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Windows 10 now requires a minimum of 32GB storage space

By Humza ยท 21 replies
Apr 30, 2019
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  1. In preparation for the Windows 10 May 2019 update, Microsoft has refreshed its minimum hardware requirements page to inform users about the operating system's increased storage needs to perform an upgrade, a change not entirely unexpected by users as the company aims to make the update process smoother in exchange for some gigabytes.

    Reserved Storage, as Microsoft calls it, will take at least a 7GB chunk of space from the OS drive to make room for updates, temporary files, apps and system cache so there's little to no chance of *cough* deleting user files again, a problem which the company quickly fixed for "one one-hundredth of one percent of version 1809 installs." The new storage requirement seems to indicate that Windows 10 will now take more space in general.

    While it may not affect everyone, users with entry-level PCs and those who upgraded from HDDs to costly SSDs just for boosting Windows performance and essential programs may start to feel short on disk space. With this new storage requirement, Microsoft has also made it official and won't allow partners to sell laptops or tablets with less than 32GB of storage.

    It is a good idea to invest in at least 128GB or 256GB of SSD storage for the OS and essentials when looking for a new PC or assembling one as any future updates could possibly raise this minimum requirement to 64GB or more.

    If you're looking to clear up some space to prepare for the next Windows update or otherwise, check out these tips & tricks to squeeze out some precious gigabytes.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 257   +156

    32 GB is very unrealistic. Ok the original installation will install but you'll be stuck with that. The upgrade to a new version like the 1809 over a previous version requires a lot more space to install successfully. You'll need even more space when upgrading if you need to keep your data. I'd say having at least 80GB of free space is a minimum to be safe.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  3. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,792   +393

    This will render a lot of netbooks useless. Windows won't let you restore them unless there is 5 GBs of free space, so that makes that impossible. So, then you are left with having to get your own installation media and doing a clean install. There's from one perspective.

    People buy these netbooks to be cheap, now they have to buy external storage (arguable, they should already have some) but students typically don't have a lot of spare money.

    These 32GB netbooks could barely function before, and obviously intend to make you use cloud storage. THAT'S a whole other problem on it's own, and depending on how you use it could also cost you a little per month.

    I suppose, I just hope with this, they will stop making netbooks with 32GBs of storage, and make the minimum 64GBs. I somewhat disagree with Igrecman, I'd say having at least 64GB of free space is a minimum, because this will allow for some extra crap to fill up your drive, but still push that cloud/external storage, and keeping prices down as well for their intended market. They are just netbooks after all. TBH, they could probably get away with making 40 - 50 GB models, but that seems like an odd number. lol
    yRaz likes this.
  4. Tantor

    Tantor TS Enthusiast Posts: 37   +43

    Wow, how is this going to affect my little Lenovo Thinkpad 8 which has only 64GB? Even worse, most sub 10" Windows tablets have 32 or less GB.

    The Thinkpad 8 is pretty snappy. It boots far faster than my desktop, or my Samsung Tab E. It's still very usable. I would hate to lose it.
  5. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,792   +393

    Would be fine, unless you fill it up with other crap I guess. I wouldnt worry so much.
    yRaz likes this.
  6. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 653   +469

    If your hard drive is less than 128GB, you should really get an SSD and clone your drive. It's not hard and a 128 is very cheap. Personally, I would never go with less than a 256GB SSD regardless of how you use your device. Windows Updates tend to build up.
    ShagnWagn, mcborge and Trillionsin like this.
  7. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,792   +393

    Yeah, honestly... 128GB on Amazon looks to be like 20 bucks right now, and that's for a Silicon Power 128GB 3D NAND. Sadly, some of the laptops, mostly netbooks, cannot be upgraded. I actually came across an old Sony laptop, that had a special LIF ribbon cable connection on it... otherwise, most of them are just soldered onto the motherboards. This includes some Macbooks, too. I'm not sure to what extent, as I have more experience with PCs than any Apple products. At least some of the Macbook air models are all soldered on.
  8. hinoyoriO

    hinoyoriO TS Rookie

    My Hp stream has only 32gb of disk
  9. jblack267

    jblack267 TS Rookie

    Nobody should have less than 128gb of storage. Especially on a PC. My Galaxy s9's capacity is 64gb and that's a phone. I remember back when I worked at a computer store and had to try and free some space on those craptops with 32gb of storage. It wouldn't work. We had to break it to the customer that they were a ******* and got scammed. Maybe you could possibly make it work if you reinstall Windows with a fresh .iso. But the installation comes with a **** load of bloat anyways, not even talking about the manufacturer bloatware. Advice: if you can replace the drive, do it. If not, then I hope you like old windows versions.
  10. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,001   +726

    SSD is cheaper than ever now.

    You can buy a 120GB SSD for less than $25.

    Use that as your OS drive and then add more storage later on: Another SSD for games and a HDD for larger files that are low priority.

    A 1TB SSD can be had for less than $150.
  11. Bullwinkle M

    Bullwinkle M TS Booster Posts: 105   +48

    Netbooks with 32GB internal storage should boot to a thumb drive just fine

    Install Windows 10 to a $10 thumb drive and the problem is solved

    Boot to the thumb drive and restore a clean backup to the internal storage or just keep booting to the thumb drive

    Your choice!
    hinoyoriO likes this.
  12. PEnnn

    PEnnn TS Enthusiast Posts: 60   +57

    I wouldn't recommend a 128 GB. In a couple of years Windows might ask for that amount for upgrades!!

    Heck, a top of the line 256 GB SSD is now just about $50 (a 500 GB SSD is less than $80!), so go for it and relax for a few years.

    And: Don't forget, there are lots of programs that don't even give you the option where to install..they just head for the C drive and dump their crap there...filling up your precious 128 GB SSD
  13. Erich G

    Erich G TS Rookie

    The 32gb minimum is just for new installs of windows 10 1903. When upgrading from build to build the minimum requirement is around 10-12gb depending on what's needed on the particular machine. I haven't found any official documentation to back this up but running the in place upgrade on my test machines proved this out except on my 1809 machine, it only needed 5.5gb to pass the precheck and complete the upgrade.
  14. Rollo Tomasi

    Rollo Tomasi TS Rookie

    Just as 60GB SSDs are now obsolete, in a year or so 120 GB SSDs will also be hard to find and (for Windows users) almost a waste of time.

    Even 240 GB SSDs fill up quickly. My 240GB SSD is already half full (3 months old - no games, etc) and the way these drives 'share' their surface to prevent wear and tear, well, we really should be looking at the 480 GB/500 GB drives as a realistic minimum if you want your drive (and device) to last and be effective for more than a couple of years.

    The drives are now cheap enough, so my future builds will all have drives of at least 480 GBs... hopefully, that will be enough for a 'foreseeable' future.
    PEnnn likes this.
  15. Athan

    Athan TS Rookie

    The fact that this article is recommending 128GB new laptop purchase is wrong... Such drive will be full in a few months, no matter what you do, even with just basic software. I am an IT consultant and would never recommend a client for such thing, minimum is 256GB. The OS, a few Microsoft apps, some music apps and some Adobe apps and half of your hard drive is gone, so add a couple files here and there and bye bye 128...
  16. Timcoook

    Timcoook TS Rookie

    They do this to obsolescence old hardware to push econmony, next year the minimum requirements will be 64GB ram, I will stay with win7 forever even offline
  17. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,671   +426

    Why shouldn't these manufacturers increase storage spaces. We are living in 2019, 10TB HDDs, 4TB SSDs. Sure expensive, but 128GB SD cards are VERY cheap, specially if OEMs buy them in LARGE bulks that price falls to a very minute amount.

    Stop slowing down progress. Learn to adapt and increase hardware specs. ****ing corporate capitalism.
    trparky likes this.
  18. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,671   +426

    Good luck with that.
    trparky likes this.
  19. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,671   +426

    This is talking about minimum requirements and small factor netbooks. Article isn't wrong to suggest 128GB. I have W10 128GB install and it's fine. Depends on your usage.

    W10 should give technophobes some handy educational material to learn how to manage storage spaces. Older generation has download folders which take up half the drive size... The UI should be easy to understand and intuitive for maintenance purposes.
  20. hinoyoriO

    hinoyoriO TS Rookie

    Agree. But always be a plenty of Linux distro over there. Maybe is time to say goodbye.
  21. Toju Mikie

    Toju Mikie TS Booster Posts: 70   +72

    True about your Galaxy s9 but that is a $350 phone. It should be better than a $160 netbook. People get what they pay for; those netbooks suck. There is a way to update Windows on a system with low storage using an external hard drive or SD card, but at that point, they would be much better off getting a basic laptop for $250 with a 2.5" slot. Or maybe they can install Linux instead because it is lighter on the storage space.
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  22. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 292   +41

    Time for nLite/vLite to make a comeback?

    Too bad W10 is so knitted together attempting to break it apart results in numerous things not working; notably all the 'modern' stuff. They keep 'modernizing' it every release, adding things I haven't seen anyone asking for, and just upsetting power users for the most part.

    More wasted space because of incompetence, woo.

    I'm still on v1703; seems to be the last good version of the OS.. as every major release has its own flaws, this one is the least flawed.

    If only Vista/W7 still worked properly today.

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