Hi - my name is Richard and I am a digital hoarder.
I keep everything digitally - emails, documents, old websites I worked, and all kinds of miscellaneous files. I figure since it is just 1's and 0's and my hard drive is large enough to store it all without issue - why not keep it around.
Well our own Lisa Schmeiser wrote a great piece this week about decluttering our digital existence and it turns out the upcoming fourth major feature update for Windows 10, now known as the Fall Creators Update and in testing under the code name Redstone 3, has added a new capability to its existing Storage Sense feature that can help in at least one area that she mentioned - your Downloads folder.
One caveat though - Windows 10 Redstone 3 is pre-release software so nothing that gets added during the testing period is guaranteed to make it into the final product. However, with that said, I do not see any reason why a simple maintenance tool like this shouldn't be in the final version which is expected in September of this year.
So here is how this new option in Storage Sense works in the current Fast Ring build of Redstone 3 - Build 16199.
Open Windows Settings (Windows Key & I) then select System.
Select Storage on the left hand sidebar and then select Change how we free up space.
Toggle the Delete files in my Downloads folder that haven't changed for over 30 days to On.
Storage Sense will now clean up your Downloads folder for you automatically as part of routine system maintenance. You can also use the other two options to clean up unnecessary files in other areas of the operating system. Note: Those two options are available in the Windows 10 Creators Update that was released in April of this year.
Now you will need to do some of your own upkeep with this setting turned on, especially if you have files in your Downloads folder that you want to keep, so just move those files to a more permanent storage location and you will be covered.
This allows you to get back to using the Downloads folder as a temporary storage location as it was intended.