How Much Space Does Windows 10 Take ?
At launch, Windows 10 was smaller than its predecessor, Windows 8. That status has since changed, but more on that in a moment.
The development period between the two operating systems gave Microsoft time to optimize aspects of the code, make transitions, and introduce new features to reduce the load on the operating system. Even though Windows 10 arrived with few new features, the main challenge was to work with mobile devices with limited capacity.
However, some of the cuts didn’t immediately appeal to desktop and laptop users. While it made sense to remove features such as creating a default recovery image for mobile devices as well as increasing boot times by a few seconds, those using laptops or desktops would probably prefer this to remain unchanged.
However, it depends on the user’s preference. I have a 1TB HDD and a 128GB SSD installed on my laptop. The operating system is on an SSD, so it loads faster than Usain Bolt jumping out of blocks, but I also have the extra space needed for any backups to restore. A user with a single 64GB hard drive installed on a tablet is unlikely to feel the same way.
The Windows 10 May 2019 update brought bad news. Microsoft used the update to increase the installation size of Windows 10 from 16GB for 32-bit and 20GB for 64-bit to 32GB for both versions.
The dramatic increase in size is due to a change in the Windows 10 update process. Previously, an update had to wait until there was enough space on the host device to download and install. The Windows 10 May 1903 Update permanently reserves 7 GB of disk space to ensure that future updates run smoothly.
Most desktop and laptop users won’t find size requirements a problem. But mobile users with limited storage certainly will, especially since the storage on many mobile devices is nearly impossible to replace or upgrade.
Unfortunately, you will remain on Windows 10 version 1809 until the end of its support period. This support ends May 12, 2020. There is also a long-term maintenance branch for 1809 providing bug fixes and security updates until January 2024, and then security fixes only until January 2029.
With May 2020 less than a year away and users doing nothing wrong, Microsoft should consider providing extended support to every user.