You can never have enough space, especially when Windows 10 suddenly balloons to double the size.
Most people don’t check the minimum requirements on Microsoft’s Hardware Dev Centre often. But it’s been updated recently with a slightly annoying fact: Windows 10 will need a minimum of 32GB storage space from version 1903 onwards. That’s double the minimum requirements for Windows 10’s 32-bit version for versions 1809 and beforehand, and 12GB up from the minimum requirements for the 64-bit version.
As Techspot noted earlier this year, the change isn’t unexpected. Microsoft has been reserving more hard drive space for programs, temporary files and other back of office operations to resolve issues around hard drive space. It’s partly to avoid the problem with the October 2018 Update, where files started disappearing from people’s hard drives.
Microsoft noted in a forum update that while the amount of reserved storage would be around 7GB, the amount used would vary over time depending on usage. “We may adjust the size of reserved storage in the future based on diagnostic data or feedback. The reserved storage cannot be removed from the OS, but you may be able to reduce the amount of space reserved by removing unused optional features and languages,” the company wrote.
Not having enough hard drive space is a huge problem for Windows. Services can fail and applications can run into issues. Windows reserving more space from the off solves that problem, particularly on laptops with a single, tiny SSD for all its storage. It should result in a smoother updating process as well, deleting unnecessary temporary files to maintain enough room for reserved storage.
The reserved storage feature is already part of Windows Insider builds, and it’ll be rolled out to users progressively when version 1903 is released throughout May. If you’re finding that you’re a little stretched for space, particularly on laptops, you might want to give Disk Cleanup a run. If you’ve installed a few driver updates for your GPU, you can probably save a few gigabytes by deleting those old installation files. And, for all that is holy, install your games and “video files” to another drive if you can.