Starting with the May 2019 Update, Windows 10 sets aside approximately 7 GB of storage on your device for updates and additional files. This will ensure future updates are easy to install, but you can reclaim this space if you wish.

What is reserved storage?

Windows requires a certain amount of free disk space to update. Updates cannot be installed if your computer does not have enough free space. With the recent May 2019 update, Microsoft is looking to address this issue by reserving disk space for future updates.

Previously, if you did not have enough free space on your computer, Windows would not be able to properly install updates. The only workaround is to free up storage space before continuing.

With «reserved storage,» Microsoft is forcing Windows 10 to allocate at least 7 gigabytes of hard drive space to ensure updates can be downloaded no matter how much disk space you have.

When the backup storage is not being used by update files, it will be used for applications, temporary files and system caches, improving your PC’s daily experience.

In other words, reserved storage doesn’t mean that Windows uses the whole extra 7 GB of storage — it’s more likely to store some temporary files that would normally be stored elsewhere on the system drive.

RELATED: Windows 10 will soon «reserve» 7 GB of your storage for updates

How to check if your computer is backed up

Before going any further, you should make sure that your system is using Reserved Storage. If it doesn’t, then it’s not necessary because Windows doesn’t reserve additional storage on your device. You can check if the system is using additional storage — and how much — using the Settings app.

This feature will be automatically enabled on new PCs preinstalled with Windows 10 version 1903 (May 2019 Update) and clean installs of Windows 10 version 1903. If you are upgrading from a previous version of Windows 10, reserved storage will not be enabled.

To check if Windows is using Reserved Storage, go to Settings > System > Storage. (You can quickly open the Settings app by pressing Windows + i on your keyboard.) Click Show More Categories below the list of items taking up space.

Under the main drive, click Show more categories

Click System and Reserved.

Click System and Reserved

If this feature is enabled on your computer, you will see a «Reserved Storage» section with more than 7 GB of storage. If you don’t see «Reserved Storage» here, «Reserve Storage» is not enabled on your system.

Reserved Storage Example

Should you disable reserved storage?

You can free up some reserved storage space by removing extras (Settings > Apps & features > Manage advanced features) and language packs (Settings > Time & language > Language).

However, if you want to free up the maximum amount of space, you need to disable reserved storage features altogether. Microsoft recommends against this, explaining:

Our goal is to improve the day-to-day operation of your PC by ensuring that critical OS functions always have access to disk space. Without reserved storage, if a user is about to fill up their storage, several Windows scenarios and applications become unreliable. Windows and application scripts may not work as expected if they require free space to run. Thanks to reserved storage, updates, applications, temporary files, and caches are less likely to take up valuable free space and should continue to perform as expected.

But, if you need space, go ahead and disable reserved storage. After all, most Windows 10 PCs in the real world are still disabled and working just fine.

How to disable reserved storage

Before you continue, be aware that your change will take some time to take effect. We have verified this and Reserved Storage will not be removed from your system until the next time Windows installs an update. Luckily, a simple cumulative update — the one that Microsoft releases every month — resulted in the removal of reserved storage after we made the following changes. (This may change in the future — Microsoft clearly doesn’t want people to remove this.)

Now that we have all of that, let’s see how to disable Reserved Storage using the Registry Editor.

Standard warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and using it incorrectly can make your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a fairly simple hack, and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. However, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider using Registry Editor before you get started. And be sure to back up your registry (and your computer!) before making any changes.

Open the Registry Editor by clicking Start and typing » regedit . Press Enter to open the Registry Editor and then allow it to make changes to your computer.

Open Registry Editor App

In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the next key. You can also copy and paste it into the address bar of the registry editor.

  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ ReserveManager 

Once here, find ShippedWithReserves and double click on it.

Find ShippedWithReserve and double click on it

Change the number in Data Value from 1 to 0, then click OK.

Set data value to 0 then click OK

That’s all. Close the Registry Editor, then restart Windows to apply the changes.

Your changes have now been made, but you may have to wait a few weeks before Windows installs the update and removes the reserved storage.

RELATED: Everything new in the Windows 10 May 2019 Update

Download our one-click registry hack

Disable reserved storage registry files

If you don’t feel comfortable diving into the registry editor, we’ve created a registry hack that you can use instead. Just download and extract the following Zip file:

Disable Reserved Storage Registry Hack

Inside you will find a REG file to disable Windows Forced Storage Reserve, as well as a second file to re-enable it. After extracting, double-click on the desired file and accept the prompts asking if you really want to make changes to the registry.

This hack changes the value ShippedWithReserves to 0, as we discussed in the previous section. Another hack involved re-enabling reserved storage by changing «Value Data» back to 1, reverting it to what 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.

RELATED: How to Make Your Own Windows Registry Hack

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