Do you need to install Windows? This space you need on your hard drive

Although currently it is normal to have disk storage of large amounts, even greater than 1 TB, the truth is that when it comes to using SSD drives, the storage is usually quite less. That is why we must take more care of the space that we are going to need to ensure that both Windows 10 and Windows 11 work as they should without any problem.

That is why today we are going to see how much both operating systems occupy once installed from scratch, together with the additional amount that we will need at least for other important tasks such as space to download system updates, as well as programs and games.

How much space does Windows 10 need

According to the specifications requirements of Windows 10 originally, in order to install it we need 16 GB of free space on our hard drive or SSD in the case that we opt for the 32-bit version, or 20 GB if we are going to use the 64-bit version , which is the most common. However, from the May 10, 2019 update, Microsoft increased the size for the 64-bit version, from 20 to 32 GB required currently.

However, if we want to know how much it really occupies, we are going to need to take an official Windows 10 Pro (21H2) 64-bit ISO image, the latest available, and install it from scratch. Later, we can check from the unit of our operating system, how much it occupies once installed.

Space occupied on the hard drive by Windows 10 once installed

How can we verify Windows 10 occupies 18.4 GB. By way of rounding we can by the issue of the drivers that we install, which normally occupy between 1 and 3 GB, We can say that we will need no less than 22 GB of reserved space to be able to install the operating system and its respective drivers. Along with this, it will be necessary to reserve more space to be able to install the applications and games that we need for our day to day.

Space we need for Windows 11

According to the specifications provided by Microsoft, the Windows 11 storage requirements state that we will need at least 64 GB of space available for installation, commissioning and subsequent updates. This is twice the capacity that we officially needed for Windows 10. Along with this we will need more additional space to download updates and enable other specific functions, as well as the subsequent installation of programs and games.

Hard disk space occupied by Windows 11 once installed

This is what Microsoft says we need. But to know how much it actually occupies we need to install the official Windows 11 ISO from scratch. Once finished we can check how used space is 18.2 GB. Of course, the hibernation and paging files are not included here, hence the request for more storage space. To this we should also add the amount that is needed for the controllers, so it should also be necessary about 22 GB of base.

Extra space for updates and applications

Along with the total space that the system has once installed from scratch, now we must calculate how much free space we will need for other needs such as updates, applications and games, to be able to give it a correct use.

Hibernate updates and features

Updates are an important part of improving both system performance and security, with updates being especially important. security updates. For this, it is important to have at least 10 GB of additional space. In addition, we must bear in mind that a new version is released every six months. For this reason, it will be necessary at least 30 GB free to be able to perform the backup of the current version along with the download and installation of the new one. Along with this we must bear in mind that Windows needs at least 20 GB free to work with temporary files and cache.

Windows updates pending

In addition, Windows has the swap memory system and the hibernate functions activated by default in your hiberfile.sys file. It stores key system information so you can quickly restore it from hibernation. Its size is related to the amount of RAM installed, and can occupy up to 75% of that amount. For example, if we have 8GB installed, it will use 6GB of hard drive storage. The more RAM we have, the more space hiberfile.sys will occupy. That is why it will be necessary to add at least another 10 GB more at least, which may be more depending on the total of our RAM.

Apps and games

Now we go to the most important section, which are the space we need to be able to install all the applications we need to use in our day to day. Despite the fact that we have an additional hard drive for games or storing files, the ones we usually use will go in the main one. For example, we are talking about important programs such as Office or Microsoft 365 (at least 2 GB), Chrome (1 GB) or the Adobe suite, which needs at least 2 GB per application (Photoshop, Premiere, Lightroom, etc).

Installed applications and free space

As for games, things go off easily. And it is that it may require us up to more than 100 GB of space for its installation, as is the case of the recently launched Battlefield 2042. Another current game like the new FIFA 22 needs at least 50 GB of space. Therefore, depending on whether we are more or less gamers, it will make us even more extra space.

What is the ideal size of the hard disk

As we have seen, the size of the hard disk will depend to a great extent of the use that we are going to give our computer. Of all this, it should be the installation of games that should concern us the most. There are also other uses such as video rendering that also requires a lot of space, especially if it is going to be in 4K. Therefore, if we are going to use Premiere or any similar program, we must take it into account for storage.

It is also important to have enough space in the event that we need to use virtual machines to virtualize other systems with tools such as VMware or Hyper-V. In this case, it is advisable to have an SSD drive of at least 512 GB as primary drive and optionally a secondary hard drive of at least 1 TB.

If we are not going to do any of the above and we need the Windows 10 PC only for basic use such as using Office, browsing the Internet and enjoying multimedia content, simply with an SSD of 120 GB may be enough, although you can buy just over 20 euros. Of course, this disk size can be ruled out in case we choose to install Windows 11 since it would be too fair. In an average case that we do not want to see ourselves in a rush of space, the most recommended option may be 240/250 GB that we can find around 40 or 50 euros.

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