Microsoft to exile temporary files on new PCs

Friday, 11 January, 2019

If you buy a Windows PC this year, you may well notice that the available space on your new hard drive looks a wee bit smaller than you might have thought. This is because Microsoft has taken a chunk of it for storing temporary files generated by the likes of apps or OS updates.

Temporary files are created to store information used whilst a new file is being made. They can be created by computer programs for a variety of purposes – usually when a program can’t allocate enough RAM memory for its task.

Unfortunately, these files often hang around long after their purpose has been served. They fill up valuable space, slowing down machines and causing reliability to suffer. Over the years Microsoft has tried a multitude of tricks to overcome this issue on their Windows OS with little success.

Microsoft has now decided to take the approach of creating a Reserve Storage partition, about 7GB in size – effectively blocking out a chunk of your hard disk just for temporary files.

Users can then use their PCs without worrying about their free space suddenly disappearing. Particularly when those pesky, massive Windows updates are downloaded.

Unless, of course the Reserve Storage fills up. If this happens Windows will revert to the normal settings and continue to temporarily consume disk space outside the reservation.

Microsoft has said that the Reserve Storage capacity can be altered, either shrunk or increased but it can’t be removed entirely. As stated, Microsoft has set the Reserve Storage at 7GB but, they said, they may ‘adjust the size of reserved storage in the future based on diagnostic data or feedback.’

So, if you’re thinking of buying a new PC it will be necessary to consider the disk space available minus that allocated for the Reserve Storage. But it does mean no longer having to worry about the impact of those omnipresent temporary files.

TG Bamford author picture

By:

A veteran freelance journalist writing extensively on internet news and cybersecurity.

News What's the story?

Keep up with the latest developments in UK broadband.

UK 5G network goes live – are you up to speed?

Here's everything you need to know about the new mobile broadband network.

UK 5G network goes live – are you up to speed? Read more

TalkTalk offers exclusive £80 reward to new fibre customers

The huge bonus is available to anyone signing up for a 'Faster Fibre' bundle through BroadbandDeals.co.uk

Read more

TikTok ‘gifts’ empty kids piggy banks

Children are most vulnerable to 'influencer' donation pleas

Read more

Netflix ruins 90’s cartoon, enrages internet

The streaming giant came in for criticism for 'straightwashing' Japanese cult classic anime.

Read more

Porn-block pushed back by clerical errors

Further delays to the child-protection measure, with the process mocked as an 'utter shambles'.

Read more

How to watch Wimbledon online for free

How to make sure you don't miss out on the action from your favourite sports stars.

How to watch Wimbledon online for free Read more

Fast fines for ISPs could end the “Loyalty Penalty”

But could the proposed measures mean worse deals for those who shop around?

Read more

Boris Johnson mocks full-fibre roll-out plans

The likely next PM boasts plans to beat current targets by 8 years, but is it all just hot air?

Read more

Broadband and phone companies to put Fairness first

Telecoms providers commit to raising standards.

Read more

UK to get legal right to decent and affordable broadband

New legislation will ensure minimum speeds for every UK household.

Read more

GDPR – One year on

The landmark legislation gave people the ‘right to know’ when their data had been hacked.

Read more

Help Learn with us

Make the most of the internet with our broadband library.

Why Ofcom’s USO is more than pie in the sky

Why Ofcom’s USO is more than pie in the sky Read more

Protecting your small business against cyber attacks

Read more

Could 5G end fixed-line home broadband?

Read more

How broadband availability varies across the UK

Read more

Which social media platforms should I be on?

Read more

Will you get online on holiday?

Stay connected during your get-away.

Read more

Make the most of your broadband overnight

Make the most of your broadband overnight Read more

The main causes of slow internet connections

Slow broadband can be more than just an irritant - but what causes it, and what can we do to fight back?

Read more

Do you need to ramp up your broadband controls?

Read more

The different types of home computer

Read more

Will we all need gigabit broadband one day?

Read more
Back To Top