Starting with the May 2019 Update, Windows 10 will reserve about 7 GB of your device’s storage for updates and optional files. This will ensure easy installation of updates in the future—but you can recover that space if you want.
What is Reserved Storage?
Windows requires a certain amount of free disk space to update. Updates will fail to install if your PC doesn’t have enough free space. With the recent May 2019 Update, Microsoft aims to fix this problem by reserving disk space for future updates.
Before, if you had insufficient free disk space on your PC, Windows would fail to install updates properly. The only workaround is to free up some storage space before continuing.
With “reserved storage,” Microsoft makes Windows 10 set aside at least 7 gigabytes of space on your hard drive to ensure updates can download—regardless of how much disk space you have.
When not being used by update files, Reserved Storage will be used for apps, temporary files, and system caches, improving the day-to-day function of your PC.
In other words, reserved storage doesn’t mean that Windows is using a full extra 7 GB of storage—it’s likely storing some temporary files there that it would normally be stored elsewhere on your system drive.
How to Check If Your PC Has Reserved Storage
Before you go any further, you should make sure that your system is using Reserved Storage. If it doesn’t, then there’s no need to go on, because Windows isn’t reserving any additional storage on your device. You can check whether or not the system is using extra storage—and how much—through the Settings app.
This feature will be enabled automatically on new PCs with Windows 10 version 1903 (that’s the May 2019 Update) pre-installed, along with clean installs of Windows 10 version 1903. If you’re updating from a previous version of Windows 10, Reserved Storage will not be enabled.
To check whether Windows is using Reserved Storage, head to Settings > System > Storage. (You can quickly open the Settings app by pressing Windows+i on your keyboard.) Click “Show More Categories” under the list of items taking up space.
Click on “System & Reserved.”
If enabled on your PC, you will see the “Reserved Storage” section with 7+ GB of storage space in use. If you don’t see “Reserved Storage” here, your system doesn’t have the “Storage Reserve” feature enabled.
Should You Disable Reserved Storage?
You can free a bit of reserved storage space by uninstalling optional features (Settings > Apps & Features > Manage Optional Features) and language packs (Settings > Time & Language > Language.)
However, if you want to free up the maximum amount of space, you’ll need to disable the reserved storage functionality altogether. Microsoft recommends against this, explaining:
Our goal is to improve the day-to-day function of your PC by ensuring critical OS functions always have access to disk space. Without reserved storage, if a user almost fills up her or his storage, several Windows and application scenarios become unreliable. Windows and application scenarios may not work as expected if they need free space to function. With reserved storage, updates, apps, temporary files, and caches are less likely to take away from valuable free space and should continue to operate as expected.
But, if you need the space, feel free to continue and disable reserved storage. After all, most Windows 10 PCs in the real world still have this disabled and are working fine.
How to Disable Reserved Storage
Before you continue, know this: Your change won’t take effect immediately. We tested this, and the reserved storage won’t be deleted from your system until after the next time Windows installs an update. Thankfully, a simple cumulative update—the kind Microsoft releases every month—resulted in the reserved storage being removed after we made the below change. (This may change in the future—Microsoft clearly doesn’t want people removing this.)
Now that we’ve got all that out of the way let’s look at how to disable Reserved Storage using the Registry Editor.
Standard Warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack, and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes.
Open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “ regedit .” Press Enter to open the Registry Editor and then permit it to make changes to your PC.
In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key. You can also copy and paste it into the Registry Editor’s address bar.
Once here, locate ShippedWithReserves and double-click on it.
Change the number under “Value Data” from a 1 to 0, then click “OK.”
That’s it. Close Registry Editor, then reboot Windows to apply the changes.
Your change is now made, but you may have to wait a few weeks before Windows installs an update and deletes the reserved storage.
Download Our One-click Registry Hack
If you don’t feel comfortable diving into Registry Editor yourself, we’ve created a registry hack you can use instead. Just download and extract the following Zip file:
Inside you’ll find a REG file for disabling the Windows forced reserved storage, along with a second file to re-enable it. Once extracted, double-click the file you want and accept the prompts asking whether you’re sure you want to make changes to your Registry.
This hack changes the value of ShippedWithReserves to 0, just like we talked about in the previous section. The other hack included re-enabled reserved storage by changing the “Value Data” back to 1, reverting it to how it was before. If you enjoy fiddling with the Registry, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to make your own Registry hacks.
We show you how to modify your Windows 10 reserved storage so you can get an accurate picture of your hard drive space or prevent errors.
Starting with Windows 10 build 18298, Microsoft introduced a slightly controversial feature called reserved storage. Rather than trust the user to maintain enough space for Windows updates and other system tasks, it decided to automatically dedicate and close off space.
What is reserved storage and how does it work?
Windows 10 needs some space to be able to function correctly. Though it can do a lot with a small amount, being close to your storage limit is likely to impede performance and result in failed updates which could contain vital fixes or security mitigations. Reserved storage is a relatively new feature introduced to Windows to combat that scenario.
When reserves storage is enabled, Microsoft essentially lies to the user about the free space that’s available on the PC. Temporary and update files are stored in a hidden reserved storage section of the hard drive and don’t affect the available space you see in File Explorer.
As a result, those who want to free up space in Windows 10 or are looking for a more accurate picture may be wondering how to disable system reserved storage on Windows 10. Those who keep running into the “This computer does not have enough space for temporary files”, or “Your disk is almost full” errors may want to enable it. We’re going to show you how to do both today, as well as how to check your reserved storage size so you can make that decision.
How to Check Windows 10 Reserved Storage Size via Settings
Microsoft handily provides an overview of your reserved storage disk use through its storage settings menu.
Press “Windows + I” to open the settings menu, then click “System”.
Click “Storage”, then “Show more categories”
If your reserve Windows 10 information is not showing, you can continue to the next steps to check via command line.
Click “System & reserved”
Microsoft will show you how much space is reserved for your Windows 10 and reserved storage, but now how much is just used for reserved until you click the heading.
Check system reserved storage space in Windows 10
How to Check Reserved Storage Size in Windows 10 via Command Prompt
For a quicker, yet less user-friendly route, you can check how much space system reserved storage is using via command prompt.
Open an elevated Command Prompt
Press the “Windows” key and type “cmd”, then select “Run as administrator” in the side menu.
Check your reversed storage size
In command prompt, type the following and press “Enter”:
fsutil storagereserve query C:
Windows 10 should give you three outputs, which will show all of the reserved storage on your C: drive.
How to Check and Enable / Disable Windows 10 Reserved Storage via CMD
Alternatively, you can check, enable or disable reserved storage size via DISM in command prompt.
Open Command Prompt as an Administrator
Press “Start” and type “cmd”, then right-click “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator”.
Check is reserved storage is turned on
First, make sure reserved storage is enabled by typing the following command and pressing “Enter”:
DISM /Online /Get-ReservedStorageState
Enable or Disable Reserved Storage in Windows 10
To enable reserved storage, type:
DISM /Online /Set-ReservedStorageState /State:Enabled
Or, to disable it, enter:
DISM /Online /Set-ReservedStorageState /State:Disabled
How to Check Windows 10 Reserved Storage State via PowerShell
If you prefer PowerShell over Command Prompt, you can also check the system reserved storage status there:
Open PowerShell as admin
Press “Windows + X” to open the Start flyout menu and click “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”.
Check your system reserved storage status
In PowerShell, enter the following command:
It will return “ReservedStorageState : Enabled” if it’s enabled for your device.
Enable or Disable Windows 10 Reserved Storage via Registry Hack
If you don’t want to run any commands, you can enable or disable Windows 10 reserved storage via a registry file, which you can download here.
Download and Extract the files
Once they’re extracted, you’ll see two .reg files, “Disable_Windows 10_Reserved_Storage.reg” and “Enable_Windows 10 Reserved_Storage.reg”. Click the one that’s relevant to you.
Click “Yes” on the UAC prompt
Click “Yes” to the security prompt
Check your status with PowerShell or CMD again to make sure the changes stuck. If you found this tutorial helpful, you may also want to check out our guide on using compactOS to free up space and cleaning up the WinSxS folder.