Many people ask whether it is possible to transfer or move space from D: to C drive, because C: drive is running out of space. Low disk space is common issue in both Windows PC and server. When it happens, nobody likes to reinstall Windows/programs, or waste a long time to recreate partitions and restore everything from backup. Then is it possible to move free space from D drive to C drive without losing data? The answer is yes. In this article, I'll show you detailed step with Windows native tool and best partition software.
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).
How to move disk space from D to C drive with Disk Management
From Windows 7, Microsoft added Shrink and Extend Volume functions in Disk Management to help change size of allocated partition. However, they can only help you shrink a NTFS partition to create new volume, or extend a NTFS partition by deleting the contiguous partition on the right. If you want to shrink D to extend C drive, Disk Management cannot help you, so you have to run third party software.
Steps to move space from D to C drive in Windows Disk Management without software:
- Move all files in drive D to other place (Note: D must be the contiguous partition on the right of C drive).
- Press Windows and R together on your keyboard, input diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.
- Right click D drive and select Delete Volume, then its disk space will be changed to Unallocated. (If it shows as Free, this method is invalid.)
- Right click C drive and select Extend Volume, click Next till Finish in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.
Do not delete D if you installed programs in it.
- If you use Windows XP or Server 2003, the method above is invalid, because there's no Shrink and Extend Volume functions built in Disk Management.
- If D is a Logical drive, its space will be changed to Free after deleting. In that case, you still cannot extend C drive after deleting D, no matter which Windows version you have.
How to move space from D drive to C drive with partition editor
To move free space from D to C drive, NIUBI Partition Editor is better choice, because it can shrink partition and make Unallocated space on the left. Therefore, you can transfer space from D to C drive without deleting partition. Operating system, programs and anything else keeps the same with before. To move space from D to C in Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP, NIUBI has free edition for home computer users. If you want to move space from D to C drive in Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019/2022, the steps are the same, but you need Server or higher edition.
How to move free space from D to C drive in Windows Server and PC:
- Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click D: drive 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 D drive will be shrunk and Unallocated space will be made on the left side.
- 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 moved into C drive.
- Click Apply on top left to execute.
- To avoid mistake, all operations only work in virtual mode before clicking Apply.
- The pending operations that are marked as can be done in Windows without reboot.
- If you want to move free space to C drive from E (non adjacent volume), there's an additional step to move partition D.
- If you use any types of hardware RAID array or VMware/Hyper-V virtual machine, there's no difference to move space from D to C.
Video guide to move space to C drive from D or E on the same disk:
Can't move free/Unallocated space from one disk to another
If drive C and D are on different disk, no software can move free space from D to C, because the size of a physical hard disk is fixed. In this case, you need to copy this disk to another larger one and expand C drive with extra disk space.
To any data volume, you can copy it to other disk easily, but to system C drive, it doesn't work if you copy single partition, instead, you need to copy entire disk.
Follow the steps in the video to expand C drive (and other data volume) with another larger disk:
Take care of data when moving space from one partition to another
There's potential data loss risk no matter you use Windows native tool or third party software, so you'd better back up in advance. Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has innovative 1 Second Rollback, Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies to protect your system and data. In addition, it is much faster because of its advanced file-moving algorithm. This is very useful to save time, especially to a server when there are larger amount of files in D drive. Besides shrinking, moving and extending partitions, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you merge, copy, convert, defrag, wipe, hide partition, scan bad sectors, optimize file system and much more.