Windows 10 “steals” 7 gigabytes from your hard drive

With the next update, due in spring 2019, Windows 10 will take up even more space on your hard drive. Here's why

The next Windows 10 update, scheduled for spring, will take up much more space on your hard drive than previous ones: In fact, Microsoft has announced that with the update to build 1903 it will start reserving at least 7 GB of space for the operating system, "stealing" it from the user. That's why Microsoft itself invites Windows 10 users to prepare for the update by freeing up hard drive space by deleting unnecessary files.

But why will Windows 10 steal 7 GB from us? Microsoft claims that those 7 GB (which could be even more, if needed, and may vary over time) will be used as reserved space for the operating system: further updates, apps, temporary files and system caches will use this slice of the hard drive to run at its best. However, if for users with a PC or laptop equipped with a large traditional hard drive with denominations even above 1 TB all this should not be a problem, for those who have mounted a solid state drive SSD it might be: these disks, for the same price, are much faster but also much smaller. It's not uncommon for those opting for this technology to choose 64, 96, 128 or 256 GB SSD drives. And stealing 7 GB from a 64 or 96 GB drive is no small feat.

Why Windows 10 steals hard drive space

Based on this choice by Microsoft are the major problems recently encountered with the October 2018 Update for Windows 10 (build 1809). With that update (which was followed by several other small and large fix updates) some users found themselves with files deleted from the hard drive or experienced unexplained system slowdowns that made the PC almost unusable. In order to prevent this from happening again Microsoft has chosen a shortcut: taking 7GB of reserved space to make sure that the next big update won't create the same problems. By the way, in case updates that exceed 7 GB are automatically downloaded, the reserved space can be increased.

The quota of reserved space will be managed independently and without the user being able to change it by Storage Sense, the internal Windows 10 service that manages disk space optimization. Storage Sense will try to maintain the size of the reserved space by removing unnecessary temporary files. All this will be transparent to the user who, if he has a lot of space available on the hard disk, won't even notice it. But if you don't have much space, you might have to move some of your data to USB sticks, external hard drives or even be forced to do some "spring cleaning" to make room for the new Windows 10 update.