Extend hard drive on Windows 10 without data loss
Most of Windows 10 laptops use SSD nowadays, many people replace traditional mechanical hard disk with SSD for old computers, too. It is good for computer performance, but the price of SSD is still expensive, so the size is much smaller than traditional disk. This is the reason why many people feedback that C drive runs out of space.
In this situation, you can expand it with free space in other drives. In this article, I’ll show you how to extend hard drive on Windows 10 without losing data or reinstalling OS.
Extend drive with Disk Management
Windows 10 has native Disk Management utility, the built-in Extend Volume functionality can help you extend hard drive without losing data. It is also fast and easy to use, however, not all partitions can be extended. More specifically, only when your disk partition configuration meet the requirement, you can extend hard drives with this tool.
Restrictions of Extend Volume
There must be adjacent Unallocated space on the right side
To show you this restriction, I shrank drive D in my Windows 10 laptop. As you see, Extend Volume is only available to drive D. Extend Volume is disabled for C drive, because Unallocated is nonadjacent to it. Extend Volume is greyed out to drive E, because Unallocated space is on its left side. If you want to shrink D and extend drive C in Windows 10 Disk Management, it is impossible.
Only NTFS partition is supported, so you cannot extend other types of partitions including the common FAT32 partition.
Free space in Logical partition cannot be extended to Primary partition.
If you fresh install the latest Windows 10, hard disk drive will be formatted as GPT, but if you upgrade from old versions, the hard disk keeps as MBR. When extending hard drive in MBR disk, there is another limitation: free space that is deleted from Logical partition cannot be extended to any Primary partitions, even if the free space is adjacent and on the right side. Unallocated space deleted from Primary partition can’t be extended to any Logical partitions, too. (learn more)
If the partition that you want to expand is NTFS and there is adjacent Unallocated space at the right side, you can extend this hard drive easily with Extend Volume in Windows 10 Disk Management.
Steps to extend hard drive with Windows 10 Disk Management:
1. Right click on bottom left corner of the screen and then select Disk Management.
2. Right click the drive that you want to extend and then select Extend Volume.
3. Extend Volume Wizard will be launched, simply click Next to continue.
4. Available disk and space is selected by default, click Next to continue.
5. Click Finish to confirm and start.
In a short while, drive D is extended to 50GB.
Extend hard drive with software
Windows 10 Disk Management can only help you extend NTFS hard drive by deleting the adjacent partition. Obviously, this destructive way is not suggested.
With 3rd-party disk partition software, you can extend hard drive in Windows 10 without deleting other drives. You can transfer free space from any other drives in the same disk, and everything keeps the same. However, NOT all partitioning software can accomplish this task well.
Take care of data
Disk Management has so many limitations, but it is safe in most cases. When using third party software, you should take care of your data.
When shrinking and extending hard drives, the parameters of related disk, partitions and files should be modified correctly. Furthermore, the system info should be updated, too. Any error could cause system damage, partition and files corruption. It is important to back up and use safe partitioning software.
Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has 1 Second Rollback technology to protect system and data. It automatically reverts the computer to original status in a flash if any software error or hardware issue occur. In addition, it has Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-will technology to avoid wrong operations. Because of its advanced file-moving algorithm, it is also much faster to extend hard disk drive in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP.
Steps to extend hard drive on Windows 10 with NIUBI:
Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click D drive and select “Resize/Move Volume”.
Drag the left border rightwards to shrink it.
Unallocated space is generated on the left side.
Right click C drive and select “Resize/Move Volume” again, drag the right border rightwards to hold the Unallocated space.
C drive is extended to 94.65GB, click Apply to execute, done.
If there is not plenty of free space in the adjacent drive, you can get free space from any other partitions in the same disk. If there is no other partition or not enough free space in all partitions, you can clone this disk to another larger one, and then extend hard drive with extra disk space in the larger disk.
It is not an easy task for many people to extend hard drive on Windows 10 laptop or desktop. The build-in Disk Management is useless in most cases. NIUBI Partition Editor provides several ways to protect system and data, several ways to extend hard disk drive with few steps.