Starting with Updated May, 2019, Windows 10 will reserve about 7 GB of your device's memory for updates and optional files. This will ensure easy installation of updates in the future, but you can recover this space if you wish.
What is reserved storage?
Windows requires a certain amount of free disk space for the update. Installation of the updates will fail if your PC does not have enough free space. With the recent update of May 2019, Microsoft aims to solve this problem by reserving disk space for future updates.
Previously, if the available disk space on your PC was insufficient, Windows could not install the updates correctly. The only solution is to free up storage space before continuing.
With "reserved storage", Microsoft puts Windows 10 apart at least 7 gigabytes of space on your hard disk to make sure that updates can be downloaded, regardless of your disk space.
When it is not used by update files, reserved storage is used for applications, temporary files, and system caches, thus enhancing the day-to-day operation of your PC.
In other words, the reserved storage does not mean that Windows uses an additional 7 GB of storage. It is likely that it stores temporary files in this location and that it would normally be stored elsewhere on your system drive.
How to check if your PC has a reserved storage
Before you go any further, you need to make sure that your system uses reserved storage. If this is not the case, there is no need to continue, because Windows does not reserve additional storage on your device. You can check whether or not the system is using an additional amount of storage, as well as its volume, through the Settings application.
This feature will be activated automatically on new PCs with Windows 10 version 1903 (that is, the May 2019 update) preinstalled, as well as the new installations of Windows 10 version 1903. If you update 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" in the list of items occupying space.
Click on "System and reserved".
If enabled on your PC, you will see the "Reserved Storage" section with over 7GB of used storage space. If you do not see "Reserved Storage" here, the "Storage Reserve" feature is not enabled on your system.
Do you need to disable reserved storage?
You can free up some of the reserved storage space by uninstalling the optional features (Settings> Apps & Features> Manage Optional Features) and Language Packs (Settings> Time & Language> Language.)
However, if you want to free up space, you must completely disable the reserved storage feature. Microsoft recommend against this, explaining:
Our goal is to improve the day-to-day functions of your PC by ensuring that the critical functions of the operating system always have access to disk space. Without reserved storage, if a user almost fills his storage, several Windows and application scenarios are no longer reliable. Windows and application scenarios may not work as expected if they need free space to work. With reserved storage, updates, applications, temporary files, and caches are less likely to affect valuable free space and must continue to work as expected.
However, if you need space, do not hesitate to continue and disable reserved storage. After all, most real-world Windows 10 PCs still have this feature turned off and working properly.
How to disable reserved storage
Before continuing, know this: your change will not take effect immediately. We have tested it and the reserved storage space will be removed from your system only after the next installation of the update by Windows. Fortunately, a simple cumulative update (the type that Microsoft releases every month) has resulted in the deletion of reserved storage after the change below. (This could change in the future – Microsoft clearly does not want people to delete it.)
Now that all this is done, let's see how to disable reserved storage by using Registry Editor.
Standard warning: The Registry Editor is a powerful tool that can make it an unstable or even unusable system. It's a pretty simple hack, and as long as you stick to the instructions, you should not have any problems. That said, if you've never worked with this before, consider reading about how to use the registry editor before you start And certainly save the 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 edit your computer.
In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to access the following key. You can also copy it and paste it into the address bar of the registry editor.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion ReserveManager
Once here, locate ShippedWithReserves and double-click on it.
Change the number under "Value data" from 1 to 0, then click "OK".
That's all. Close the Registry Editor, and then restart Windows to apply the changes.
Your change is now complete, but you may have to wait a few weeks for Windows to install an update and remove the reserved storage.
Download our registry hack in one click
If you do not feel comfortable in this registry editor, we have created a registry hack that you can use instead. Just download and extract the following Zip file:
Inside you will find a REG file to disable reserved storage forced Windows, as well as a second file to reactivate it. Once extracted, double-click on the desired file and accept the prompts asking if you really want to modify your registry.
This hack changes the value of ShipWithReserves to 0, as we discussed in the previous section. The other hack included reserved storage reactivated by putting the "Value Data" back to 1, restoring them as before. If you like to play with the register, take the trouble to learn how to make your own registry hacks.