Unveiling the Disk Space Requirements: How Much Space Does Windows 10 Take Up?

Table of Contents

Overview of Windows 10

First released in 2015, Windows 10 is a powerful, multi-faceted operating system developed by Microsoft. It boasts a number of useful features such as the voice-activated assistant Cortana, the capacity for touchscreen input, and the virtual desktop system. Further, Windows 10 promises an improved browser experience with Microsoft Edge, better gaming capabilities, and a unified app Structure.

Understanding the spatial requirements of Windows 10 is crucial for any user or administrator. It aids in optimal system performance and ensures that your system doesn’t run out of storage space unexpectedly.

Basics of Storage Space

Storage space is the term used to describe the total amount of disk space available on your computer for storing files, applications, and system data.

Essentially, storage space in a computer is akin to a warehouse. Without enough of it, there would be no room to store products, and operations would collapse. The storage space includes hard drives and solid-state drives (SSDs), with capacities ranging from a few gigabytes to several terabytes.

How Much Space Does Windows 10 Take Up

Windows 10 is a fairly large operating system compared to its predecessors. As of the latest update, the Windows 10 requires at least 20GB of free space for the 64-bit version, and around 16GB for the 32-bit version.

This is primarily due to the inclusion of new features, security enhancements, and complex backend processes that underpin the OS. As a point of comparison, older versions like Windows 7 and 8 required only 16GB and 20GB of space for their 32-bit and 64-bit versions, respectively.

Components of Windows 10 that Affect Storage Space

Different components of Windows 10 eat up varying levels of storage space. The largest chunk, as expected, is taken by system files, which include the operating system itself, libraries, and drivers, often taking up over 15GB.

Moreover, temporary files, such as system logs, error files, and temporary internet files, can also accumulate over time. Other components that require storage space are applications and features, reserved system files, optional features, and virtual memory in the form of paging files and hibernation files.

Managing these components effectively can free up tons of storage space and offer an improved user experience.

How to Free Up Space on a Windows 10 Computer

One of the easiest ways to free up space on your Windows 10 computer is by using the in-built ‘Disk Cleanup’ tool. This handy utility can help remove temporary files, system logs, and even previous Windows installations.

Another great feature is ‘Storage Sense’, which automatically frees up space on your PC by removing files you don’t need, like temporary files and items in your recycle bin.

For a more thorough cleanup, third-party applications like CCleaner can be used. These often provide a deeper clean, targeting areas that traditional clean-up methods may miss.

Future Windows Updates and Space Requirements

With each new feature update, Windows 10 continues to evolve, often increasing in size. Future updates could see storage requirements rise as more features and improvements are added. However, Microsoft is also known to improve storage optimisation, which may reduce the size of the operating system or at least, manage it more efficiently.

Recap and Final Thoughts

Understanding the space that Windows 10 takes up is more of a need than an indulgence. With optimal storage management, you can maintain a well-functioning system and prepare for successful future updates. Keeping an eye on primary storage consumers and performing regular cleanups can go a long way in maintaining your system’s health.


  • Windows 10 requires a minimum of 20GB of free space for the 64-bit version and 16GB for the 32-bit version.
  • System files, temporary files, applications, and features are the major components that consume storage space in Windows 10.
  • Tools like ‘Disk Cleanup’, ‘Storage Sense’, and third-party applications help to manage and free up space effectively.
  • Future Windows updates might increase the size of the OS, hence having additional storage space is beneficial.