If your computer has ever failed to install a Windows Update because you didn’t have enough free storage space, Microsoft has an answer: reserved storage.
Starting with Windows 10 version 1903, the operating system will set aside some space to be used specifically for updates, temporary files, apps, and system cache files.
On the one hand, that sounds problematic for folks that already don’t have a lot of storage — Microsoft is taking away some of your storage! On the other hand, the goal is to provide a more reliable experience with automatic management of temporary files.
Microsoft also notes that it’s not going to just start marking space on your existing computer as off-limits: Reserved storage will be enabled on computers that ship with Windows 10 version 1903 pre-installed or on systems where a user performs a clean install. Members of the Windows Insider program can also test reserved storage starting today.
That’s probably good news for anyone who’s currently using a Windows 10 computer with 32GB of storage or less. I’m also hopeful it means Microsoft will encourage PC makers not to ship those anymore — it’d be nice to see budget devices ship with at least 64GB or 128GB in the future… especially if some of that storage isn’t going to be available to the end user.
Microsoft says the amount of disk space it anticipates using for reserved storage will be around 7GB for the next major Windows 10 update, coming in the first half of 2019. But that number cold change over time depending on the size of future Windows updates, user feedback, and individual usage — the more optional Windows features you’ve enabled, the more space you’re likely to use, and the same goes for system languages.
Microsoft also says some users may not see a huge difference in free space since temporary files that normally take up space on their systems will be moved into reserved storage.
The company notes that if the reserved storage does fill up though, temporary files could start overflowing and eating into regular disk space again.