How to Make C: Drive Bigger Without Losing OS/Programs

by Jordan, Updated on: May 26, 2022

Recently some Windows 11 users ask me whether it is possible to make C drive bigger without reinstalling Windows and programs, because C drive runs out of space. The answer is yes. To make C drive larger in Windows server and PC, you may either use Windows native Disk Management or third party software. Disk Management only works under restricted condition. In this article, I'll introduce how to make system C drive bigger with both kinds of tools.

Applies to: Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 (R2), Small Business Server 2011, Windows Server 2008 (R2) and Windows Server 2003 (R2).

Make C drive larger with Windows Disk Management

Some people don't like to use third party software, in that case, Windows native Disk Management is an option. However, your disk partition configuration must meet the requirements below:

  1. There must be a adjacent partition on the right side of C drive.
  2. This right contiguous partition (such as D:) must be Primary.
  3. You did not install programs in D: drive, so you can delete it.
  4. There's a third partition to save all files in D drive before deleting it.

How to make C drive bigger in Windows 11/10/8/7 and Server 2008 to 2022:

  1. Press Windows and R on your keyboard to open Run, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.
  2. Right click D: drive and select Delete Volume, then it will be changed to Unallocated space.
  3. Right click C: drive and select Extend Volume.
  4. Click Next till Finish in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window, then Unallocated space will be added into C drive.

The method above is invalid for Windows XP and Server 2003, because there's no "Extend Volume" function in Disk Management. Although there's "Shrink Volume" function in other higher versions, Disk Management still cannot extend C drive by shrinking D or other volume.

Make system C drive bigger with free partition editor

Comparing with Windows native tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has more advantages when resizing partitions:

To make C drive bigger in Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP, NIUBI Partition Editor has free edition to help you. To make C drive larger in Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019/2022, you need Server or higher edition. Better than other tools, NIUBI has innovative technologies to protect system and data.

Steps to make C drive larger in Windows Server/PC with NIUBI Partition Editor:
  1. Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click the adjacent partition D and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag left border towards right in the pop-up window, or enter an amount in the box of Unallocated space before. Then drive D will be shrunk and Unallocated space will be made on the left.
  2. Right click C: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag right border towards right in the pop-up window, then Unallocated space will be combined to C drive.
  3. Click Apply on top left to execute, done.

If you want to shrink a nonadjacent partition (such as E:), there's an additional step to move partition D before adding Unallocated space to C drive.

Video guide to make C drive bigger without losing data:

Video guide

Make C drive partition bigger with another hard disk

In few computers, there's no other data volume or not enough free space on the same disk. In that case:

Then you can increase C drive space with additional disk space. Besides shrinking and extending partitions, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk/partition management operations.