When I decided to buy this 128GB SSD Windows 10 laptop in February 2021, my biggest concern was if its 128GB SSD storage would be enough (the Surface Go 2 I wanted comes with no extra HDD), but I ended up going for it:
After more than a year and a half, and an upgrade to Windows 11, this is my opinion:
If you aren’t going to play modern games or do heavy tasks like video editing or Photoshop, a 128 GB SSD laptop is perfectly fine for you, whether running Windows 10 or 11. There will be plenty of space to run Microsoft Office, install apps, and browse the internet.
However, there are two things to keep in mind
- A fresh install of Windows 10 takes around 20GB of disk space after all the updates (since I bought my 128GB SSD laptop, I’ve already upgraded to Windows 11 version 22H2 mine it is taking 28.2 GB right now in September 2021.)
- A 128GB disk has around 118-119 GB of space (This is because companies define 1 GB as 1000 MB, while 1 GB is 1024 MB)
So, we are left with approximately 90 GB (118 – 28.2) of free disk space to use. Now let’s see how much disk space I still have now out of this 90 GB:
As shown, my laptop has no extra HDDs, so everything is stored in the 128GB SSD.
Keep in mind that I never actively tried to free space on this laptop (except by deleting my recycle bin), since I didn’t need it till now, and I still have 50.5 GB free, which is way above the 10% minimum free disk space that I usually like to keep.
So, as you can see, I am comfortable with my current disk space. But let me show you how much disk space you can expect to use on apps so you can make your conclusion.
Is a 128GB SSD enough for Windows 10/11 and programs?
The list below shows how much disk space my main apps use:
|Windows 10 (October 2020 Update)||23.5 GB||OS|
|Baldur’s Gate 2 Enhanced Edition||3.43 GB||Game|
|Microsoft Office Home and Student 2019||2.77 GB||Microsoft Office|
|Google Chrome||497.48 MB||Browser|
|Microsoft Edge||446.54 MB||Browser|
|Opera GX||303.64 MB||Browser|
|Calibre||301.74 MB||E-book management|
|Microsoft One Drive||184.98 MB||Cloud storage|
|Driver Booster||128.04 MB||Driver Updater|
|Free Download Manager||119.89 MB||Downloader|
|IObit Uninstaller||103.40 MB||Uninstaller|
|Grammarly for Word||61.02 MB||Writing assistant|
|Paint.net||55.65 MB||Photo editor|
|7-Zip||4.96 MB||File compression|
|Greenshot||2.96 MB||Screenshot tool|
|Express VPN||1.73 MB||VPN|
Here are some takeaways from the list above:
- Games use a lot of disk space. Even an older game, such as Baldur’s Gate 2 Enhanced Edition (the only one I have installed on this laptop), takes up 3.43 GB of disk space.
- You can expect to use around 2.8 GB for Microsoft Office (Home and Student versions.)
- Hardly a program will take up more than 1 GB of disk space. If you avoid heavy apps like third-party antivirus (you don`t need one, read here why Windows Defender is enough), Photoshop, or professional video editors. In that case, hardly a program will take more than 1 GB of disk space.
- Your browser will take 400MB-500 MB of your disk space.
- Most useful software will be in the 50-300 MB range. These include programs like Microsoft One Drive, Malwarebytes, Driver Booster, and Free Download Manager.
- Many essential apps are very light. Express VPN, 7-Zip, and Greenshot are great examples.
So, I have all software that I need, and even some I don’t (as having three browsers), and I am sitting at 50.5 GB right now. And I didn’t even attempt to delete useless big files I downloaded before, duplicate files, etc. The conclusion is very straightforward:
A 128 GB SSD is enough to hold Windows 10 and programs. You can easily run the latest version of Windows 10, Microsoft Office, your favorite browser, antivirus programs, and your favorite apps. There will still be around 50 GB left.
What programs and games I will be able to run on my 128GB SSD?
Keep in mind that if you have extra HDDs, you can run any game or software you want as long you install those in your HDDs and you have enough space.
I will assume that your laptop only has a 128GB SSD and no extra HDDs.
Here are some examples of programs or games that you won’t be able to run on your 128GB SSD:
|League of Legends (June 2021)||22GB||Game|
|Fortnite (October 2020)||30GB||Game|
|FIFA 21||50 GB||Game|
|Adobe Photoshop*||2.16 GB||Photo Editor|
|Adobe After Effects*||8.38 GB||VFX/Motion Graphics|
|Wondershare Filmora*||10 GB||Video Editor|
- You won’t be able to play games with relatively modern graphics. You can still install some older or modern 2d games like Cuphead, Katana Zero, or Streets of Rage 4.
- Even though it seems Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, and Wondershare Filmora can be installed without any problem, you won’t be able to run them at all because these programs deal with large-size files that can reach the GBs range, and you will need lots of disk space for that.
You won’t be able to run any recent 3d games (including online games) or any programs that need to edit files with large sizes, such as Photoshop, After Effects, or powerful video editors.
How to Easily Maintain Disk Space on a 128GB SSD Windows 10/11 Laptop
Here are the best practices that you can adopt if you own or if you plan to buy a 128GB SSD Windows 10 Laptop:
- Do not install any third-party antivirus: You don’t need a third-party antivirus when you already got Windows Defender. Make sure to install Malwarebytes (which only takes 229 MB of disk space) to increase your PC security.
- Do not install Adobe Acrobat Reader DC: Adobe Acrobat reader is extremely slow, installs bloatware on your PC, and takes 400 MB of disk space. Go for a better alternative on my list of must-have Windows software.
- Install IObit Uninstaller and TreeSize Free to maintain disk space: IObit Uninstaller will help you uninstall multiple programs at once, and TreeSize Free will help you quickly file the big files on your disk. These are the two best software to maintain your disk space and are essential to keep your Windows 10 clean.
- Store your big files in the cloud or an external hard drive: If you keep many photos, video files, and downloaded files, store them in Google Drive or an external HDD.
Besides the four tips above, remember to keep at least 10GB of free disk space, which is essential to your PC’s health.
If you buy a 128GB SSD laptop to work and browse the internet, you will be perfectly fine whether you decide to run Windows 10 or 11.
The disk space will be enough to run your favorite programs like Office or Chrome and many other apps while still having disk space left to save your files.
But if you want a laptop to play games or do heavy tasks like Photoshop or video editing, only having a 128GB SSD will not be enough. Buy a PC with an extra HDD because you will need it.
Remember not to install any third-party antivirus and Acrobat Reader DC, and install IObit Uninstaller and TreeSize Free to maintain disk space to find large files and folders on Windows.
Make use of cloud storage and external hard drives if needed.