32GB Surface Leaves 16GB Storage After Windows RT, Apps

Microsoft has confirmed that consumers who purchase the 32GB variant of Surface will only be left with 16GB of storage space.

Previously, it was reported that 12GB of storage space will be taken from the device's 32GB capacity. However, according to Microsoft documentation, the $499 32GB Surface tablet actually takes 16GB of storage space.

On a 32GB Surface model, 29GB is initially available after partitioning. Take away 5GB for Windows recovery tools, and another 8GB for Windows RT, Microsoft Office, as well as other built-in apps, it leaves 16GB of free space. As for the 64GB model, users will be left with 46GB.

Microsoft, however, does offer advice on an FAQ page regarding how to free up storage space on the tablet. The firm suggests users utilize cloud storage through SkyDrive, using a microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC memory card or a USB flash drive or hard drive.

The Windows 8-powered Surface, which saw its entire pre-order inventory selling out, launched alongside the operating system on October 26.


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  • SGTgimpy
    You all realize that Windows RT is full blown Windows just re-coded for ARM processors architecture. Look at how much space a normal Windows 7 install + Office 2012 + some normal apps. You will get about the same space being utilized.

    Plus who cares, you have a full USB port with full driver support for USB drives, Skydrive (up to 100GB+) and SDXC slot which can now take up to 128GB card. You already have options that kill most Android tablets and all iPad's.

    You also cannot compare iOS or Android to Windows RT because both iOS and Android are not full blown OS's. They are basic utility OS that have been built for a specific purpose and that is why they are only 1GB in size.

    Also to answer the question about deleting the Recovery tools. The answer is Yes/No you can but if you ever need to reload or factory restore Windows RT your screwed. You cannot buy Windows RT and reload it since it is only sold to OEM's and ODM's. So the option to remove the recovery tools is there but it is really not in your best interest to do so.
  • yialanliu
    classzeroReally shady tricks Microsoft. Apple and Android manufacturers do not include OS as part of the storage capacity.

    That's a lie, you never get 16 gb on an iphone, somethinglike 14.6 comes to mind...
  • osamabinrobot
    can you just get rid of the windows recovery tools like you would setting up a desktop with an ssd?
  • Other Comments
  • goodguy713
    thats pretty hefty for an operating system with just a few programs installed .. ouch .. i was kinda interested in this until i saw this factor.. sure you can add a hard drive or something but dosnt that kinda defeat the purpose..
  • mariusmotea
    The amount of space occupied by system is to high, the available space is the only think that matter, and i belive that surface 32 must be renamed in surface 16, so any people can make the right coose when considering to buy a new tablet.
  • osamabinrobot
    can you just get rid of the windows recovery tools like you would setting up a desktop with an ssd?