I have an amount of devices that have a small hard disk (120 Gb or smaller), and finally the disk is running out when saving all the pictures, installing applications etc. Is there anything with Windows 10 that can help me minimize the footprint of the operating system?
Yes, there have been a lot of work to minimize the footprint of Windows, both for the desktop and mobile
- It will compress certain system files and store apps, with an algorithm that is optimized for your hardware
- Microsoft uses more junctions instead of saving the file multiple times
- Optimizing recovery scenario to remove the need of a separate recovery image
- The servicing process have been changes
As many other features you may think this is depended on UEFI, but it is not. You will benefit these optimizations for both UEFI and BIOS.
Example savings on 64-bit Windows 10
Switches for deployment
When you do a in-place upgrade the compress OS part will be done automatically to save you disk space.
During deployment add a switch to compress operating system files, Windows will choose the right files for you.
Setup.exe /CompactOS enable
If you are using DISM
DISM.exe /Apply-Image /ImageFile:windows10image.wim /Index:1 /ApplyDir:D:\ /compact
How to verify is has been enabled?
Open an elevated prompt and type
Also to save space in an enterprise environment I highly recommend to disable System Restore
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\System Restore
As always some resources if you want to dig into the details
What have been done in previous versions of Windows?