing zero bytes for common folders.
When you click on any of the categories listed you will see further details about its contents. Shell folders such as Documents, Pictures, and Music do not lead to much other than viewing the contents of the folder. Trying out Storage Sense on another drive, I was able to see more details, in the screenshot below, you can see the power of storage sense, I was able to find videos I had stored at the root of drive which is outside of the default Video personal folder.
Other sections such as Apps & Games provides quick access to your Application library where you can easily manage your apps such as uninstalling or moving apps. Speaking of moving apps, this feature was available in early Windows 10 Previews, and is possible in Windows Phone 8.1, but has been delayed on the PC. Hopefully the upcoming Windows 10 Threshold 2 release will see a return of the function soon. You can check out our article about the latest Windows 10 build (10547) here.
As I noted earlier, Windows 10 officially supports the redirection of Personal folders which is just a fancy way of letting Windows save your files somewhere other than the local drive. This is great for configurations where you might have a small SSD and a larger mechanical hard disk installed. For example, if I want to change the default location where documents are saved, just click in the list box below and choose from one of the available drives where you would like to have your files saved, that’s it!
Storage sense does not seem like an impressive enough killer feature at first glance, but it does make managing your data and configuration of personal folders much easier. Of course, the biggest advantage is seeing a birds eye view of your information and being able to easily manage it. With the coming ability to move apps, it will get only better.