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.
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.