Windows 10’s first major update for 2020 could arrive soon with a useful new tool

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Windows 10’s next big update (20H1) is expected to land soon – in April, or possibly even late on in March 2020 – and that prospect of an imminent release is backed up by the fact that Microsoft appears to be engaging in the final tweaking for the upgrade.

The latest build 19041.153 has hit the slow ring with only a small amount of general tweaking, which suggests that Microsoft is implementing the final touches before the 20H1 update begins its full rollout.

The changes applied include a raft of security updates, a solution for a problem whereby ActiveX content fails to load, and a few fixes for Microsoft’s web browsers, among other bits and pieces.

There’s only one remaining known issue highlighted in the blog post for build 19041.153 – pertaining to Narrator, the operating system’s screen reader tool – which again shows that everything is close to being finalized with the next major update for Windows 10.

Who knows, in just a couple of weeks, the 20H1 update might be here, and when it comes, it will arrive with an interesting new piece of functionality – the ability to ditch the ‘reserved storage’ allowance.

No reservations

In case you’ve forgotten what the reserved storage allocation of Windows 10 is all about, it’s a part of the drive which the operating system puts aside specifically for critical system and driver updates – just to ensure that these will work reliably (because if space is low, things can get unpredictable).

Introduced with the May 2019 Update, this system is supposed to initially use around 7GB of drive space, although Microsoft admitted that this amount could grow larger (10GB+ potentially) over time. How much larger depends on your exact hardware and usage of PC.

Those who might not be happy about having a small chunk of their drive ring-fenced off as such have previously been able to get rid of reserved storage by editing the Registry, but as you may be aware, that can be a perilous process (one wrong move in here can lead to a suddenly misfiring or even broken Windows installation).

So for those who wish to tweak reserved storage, the introduction of a tool to do this more safely via the command line will be a welcome move in the 20H1 update.

Going forward, in the command line, you will be able to type the following to enable or disable reserved storage respectively:

DISM.exe /Online /Set-ReservedStorageState /State:Enabled
DISM.exe /Online /Set-ReservedStorageState /State:Disabled

If you want to check the current status of reserved storage, you’ll use the following command:

DISM.exe /Online /Get-ReservedStorageState

Of course, bear in mind if you do turn this capability off, and you’re applying a big update to the OS with low drive space, you could potentially run into some of the thorny issues which led Microsoft to introduce reserved storage in first place.

In other words, when this capability goes live, make sure that you’re confident you know what you’re doing when applying changes to reserved storage – but bearing in mind that caveat, this is a useful new touch to reclaim some potentially valuable drive space.

Via Windows Latest (1, 2)

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).