How to Create Windows 10 Recovery USB Drive

Have you received the dreaded “No bootable device found” message or a similar one on boot? My wife recently received this message on her PC. Windows 10 would not load. This usually means your hard drive has failed or your PC Master Boot Record (MBR) is corrupt. In her case, the hard drive had failed. We got no warning the hard drive was failing, it died immediately.

Have you received the dreaded “No bootable device found” message or a similar one on boot? My wife recently received this message on her PC. Windows 10 would not load. This usually means your hard drive has failed or your PC Master Boot Record (MBR) is corrupt. In her case, the hard drive had failed. We got no warning the hard drive was failing, it died immediately.

Let’s explore how to create a Windows 10 recovery USB drive to reset your computer to load Windows 10 or reinstall the operating system..

You should create this USB recovery drive after each major upgrade of Windows 10; which is usually every 6 months.

Related

How to Fix a Detected Hard Disk Problem

How to Check Your Hard Drive Status

Microsoft File Recovery Tool for Windows 10

This is for devices running Windows 10

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What is a Windows 10 Recovery Drive

If you do not have a USB drive to create Windows 10 recovery disk, you can use a CD or DVD to create s system repair disc. Both types of Windows 10 recovery media allow you to use Windows recovery options even when your computer fails to boot. If you cannot restore your computer, Windows 10 boot repair disk also gives you a chance to reinstall Windows 10.

We will be using the built-in Recovery Media Creator.

You may be concerned about the Windows 10 recovery USB size. While creating a recovery drive, the program will copy a lot of files to the USB drive, so you need to prepare a flash drive that has at least 16 GB capacity (32 GB is preferred) and ensure it’s empty, because all the data on the USB drive will be deleted in this process. If the drive is new, it will be formatted during the recovery creation process.

Create the Recovery Drive

First, connect the USB drive to your computer, and then type “recovery drive” into the Cortana search box. In the listed results, select Recovery Drive app. Refer to below image:

Recovery Drive 1
Start the Recovery Drive app

In the pop-up window that appears, check the option Back up system files to the recovery drive and click Next. See below image:

Recovery Drive 2
The create a Recovery Drive dialog

Now, select the USB flash drive you prepared, and click Next to continue. See following image:

Recovery Drive 3
Selecting your USB device

On the next screen, click Create the recovery drive link to begin creating your Windows 10 recovery USB drive. Refer to below image:

Recovery Drive 4
A warning message that the contents of the USB will be deleted

After finishing this process, you may see an option Delete the recovery partition from your PC. If you have a Windows recovery partition on your PC, you can click it to delete the recovery partition and free up some space on your computer.

When your computer fails to boot, you can use this recovery USB drive to restore Windows 10 to a new hard drive. After installing a new hard drive, power up your computer, change boot order in BIOS to boot your system from the USB drive and follow on-screen instructions to finish the restoration.

Restoring Windows

The recovery drive created by Recovery Media Creator will not work across different versions of Windows. In other words, you cannot use a Windows 8 recovery disk to restore Windows 10, nor can you use a recovery drive made by Windows 10 64-bit to boot a 32-bit computer. That is to say, you cannot create a Windows 10 recovery USB disk from another computer to use for your computer with the built in tool.

Sometimes, you are not allowed to create recovery disk in Windows 10 and the built-in tool says, “We can’t create the recovery drive. A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive”.

Recovery Drive 5
The Recovery Drive problem dialog

If Windows fails to create a recovery drive with the error “We can’t create the recovery drive”, you should first check whether your USB drive is well connected and can be recognized by Windows. If that is not the case, you can simply download the Windows 10 recovery disk ISO file and burn it to your USB flash drive or CD/DVD.

That’s all on how to create Windows 10 recovery disk on a USB drive. As mentioned earlier, you should do this after each major upgrade of Windows 10.

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Three Tweaks to Speed Up Windows 10

Windows 10 is speedier than the previous versions of Microsoft’s desktop operating system, but you can still optimize its performance.

Windows 10 is speedier than the previous versions of Microsoft’s desktop operating system, but you can still optimize its performance.

There are performance factors to consider after you are up and running from a previous version of Windows. Even the latest Windows version isn’t immune to slowdowns.

For people with older, low-power machines who want a speed boost, a few tips towards this end does boost system performance. Lets explore these three tweeks.

This is for devices running Windows 10

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Tweak 1 – Check for Viruses

You can run the built-in Windows Defender or a third-party app to do this, but you are best served by a top pick among malware-cleanup programs, the free Malwarebytes app. Click here to download. Just install and run. Refer to below image:

Tweaks 1
Malwarebytes main screen

Tweak 2 – Change Power Settings

This tweak could boost your PC’s computing speed but at the expense of electricity. Head to

Settings (press Start, then the gear icon in lower left-hand corner or your desktop icon) > System > Power & sleep

To the right of your screen, click the Additional power settings link.

Now, click the dropdown arrow on the right side to Show additional plans. Next, select High Performance. See below image:

Tweaks 2
Accessing power settings

Tweak 3 – Turn Off Notifications

Yes, like your smart phone, Windows 10 has annoying tips and notifications.

If Windows does not need to generate a notification, your computing will go faster. I have over 20 apps that are capable of sending notifications. To turn them off, head to

Settings (press Start, then the gear icon in lower left-hand corner or your desktop icon) > Notifications & actions

Next, you may want to disable the Get, tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows. See following image:

Tweaks 3
Accessing types of Notifications

Now, scroll down to the Get notifications from these senders section. You will see a list of individual apps that can send notifications, and you can uncheck those you do not want to hear from. These notifications reduce processing that Windows needs to do to display relevant information for your system. If Windows does not need to generate a notification, your computing will go faster. Refer to below image:

Tweaks 4
Disabling Notifications from senders

An easy way to pause notifications is to tap the Focus Assist button in the Action Center.

To open the Action Center, do one of the following:

  • On the right end of the taskbar, select the Action Center icon
  • Press the Windows logo key  + A
  • On a touchscreen device, swipe in from the right edge of the screen

Just tap through the Focus Assist button to view your options for type of notifications to receive or turn them off. This also makes it easier to re-enable them later.

You are finished with these three Windows 10 tweaks. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter.

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How to Access Full Screen Startup in Windows 10

While in desktop mode, Windows 10 allows you to use the Start menu in a full-screen mode or in a way that only covers part of the screen.

While in desktop mode, Windows 10 allows you to use the Start menu in a full-screen mode or in a way that only covers part of the screen. Lets explore how to do this.

Depending on how you have your Start menu configured, a full-screen Start menu covers the entire screen (but not the Taskbar), and you can change between a “pinned tiles” view and an “all apps” view using the buttons in the upper-left corner.

In either view, you will see a screen full of shortcuts that you click on to launch an application. Refer to below image for a partial view of my desktop:

Start 1
Partial Desktop screen

To configure whether you see the full-screen Start menu in desktop mode or not, we need to make a change in Windows Settings.

This is for devices running Windows 10 operating system

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First, click the Start menu, select the Gear icon on the bottom left, then click Settings, or press the Windows+I keys to open Settings. See below image:

Start 2
Accessing Settings

Now, click on Personalization. See following image:

Start 3
Access Personalization

Next, select Start from the sidebar to open the its settings. Refer to below image:

Start 4
Accessing Start option

In Start menu settings, scroll down to the switch labeled Use Start Full Screen. If you would like to use the Start menu full screen in desktop mode, set this switch to On. If you do not want Start to cover the entire screen when you open it in desktop mode, set this switch to Off. See below image:

Start 5
Disabling Start Full Screen

Note! If your PC is in tablet mode, it will always show a full-screen Start menu.

You do not have to use a full-screen Start menu to get more room for shortcuts. If you would like to use a larger Start menu without having it occupy the full screen, you can easily resize the Start menu by clicking and dragging its edges.

Also, you can add a few more tiles by enabling the switch labeled Show more tiles located at the top of Start menu settings. Refer to above image.

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How to Check If You Have the Latest Version of Windows 10

The latest version of Windows 10 is the October 2020 Update, version “20H2,” which was released on October 20, 2020. Microsoft releases new major updates about every six months.

The latest version of Windows 10 is the October 2020 Update, version “20H2,” which was released on October 20, 2020. Microsoft releases new major updates about every six months.

This is for devices running Windows 10

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These major updates can take some time to reach your PC since Microsoft and PC manufacturers do extensive testing before fully rolling them out. Let’s find out what version you are running, and how you can skip the wait and get the most recent version if you do not already have it.

This update was codenamed “20H2” during its development process, as it was released in the second half of 2020. Its final build number is 19042.

Related

How to Understand Windows 10 Names and Numbers

How to Check for the Latest Version

First, open your Start menu, and then click the gear-shaped Settings icon or press the Windows+I to open the Settings app. Refer to below image:

Latest Version 1
Accessing Settings

In the Settings window, head to

System > About

and then scroll down toward the bottom to the Windows Specifications section.

A version number of “20H2” indicates you are using the October 2020 Update. This is the latest version. If you see a lower version number, you are using an older version.

In my example below, I am using “2004”, the May 2020 Update. See below image:

Latest Version 2
Accessing Windows About information

To find out information on Microsoft Windows releases, head to Microsoft’s Windows 10 release information web page. Just look at the most recent version under “Semi-Annual Channel” section.

How to Get the Latest Version

The best way to do this is by typing in Windows Update in the Cortana search bar in lower left-hand corner of your screen. Next, click on the Windows Update settings in upper left-hand corner of your screen. Now, click the Check for updates link for any updates and install per instructions. See following image where it says I am up to date, but there is an update available, the October 2020 update with an Download and Install link:

Latest Update 3
Checking for Windows updates

An alternate method is to visit Microsoft.com and hit the Update now button visible on the page. A small exe file, the Update Assistant tool, will be downloaded to your computer. Refer to below image:

Latest Version 4
Download the Windows Update Assistant tool

When you run this file, you will see the main screen of the Update Assistant tool. It will let you know if you are running the latest version of the Windows and whether your PC is capable of running it.

Click on Update now to start the upgrade process.

The tool will run a few compatibility checks for your PC and disk space required for installing the update.

If all appears well, the Update Assistant will access the Microsoft servers.

It will offer you two options:

  1. Upgrade this PC now
  2. Create installation media

Now, chose the first option.

The main highlight of the whole upgrade process is that all your files will be safe and right where you left them. Also, if the method does not work, you can go back to a prior version of Windows 10 anytime.

The install will take some time and your PC will restart several times. The best you can do is wait till the upgrade is finished..

In the end, when the process is complete you could either choose to restart the PC right way or after some time to allow the changes to take effect.

Note: By running the Upgrade Assistant, you are forcing Windows 10 to upgrade itself. Even if there is a known problem with the update on your computer, Windows will ignore the problem and install the update anyway. Microsoft recommends you check for any known problems impacting your system first.

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How to Understand Windows 10 Names and Numbers

Windows 10 has a lot of overlapping version numbers and names. For example, the October 2020 Update is also called 20H2, version 2009, and build 19042. It often seems like different teams at Microsoft are speaking different languages. Here’s how to understand Microsoft’s jargon.

Windows 10 has a lot of overlapping version numbers and names. For example, the October 2020 Update is also called 20H2, version 2009, and build 19042. It often seems like different teams at Microsoft are speaking different languages. Here’s how to understand Microsoft’s jargon.

This is for the Windows 10 operating system

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The Development Codename

Each Windows 10 Update starts with a development codename. In recent years, Microsoft has simplified these.

For example, Windows 10 20H2 became the October 2020 Update. It was named “20H2” because it was planned for release in the second half of 2020.

In theory, these development codenames are just that; for the Windows development process. In practice. Microsoft has a lot of documentation that uses them, referring to “20H2” and “20H1.” These modern development codenames are easy to understand.

These development codenames appear to be replacing the version numbers in Windows 10’s interface. To view your codename, go to:

Settings > System > About

Here you willl see the development codename presented as the “version” under Windows Specifications. Refer to below image:

Win Version 1
The About option

Here is a list of Windows 10’s development codenames for 2020 and 2019 updates:

  • 20H2 became the October 2020 update
  • 20H1 became the May 2020 update
  • 19H2 became the November 2019 update
  • 19H1 became th May 2019 update

Prior to this, Microsoft named these updates “Redstone” and “Threshold”. Threshold 1″ was the original codename for Windows 10.

The Marketing Name

To make things “simpler” for us, Microsoft created official names for each update, designed to make them human-readable. When an update is near release, it gets one of these names.

In recent years, these names have been pretty self-explanatory. “October 2020 Update” and “May 2019 Update” are easy terms to understand. That’s the month and year the update was released. It’s more precise than “20H2” and “19H1.”

We call them “marketing names” because that’s what they originally were. Despite Microsoft presenting names like “October 2020 Update” as the official ones, many Microsoft documents use terms like “20H2” or “version 2009” instead. Even Windows 10 itself doesn’t use this name; perhaps because it’s created by the engineers and not the marketing department.

The Version Number

Windows 10 has version numbers which are different from the development codename. The Windows 10 October 2020 Update is technically Windows 10 version 2009. The first two digits represent the year and the last two digits represent the month.

Microsoft is confusing us. The version number seems to refer to the month the update was “finalized” (and perhaps released to Insiders), while the marketing name refers to the update the month was released.

Here’s a list of 2020 and 2019 version numbers for Windows 10 updates:

  • The October 2020 Update is version 2009, which refers to September 2020
  • The May 2020 Update is version 2004, which refers to April 2020
  • The November 2019 Update is version 1909, which refers to September 2019
  • The May 2019 Update is version 1903, which refers to March 2019

Microsoft is getting away from these numbers, with development names like “20H2” now shown in the System panel. Another way to view your version number is to launch the winver dialog:

  • Press Windows+R
  • Enter winver in the dialog box
  • Press Enter or OK

See below image:

Win Version 2
The Windows version and OS Build number

In older versions of Windows 10, these screens showed the version number instead.

The OS Build Number

Windows 10 also has operating system (OS) build numbers. During the Windows development process, each “build” of Windows 10 released has its own build number.

After much testing and bug-fixing, Microsoft settles on a final build that will be the stable version of the update. When the stable update is released, it still has this OS build number.

The October 2020 Update has the OS build number “19042.” Technically, the full build number is “10.0.19042,” to indicate that it’s a Windows 10 build. Only the last five digits change.

Also, there are minor build numbers; the stable version of 20H2 is initially “19042.572”, but the “572” number will increase as Microsoft issues minor patches for the update. Here is a list of 2020 and 2019 OS build numbers:

  • 20H2 is build number 19042.
  • 20H1 is build number 19041.
  • 19H2 is build number 18363.
  • 19H1 is build number 18362.

What Does All This Mean?

At times, it seems like different teams at Microsoft are speaking different languages. One document talks about 20H2, another talks about version 2009, a technical document refers to build 19042, and the marketing team talks up the October 2020 Update. They’re all talking about the same thing.

Now that you understand this, it’s easier to make sense of the mess of version numbers you see across Microsoft’s websites and within Windows 10 itself.

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How to Switch Virtual Desktops in Windows 10

Virtual Desktops, or Windows, are a handy way to juggle multiple workspaces in Windows 10. There are several ways to switch between virtual Desktops.

Virtual Desktops, or Windows, are a handy way to juggle multiple workspaces in Windows 10. There are several ways to switch between virtual Desktops. Let us explore how to do this.

This is for Windows 10 operating system

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Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Press Windows+Tab to see the virtual Desktops you have available. You will see a screen called “Task View,” which shows thumbnails of each.

Now, release the Windows key and press the Tab or Arrow keys to highlight a Desktop, then press Enter to view that Desktop. You may also switch Desktops by using the Alt+Tab keys.

Also, you can press Windows+Ctrl+Left Arrow to display a lower number Desktop or Right Arrow to a higher number Desktop.

While in “Task View”, click the Plus “+” Tile or press Windows+Ctrl+D to add a new Desktop. Click the “X” in the upper corner to remove a Desktop.

If you want to exit the “Task View”, just hit Escape to return to your Desktop.

Use the Taskbar

Right-click on an empty area of the Taskbar, then click Show Task View Button. Ensure the option is checkmarked. Refer to below image:

TaskView 1
Setting the Show Task View option

Now, locate and click the Task View button in the Taskbar to view your Desktops. Next, click or tap the Desktop to which you want to switch. See below image:

Task View 2
Accessing the Task View button

You can click Task View at any time to manage your virtual Desktops.

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How to Fix a Slow Context Menu in Windows 10

Windows 10’s context menu can slow down over time as you continue to install apps. Third-party programs often install context menu extensions, and badly coded ones can slow things down. Your context menus open slowly, freeze, or hang when you right-click on a menu option.

There is an app that will help us clean up our context menu.

Windows 10’s context menu can slow down over time as you continue to install apps. Third-party programs often install context menu extensions, and badly coded ones can slow things down. Your context menus open slowly, freeze, or hang when you right-click on a menu option.

See following image of my context menu. As you can see, I have a lot of menu items.

Context Menu 1
My context menu

Let us explore how to fix a slow context menu. There is an app that will help us clean up our context menu.

This is for Windows 10 operating system

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Download ShellExView

We are going to do this the easy way without hacking the Windows Registry. That is a slow and error prone process. So, we are going to quickly pin down the problem.

We recommend you download and install ShellExView here, a free utility from NirSoft. The download links are near the end of the document below the Feedback section. Choose one that fits your operating system. Refer to below image:

Context Menu 2
The download links

It runs on Windows 10 and older versions of Windows, too. After the download, click on the executable file to launch ShellExView.

Setup ShellExView

You will see a long list of Windows shell extensions. However, many of them are created by Microsoft and included with Windows. Those should not be slowing down your system. We want to hide all the Microsoft extensions. To do so, click Options then click on Hide All Microsoft Extensions. See below image:

Context Menu 3
Hiding Microsoft extensions

You will now see a more manageable list of the third-party shell extensions from the programs you installed. See following image:

Context Menu 4
Your context extensions

Disable Extensions

You will want to figure out which shell extension is causing the problem. This involves disabling one or more shell extensions, restarting Windows Explorer, and then seeing whether your problem is solved.

For example, you could do this in lseveral ways:

  1. Disable all third-party extensions and add them one by one until the problem appears.
  2. Disable shell extensions one by one until the problem is fixed.
  3. Disable extensions in groups. For example, you could disable half the extensions at once. If your problem is solved, you know that one of the extensions you disabled caused it, and you could go from there. This is the fastest method.

We recommend you chose method number two. Thjs is the safest. More than likely, you have an idea on the culprit extension(s). However you choose to do it, here’s how to disable extensions.

First, select the extension(s) you want to disable. Next, right-click them and select Disable Selected Items or click File > Disable Selected Items. (To re-enable them after, select Enable Selected Items.) Refer to below image:

Context Menu 5
Disable an extension

Disabled shell extensions will say Yes under the Disabled column. See below image:

Context Menu 6
The extension disabled

Use the Task Manager to Restart

Your change will not take effect until you restart Windows Explorer. It is recommended you use the Task Manager and not the buil-in app option to restart.

To open it, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc or right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager. See following image:

Context Menu 7
The Task Manager option

. You should open your Windows Explorer before proceeding. Now,find Windows Explorer under Apps on the Processes tab. (If you do not see this tab, click More Details.). Once you have found it, hightlight the entry and click Restart button in lower right of your screen. Refer to below image:

Context Menu 8
Restart Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer will now restart. Now, try right clicking a folder, file, or your desktop; whatever was slow before. Is it still slow? Then you need to try disabling one or more shell extensions. Is it faster than it used to be? Then you have disabled a shell extension that was slowing it down.

Repeat the Process

Repeat the above process to turn extensions on and off and determine which is causing your problem. By testing your context menus after every time you make a change (be sure to restart Windows Explorer first!), you can determine which one is causing the problem.

You can leave any extension disabled you do not want to use.You can always re-open ShellExView and re-enable them in the future.

On my PC, one of the culprits slowing down my folder context menus was Google Drive’s “GDContextMenu Class” extension. This is a known problem.

Another culprit causing problems was Malwarebytes. Feel free to disable this extenstion. Most people only run the app when they have, or think they have, malware on their PC.The extension is unnecessary in the context menu. See below image:

Context Menu 9
Disabled extensions

With just these two extensions disabled in ShellExView, my PC’s context menus returned to it’s usual speed.

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How to Find Information About Windows 10

Let’s say you need to know information about your Windows 10 file system, version, build number, product key and more. If you are looking into configuration or troubleshooting, this information would be essential to know.

Let’s say you need to know information about your Windows 10 file system, version, build number, product key and more. If you are looking into configuration or troubleshooting, this information would be essential to know. Let’s explore how to find this.

This is for the Windows 10 operating system

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Discover the File System

First, launch File Explorer. Next, locate a drive. ie, drive C; and right-click on it. Now, in the pop-up menu, select Properties. Refer to below image:

Windows Info 1
Selecting your drive’s Properties

In the Properties window, under the General tab you will see the File System label followed by the type of File System. See below image;

Windows Info 2
Determining your File System

Normally you will see NTFS, shorthand for New Technology File System, the default for Windows 10. On older versions of Windows, you may see the legacy file system of FAT32, shorthand for File Allocation Table 32.

If you have multiple drives, simply repeat the above for each drive.

Discover the Version, Build Number and More

First, launch the Settings app by pressing the Windows+I keys. Next, go to System. See following image:

Windows Info 3
Accessing Settings

On the left, scroll to the bottom and select About. On the right, you see information about your system. The amount of information you see differs depending on the Windows 10 version that you have installed. Now, scroll down to the Device specifications section. Here you find the data you are looking for. Refer to below image:

Windows Info 4
Determining your Device and Windows specifications
  • System Type – it tells you whether you use a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 10
  • Edition – displays the edition of Windows 10 that you have: Pro, Home, Enterprise, Education, etc
  • Version – displays the version of Windows 10 that is installed
  • OS Build – displays the Windows 10 build number that you use

The latest Version as of this writing is

  • 2004 – The ninth update to Windows 10, codenamed 20H1. It was named the May 2020 Update and released on May 27, 2020.
  • A number higher than a 2004 – The tenth major update for Windows 10 is codenamed 20H2. The update is expected to launch in October or November 2020.

The most recent update to Windows 10, launched in May 2020, has a OS Build of 19041.264. As you can see from my PC screenshot, I do not have the latest version installed.

The OS Build number changes with each update made by Microsoft to Windows 10. This information along with the Version is useful for troubleshooting purposes when you call tech support.

Discover Your Product Key and Much More

Finding your product key was featured in a previous post. You can find this, the above information and much more in one program. Simply click the link below on downloading, installing and running BelArc Advisor.

How to Use the BelArc Advisor Program

That’s it. I hope you found this post helpful.

I have found TechSavvy.Life blog posts extremely helpful. Check them out for posts on smart phone apps, Macs and PCs!

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong: Events and Aftermath

How to Use Storage Sense to Manage Disk Space in Windows 10

Windows 10 can automatically free up disk space by getting rid of files and content that you don’t need by the Storage Sense feature. Whenever you are low on disk space, if enabled, Storage Sense will intelligently run and delete temporary files and applications no longer needed.

Windows 10 can automatically free up disk space by getting rid of files and content that you don’t need by the Storage Sense feature. Whenever you are low on disk space, if enabled, Storage Sense will intelligently run and delete temporary files and applications no longer needed. Let’s explore how to do this.

This is for the Windows 10 operating system

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Check out TechSavvy.Life for their blog posts on smartphone apps, PCs. and Macs!

Set Storage Sense

First, launch Settings by clicking the Start button, then click the Gear icon on the left side of your screen. Also you can press the Windows+I keys to open Settings. Next, click the System icon, then click Storage. Refer to below image:

Accessing the Storage option

At the top of Storage options, click the toggle to the On position. Next, under the toggle, click Configure Storage Sense or run it now blue ink. See below image:

Enabling Storage Sense

In the Storage Sense options, let’s examine a few different settings. First, is the frequency of when Storage Sense runs You set this option from a drop-down menu labeled Run Storage Sense. You can set it to run Every day, week or month; or whenever disk space is low (the default). Just click the menu and select the option that works best for you. See following image:

Configure when Storage Sense runs

Set Options

Under the Temporary Files section, the first option we want to enable is Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using.

The second option is a drop-down menu labeled Delete files in my Recycle Bin if they have been there for over with selections of Never, 1 day, 14 days, 30 days, or 60 days. Select an option to your liking.

Finally, the third option is labeled Delete files in my downloads folder if they have been there for over and make your selection from the drop-down menu (default is Never). Automatically deleting files in your Downloads folder may not always be a great idea. However, if you don’t keep important files in the folder you can set a period of Never, 1 day, 14 days, 30 days or 60 days. In the example below we are enabling the first option, setting the second option to 30 days and the third option to Never. Refer to below image:

Storage Sense 4
Setting Temporary Files options

Setting OneDrive

Another feature of Windows 10 is  OneDrive which lets you access all the files saved in your OneDrive cloud, with File Explorer, regardless of whether they are downloaded or not on your PC. However, if you work with many of those files locally they can quickly add up and eat up space. If you want, you can configure Storage Sense to automatically mark the OneDrive files that you haven’t opened for a specified amount of time as online-only. That means that those files are still kept in your OneDrive cloud and are still accessible from File Explorer, but they no longer occupy space on your PC.

Under the Locally available cloud content heading there are two options. From the iCloud Drive option, chose an entry from thedrop-down menu. You can choose whethere Content will become online-only if not opened for more than Never, 1 day, 14 days, 30 days, or 60 days. Simply, repeat the above for the second option, iCloud Photos. However, note that this setting is available in Storage Sense only if the location of your OneDrive folder is on your C: drive, where Windows 10 is installed. See below image:

Storage Sense 5
Setting iCloud Drive and Photos option

Clear Space Now

Finally, under the heading, Free up space now section is a Clear Now button. If you need to clean your Windows 10 C: drive urgently, click or tap this button. That runs Storage Sense immediately, without waiting for its schedule. See following image:

Storage Sense 6
Selecting the Clear Now button

Once you are finished, simply close Settings.

Related

Note! Coming soon if not available.

How to Set a Schedule to Empty the Recycle Bin

Storage Sense Contents Removal

Once activated, Storage Sense will intelligently run whenever your device is low on storage space or according to your schedule.

Storage Sense looks for and removes files such as, but not limited to:

  • Temporary setup files
  • Old indexed content
  • System cache files
  • Internet cache files
  • Device driver packages
  • System downloaded program files
  • Dated system log files
  • System error memory dump files
  • System error minidump files
  • Temporary system files
  • Dated Windows update temporary files

If you have turned on the removal of old files in your Downloads folder, these will be removed as well according to your time interval setting.

The fact that Windows 10 includes an option to clean your disk and recover free space automatically is a good thing. It can prove quite useful, especially for users who struggle with limited space on their Windows 10 computers and devices. As a end note, remember that Storage Sence can be very aggressive in removing files.

That’s it. If you didn’t already use it, try Storage Sense and let us know what you think about this feature and/or TechSavvy.Life in the Comments or click to Tweet below.

I have found TechSavvy.Life blog posts extremely helpful. Check them out for posts on smart phone apps, Macs and PCs!

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong: Events and Aftermath

How to Set a Schedule to Empty the Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin is a temporary storage space for files, folders and programs that have been deleted. The feature is primarily meant as a safety net in case you ever want to go back and retrieve deleted data. To remove the deleted files from your system completely, you will need to empty the Recycle Bin. It is recommended that you clear out your Recycle Bin regularly to avoid accumulating junk files and slowing down your system.

The Recycle Bin is a temporary storage space for files, folders and programs that have been deleted. The feature is primarily meant as a safety net in case you ever want to go back and retrieve deleted data. To remove the deleted files from your system completely, you will need to empty the Recycle Bin. It is recommended that you clear out your Recycle Bin regularly to avoid accumulating junk files and slowing down your system.

You can empty it manually by a simple right-click on the Recycle Bin icon (usually on the Desktop) and selecting Empty Recycle Bin option.

But there is a more efficient option. We are going to use Storage Sense to delete files of a certain age automatically every day, week, or month. Let’s explore how to do this..

This is for the Windows 10 operating system

Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

Check out TechSavvy.Life for their blog posts on smartphone apps, PCs. and Macs!

First, launch Settings by clicking the Start button, then click the Gear icon on the left side of your screen. Also you can press the Windows+I keys to open Settings. Next, click the System icon, then click Storage. Refer to below image:

Accessing the Storage option

At the top of the Storage options, click the toggle to the On position. Next, under the toggle, click Configure Storage Sense or run it now blue ink. See below image:

Enabling Storage Sense

In the Storage Sense options, let’s examine a few different settings. First, is the frequency of when Storage Sense runs You set this option from a drop-down menu labeled Run Storage Sense. You can set it to run Every day, week or month; or whenever disk space is low (the default). Just click the menu and select the option that works best for you. See following image:

Configure when Storage Sense runs

For now, we are only talking about deleting files in the Recycle Bin, uncheck the box beside Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using if you don’t want Storage Sense removing old temporary files. Also, set the Delete files in my Downloads folder option to Never using the drop-down menu.

Between these two options, you’ll find a drop-down menu labeled Delete files in my Recycle Bin if they have been there for over with the options of Never, 1 day, 14 days, 30 days, or 60 days.

What does this mean? Whenever Storage Sense is run (as set previously above), it will automatically delete files that are in your Recycle Bin for longer than that period of time. Just set this option to your liking. Note! This only applies to the Recycle Bin on the your root drive (normally drive C:). Refer to below image:

Setting when to delete Temporary Files

Now, just close the Settings dialog box.

If you ever change your mind about the frequency of the Recycle Bin emptying (or want to disable it), just go to:

  • Settings > Storage
  • Set Storage Sense to Off. Or, you can change the interval options again to your your liking.

That’s it. You are finished. I hope you liked this blog post. Please feel free to leave a Comment or click the Tweet button below.

Related

Note! Coming soon if not available.

How to Use Storage Sense to Manage Disk Space in Windows 10

I have found TechSavvy.Life blog posts extremely helpful. Check them out for posts on smart phone apps, Macs and PCs!

I Would Likie to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong: Events and Aftermath