Windows 10 logo from new version 1903 desktop background

Microsoft has raised Windows 10’s minimum storage requirement to 32 GB. Previously, it was either 16 GB or 20 GB. This change affects Windows 10’s upcoming May 2019 Update, also known as version 1903 or 19H1.

These details come from Microsoft’s minimum hardware requirements web page. They were first spotted by Pureinfotech and brought to our attention by Thurrott.

Before this update, 32-bit versions of Windows required a minimum of 16 GB of storage on your device, while 64-bit versions of Windows required 20 GB. Now, both will require 32 GB.

Update: A month later, a new article from Microsoft clarified that this requirement would only apply to manufacturers (OEMs) releasing new PCs. It won’t apply to existing Windows 10 devices.

It’s unclear exactly why Microsoft made this change. The May 2019 Update now reserves about 7 GB of your PC’s storage for updates, so it may just take more space in general.

Let’s be honest, though: You always wanted more than 16 GB of space for Windows 10. Microsoft wanted Windows 10, like Windows 8 before it, to function on tablets and lightweight laptops with a small amount of storage. Those lightweight devices often had a compressed operating system and had trouble upgrading to Windows 10.

While this seems like a big change, it really isn’t. You should have avoided devices with this paltry amount of storage because they wouldn’t have functioned well with Windows 10. Now, Microsoft is making it official. Microsoft’s PC partners can’t try to sell laptops and tablets with less than 32 GB of built-in storage anymore. That’s good news for shoppers.

If you have an existing PC with less than 32 GB of storage running Windows 10, we’re not sure what happens to your device. It may never receive an update to the May 2019 Update (version 1903.) That’s up to Microsoft.

RELATED: Everything New in Windows 10's May 2019 Update, Available Now

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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