Windows 10 Reclaims Disk Space By Deleting Recovery Image And Employing File Compression

With every passing day, Windows 10 becomes more and more intriguing as we learn about new features that leak just beneath the surface. Earlier today, we learned that Microsoft will enable a new peer-to-peer option that will make it faster and more efficient for customers to download updates for the operating system and installed applications. This afternoon, Microsoft has spilled the beans on some storage tweaks that will be welcome news to Windows users that own devices with small-capacity SSDs.

The Windows team blogged today that it will employ “two separate and independent approaches” for reclaiming storage space to make Windows 10 less of a burden on hard drives and SSDs than its predecessors. The first method to reclaim storage space relies on the use of file compression for system files. With file compression turned on, Microsoft is able to save 1.5GB of storage for the 32-bit version of Windows 10 and an even more impressive 2.6GB for the 64-bit version.


Considering that file compression can sometimes have an adverse affect on system performance, a number of steps are taken to ensure that optimum performance levels are maintained on a wide variety of hardware. “The amount of RAM a device has determines how often it retrieves system files from storage,” writes Microsoft. “Another important factor is how quickly a device’s CPUs can run the decompression algorithm when retrieving system files. By considering these and other important factors, Windows is able to assess if a device can use compression without reducing human-perceivable responsiveness.”

Microsoft also says that it will use compression to shrink the footprint of apps, which should an additional boon for consumers.


The second method to reduce the space requirements for Windows 10 involved the removal of the separate recovery image. Instead, the Refresh and Reset function will “rebuild the operating system in place using runtime system files.” What’s even more noteworthy is that by using existing system files, getting your system back up and running will also take less time. “Not only does this take up less disk space, it also means you will not have a lengthy list of operating system updates to reinstall after recovering your device,” Microsoft continues.

As we get closer to the public release of Windows 10, we’re eager to hear what else Microsoft has in store for us. So far, color us impressed, as we’re definitely ready to get the sour taste of Windows 8.x out of our mouths.