Windows 10 To Reserve 7GB Extra Drive Space

John Lister's picture

Microsoft will soon "reserve" seven gigabytes of hard drive space to make sure Windows 10 works reliably. But the setup may not work as planned.

The change is scheduled for the next major twice-yearly update, expected in April, 2019. It's called "reserved storage" and involves earmarking part of the PC's hard drive as a place to store "updates, apps, temporary files, and system caches." These files are separate to the permanent ones used for Windows itself. (Source:

7GB Figure Could Increase

According to Microsoft, the move will have two benefits. The first is to make sure the computer doesn't suddenly find itself without enough disk space for Windows or associated apps to run properly or for an update file to be downloaded.

The second is that the temporary files will no longer take up space that the computer expects to be available for other software and operations, which can also cause performance problems.

Microsoft says that the size of the reserved storage will start at "about 7GB," though this will change over time based on actual use. It notes that the figure will be higher for people who use some of the many optional features in Windows or those who have installed Windows to run in two or more languages.

Limit Can Be Breached

While it all seems straightforward, there's a couple of significant exclusions to the supposed limit. Firstly, Microsoft says that it will start using the rest of the hard drive if the reserved space fills up, either for temporary files or to hold downloaded Windows 10 Update files. (Source:

Secondly, users will be able to reduce the amount of space used for reserved storage, though they won't be able to switch off the feature. Microsoft hasn't yet confirmed exactly how users will do this, or if there will be a real minimum amount of space required for reserved storage.

There's also no word yet on what happens if users already have less than 7GB of hard drive space available, though the chances are they'll already be experiencing poor performance if that is the case.

What's Your Opinion?

Is this a sensible move by Microsoft? Does 7GB sound like too much space to ask for? Is the setup meaningless if users can reduce the space allocated or Microsoft can go beyond the limit when needed?

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f58tammy's picture

This is so ridiculous there should be no way they need this much space for a simple home install, they already take over a gig of space on two partitions. Are they going to now create a third 7 GB partition to add to the other two? Which will crash windows if you delete it?
I would love for a OS besides Linux that could replace Windows that way with a 50% lost of machines, would they rethink what they are doing?

ZAS-crypt's picture

Its not that I have a problem with Microsoft 'claiming' more space for installs, as such. I personally, have enough room to deal with this sort of thing by ensuring I don't run to within 10% of drive space, as a general rule.
The issue I have is that why am I backing up such unnecessary stuff? A solid system (at least the initial) image includes the whole volume. And when time comes to fold in backup sets or just dump and re-do, how many GB of useless MS updates am I wasting time backing up?
I'd rather have a separate volume for this. Maybe even on a slow (er) drive.

If you're trying to squeeze along on a 64GB SSD, I think you need to refactor what you are doing and how you plan to go about it. Go with a previous OS, maybe. I certainly wouldn't want a dev's PC to limp along, cutting into productivity. This might work for a kiosk, but not much more.

I have in this case a 512GB SSD in a laptop and I'm fine with that. But I certainly don't want to backup things that are completely unnecessary to the OS's daily function.

Maybe there needs to be a User-controlled mechanism where you can request all updates that are 30+ days old be removed, or maybe a combination of that and number of restarts.

Certainly wouldn't need to keep them forever, or with the passing of another 'Creator's update' And maybe we need to dump that terminology, too. Winver gives the exact version.subversion information, and that's what is needed when trying to revert or fix an update-created crash.

ferretsgold's picture

What are they going to store there? There was a time when I would not even consider using an operating system other than MS. Now I am not sure. They are making decisions for me that doesn't seem to be in my best interest but in theirs. That may be a bit naive, but I would hope that to gain my support they would at least take them into account.

RedDawg's picture

That's fine who do I send the monthly storage bill to, or is Mikysoft buying a HD to put in my rig? I am constantly cleaning hard drives now! Win 10 Is Turning into a pain in the rear!

rohnski's picture

Sure it is OK, in "microsoft land".
No so OK in the rest of the universe ...

In the "old days", Win 3.1, Windows required 20% freespace. When free space was less than that, "weird" things could start happening. Get under 10% and Windows got postively cranky. It would even pop up warning messages.

I'm just wondering about a couple of minor details:
- will MS update the minimum requirements for Windows 10 (64bit) from 20GB to 27GB? (bet they don't)
- in the real world, what will do to improve the problems those poor chumps who own devices with only 32GB. Now Windows will use "only" 27 of 32GB, only 84%. Oh frabjulous day ... That leaves just enough to install Office 365 as a "free trial" crapware, leaving the maker and the user to share 1 whole GB of space for other factory crapware and user files ...

"Reserving" another stash of space for "system files" is a fast and dirty (and therefore cheap) "fix". If they really are concerned about users, they could code a check into updates for required freespace. Then Pop up a message informing the user of the space problem, indicating how much free space is required for the update and how much "diskclean" predicts would be freed up. Give them options to OK to start diskclean or Cancel to handle on your own. Then give us some way of triggering the update when "manually" free up the required space.

Will they be reprogramming Office applications to put their temp files into this reserved space too. I often run out of space on my small Data SSD partition. Simply deleting the temp files frees up multiple gigs of space! So why not force Office to use that reserved place?

jamies's picture

The last set of updates spent ages doing .NET and other 'performance' changes as in integrating the "INSTALLED" updates into the system setup - with the incremental backups saving over 22GB more than happened when there were no updates applied to the system.
and that is without me adding any saves of webcasts etc. - usually 8GB of video for a month's sessions

OK I have Visual Studio on the PC, as well as Office 2010 (so I can avoid the 365 OFFICE DON'T DO THAT ANYMORE changes.

The (OK Cheap) 64GB SSD system is already having to have stored data managed onto removable storage, without MS reserving an extra 7GB ontop of the 4GB needed for pagefile, to run Onedrive and EDGE, and 5 for hibernation.

Seems I while I was NOT wrong to believe that while 32GB of SSD would allow windows to run, but not actually allow me to run any reasonable set of work with POP3 email etc. I WAS also actually WRONG believing a 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD system with a USB3.0 port would be OK for my basic business and home use.

Yes - I could use the USB-3.0 for an external storage but then where do I plug in the storage drives for my backups and the multimedia?

Obviously I will need CURRYS to provide an additional internal 64GB storage facility, or take back the inadequate system giving me a credit of the full purchase price against a similarly priced system with a 128GB SSD!

Well the salesperson said it would be appropriate for my needs, so that's them liable under the sale of goods and sales descriptions misrepresentation laws.

Up to them to recover their costs from their supplier - who can try to recover their costs from their suppliers - recursing that need back to MS.