Windows 10 1903: We'll still update PCs with less than 32GB storage, says Microsoft

Microsoft clarifies that the new 32GB storage minimum for Windows 10 version 1903 is only for newly built PCs.

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Ahead of the Windows 10 version 1903 release, Microsoft said in an April support document this version would raise the minimum storage capacity to 32GB for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows. 

The company didn't explain why Windows 10 required more storage but, as ZDNet reported at the time, the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, aka 1903, also introduced 'reserved storage', roughly 7GB of disk space to ensure updates don't fail.    

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Microsoft has now clarified in a recent support document aimed at IT pros that this minimum requirement for Windows 10 1903 doesn't apply to PCs that are already in use, only to OEMs manufacturing new PCs. So, Windows 10 users with 32GB PCs can still expect to receive version 1903 at some point in future.   

"New disk space requirement for Windows 10, version 1903 applies only to OEMs for the manufacture of new PCs. This new requirement does not apply to existing devices," said Microsoft.  

"PCs that don't meet new device disk space requirements will continue to receive updates and the 1903 update will require about the same amount of free disk space as previous updates."

As for why OEMs won't get Windows 10 version 1903 on systems with less than 32GB, Microsoft points to its explanation about reserved storage, which will be enabled automatically on new PCs with Windows 10 1903 pre-installed and for clean installs. 

"It will not be enabled when updating from a previous version of Windows 10," Microsoft notes.   

The document also details key Windows 10 update control and quality improvements that Microsoft made in the wake of the disastrous Windows 10 version 1809 rollout, such as the ability for Windows to automatically uninstall certain updates if they trigger a startup failure

"You can now automatically recover from startup failures by removing updates if the startup failure was introduced after the installation of recent driver or quality updates. When a device is unable to start up properly after the recent installation of Quality of driver updates, Windows will now automatically uninstall the updates to get the device back up and running normally," the document states. 

Microsoft also highlights the new option for Windows 10 Home users to pause updates for 35 days, which again was part of its response to version 1809. 

Additionally, Windows will now display a colored dot on the Power button in the Start Menu and Windows icon in the taskbar to indicate there's an update requiring a device restart. 

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