Storage Options & Disk Space in Surface RT explained

Microsoft and the whole ecosystem is gung-ho about the release of Surface, a tablet from its own stable. Microsoft Surface received appreciable pats on the back, both by critics and users alike and comes in 32GB/64GB models. But there was always this suspicion of Windows RT, the operating system on which the Surface runs upon, eating up a sizeable amount of space as a part of the OS, apps etc.

Microsoft has taken upon itself to qualm all worries related to available storage size in a Surface device running Windows RT with primary apps installed in, with an FAQ page hosted on the official Surface page.

Your Surface with RT device will either have 32GB or 64 GB of internal hard disk space. However, if you have bought a new Surface tablet and check, you may find that the actual usable storage space available for your documents would be much lower.

Windows RT operating system with the built-in apps would occupy around 16 GB of disk space. As a result, the 32 GB version will have only around 16-18 GB free hard disk space and the 64 GB version will have approximately 46 GB free hard disk space available.

You will therefore be able to use only this balance free space for storing your documents, pictures, music, videos, etc.

Breakdown of disk space in Surface

Here is the exact breakdown of disk space for the 32 GB and 64 GB models:

Surface with Window RT (decimal system) 32 GB

  • Total disk size as reported by Windows (binary system): 29 GB
  • Reserved space for Windows recovery tools: 5 GB
  • Size of hard drive reported by File Explorer: 24 GB
  • Windows RT, Microsoft Office and built-in apps: 8 GB
  • Free space reported by File Explorer: 16 GB

Surface with Window RT (decimal system) 64 GB  

  • Total disk size as reported by Windows (binary system): 59 GB
  • Reserved space for Windows recovery tools: 5 GB
  • Size of hard drive reported by File Explorer: 55 GB
  • Windows RT, Microsoft Office and built-in apps: 8 GB
  • Free space reported by File Explorer: 46 GB

For the 32 GB version, it’s disappointing to have only 16 GB as storage space (the exact half) which may irk users initially but the Surface has an advantage over its arc competitors (iPad) – users can expand the available storage space. We have already seen how to see the available storage on your Surface.

surface storage options 600x337 Storage Options & Disk Space in Surface RT explained

If you wish to add more storage space, the following options would be available to you:

  1. microSD, microSDHC, or microSDXC memory card. This can add up to 64 GB.
  2. USB flash drive or hard drive
  3. Cloud storage using SkyDrive

This flexibility to increase storage space is a great boon to users. Although by default, Office documents are saved to SkyDrive, users can also save their documents and other content from the Surface in to a USB flash drive or hard drive and ensure it is safe all along.

No wonder Surface is suddenly becoming the consumer’s favorite, including Oprah Winfrey!

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Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
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