Starting with Windows 10 version 1903, Windows 10 has a minimum storage requirement of 32 Gigabytes on the desktop.
Whether a device may run Windows 10 is determined by its hardware. Microsoft maintains a list of minimum hardware requirements for Windows 10 that defines certain types of hardware components or requirements that Windows 10 devices need to support.
The company notes that devices need to meet these requirements to boot and run Windows 10, update and service the operating system, and provide a "baseline user experience".
Update: Microsoft clarified that the new storage requirements apply only to OEMs and new devices, and not to existing devices that run Windows 10. End
The specification is designed for hardware manufacturers, e.g. OEMs, ODMs or SoC vendors, for the most part, but it is useful to home users and administrators as well.
The minimum requirements for desktop editions of Windows 10 apply to all editions including Home, Pro, and Enterprise editions.
Processor and memory requirements have not changed. Windows 10 desktop editions require at least a 1 GHz processor or SoC that is compatible with x86 or x64 instruction sets, supports PAE, NX, and SSE2, and supports CMPXCHG16b, LAHF/SAHF, and PrefetchW for 64-bit operating system installations.
Memory-wise, Windows 10 requires at least 1 Gigabyte of memory for 32-bit versions and 2 Gigabytes of memory for 64-bit versions.
The storage device size has been adjusted for Windows 10 version 1903. Previous versions of Windows, e.g. Windows 10 version 1809, required at least 16 Gigabytes of storage for 32-bit versions and 20 Gigabytes or greater for 64-bit versions.
Microsoft bumped the requirements to at least 32 Gigabytes for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10 in Windows 10 version 1903. Minimum storage for 32-bit versions of Windows 10 is increased by 16 Gigabytes and for 64-bit versions of Windows 10 by 12 Gigabytes.
The requirements are designed to prevent manufacturers from making and selling devices with less than 32 Gigabytes of storage space.
Windows 10 will reserve several Gigabytes of storage by default in the coming version. If a device is sold with 32 Gigabytes of storage, several of the Gigabytes are reserved by default for system updates and other system storage functions. Administrators may disable reserved storage to make the storage available system wide.
32 Gigabytes is not a whole lot even for low end devices. It needs to be noted that tablets and 2-in-1s can run desktop mode as well, and that they are the most likely candidates when it comes to low storage.
Not many Windows 10 devices are sold with less than 32 Gigabytes of space; in fact, I could not find any device on Amazon that has less than 32 Gigabytes of storage. Even low end Mini PCs or tablets come with 32 Gigabytes of storage.
Updates, especially feature updates, are a big issue on low storage devices; a bump by 12 or 16 Gigabytes may address some of these issues. Granted, updates are not really that enjoyable on 32 Gigabyte devices either.
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