How to resize partition

How to resize partition in Windows PC

Low disk space issue is very common in all Windows Operating System, especially for the computer with a small hard disk or system C drive. It is headache for many personal computer users, because few people know how to fix this issue. Actually, you can resize the partitioned drive without reinstalling Operating System or recreating volumes. Disk partition resizing means change size of the existing volume keeping everything intact. In this article, I’ll show you how to resize volume in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP (both 32 and 64 bit).

How to resize partition

How to resize disk partition with Windows tool

Windows provides built-in utilities to resize volume, however, they can only shrink a separate drive, or extend a drive with adjacent Unallocated space. Because of the limitations, they are not the best choice to resize partitions. The typical example is that you cannot expand C drive by shrinking the adjacent drive D.

If you just want to simply decrease or increase space a disk drive, follow the steps below, otherwise (such as shrink D to extend C) jump to the guide of resizing partition with software.

Resize volume in Windows 10/8/7/Vista

From Windows Vista, Microsoft added advanced Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functionalities to resize volume in Disk Management snap-in. Windows 7, 8, 10 inherited these functionalities and the GUI and steps are exactly the same. So follow the steps below to resize partition in Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista (valid for 32 and 64 bit).

1. How to shrink a volume:

Step 1. Right click Windows flag on bottom left corner and select Disk Management.

Step 2. Right click the volume that you want to decrease and select Shrink Volume.

Shrink volume

Step 3. In the pop-up window, enter the amount of space to shrink, and then click Shrink to execute.

Input size

In a while, volume D was resized to 65.46GB and other free space converted to Unallocated.

Partition resized

Note: if you can only shrink little free space, refer to the guide why cannot shrink volume C.

2. How to extend a volume

Note: only when there is adjacent Unallocated on the right side, you can resize a drive with Extend Volume function, otherwise, Extend Volume is disabled. As you see in the screenshot below, when you right click C drive, Extend Volume is greyed out.

Extend greyed out

You can only extend volume D in this disk partition layout, steps:

  1. Right click D and select Extend Volume.
  2. Simply click Next in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.
  3. Confirm the operation and click “Finish” to proceed.

If you want to delete volume D to get Unallocated space and then add into C drive, I suggest NOT, because all Windows services and programs in D stop working after deleting. In addition, if drive D is a Logical partition, you cannot get Unallocated space by simply deleting, learn why you cannot extend volume.

Resize partition in Windows XP

In Windows XP, there is no Shrink Volume or Extend Volume integrated in Disk Management, however, there is still a choice – DiskPart command prompt.

DiskPart cmd is more difficult to use, you cannot shrink a volume, in addition, you can only extend a non-system drive in Windows. The steps below just show you how to expand C drive with diskpart from bootable CD. Do not do this until you understand and confirm.

  1. Backup or transfer all files in the volume that is behind C, usually D.
  2. Right click My Computer > Manage > Storage > Disk Management, delete the volume D.
  3. Boot from Windows installation CD to run command prompt, type diskpart.exe.
  4. Type “list volume” to display the existing volumes in this computer.
  5. Type “select volume X”, X is the number or drive letter of the partition that you want to extend.
  6. Type extend

If you are interested with this tool, learn detailed steps to resize volume with diskpart cmd.

How to resize volume with free partition software

It is much easier to resize disk drive with 3rd-party software and there are no such limitations. You can resize partition in Windows 7, 8, 10 and XP, Vista with free partition software.

There is risk of losing data while resizing partition, because all parameters of related disk, partition and files should be modified correctly. Otherwise, it will cause system/partition damage and data loss. Actually, besides software related error, hardware issue such as power failure also corrupt your system and data. So you’d better select a safe tool to complete this task.

Luckily, there is one Windows partition manager that can ensure 100% data safety – NIUBI Partition Editor. It is integrated unique 1 Second Rollback technology, which can automatically roll back the computer to the status before resizing in ONE second, if any software or hardware issue occur. This is the main reason why I recommend it.

Video guide to resize partition and extend C drive

This free partition manager is compatible with Windows XP to Windows 10 all editions. GUI and steps are the same in these PC platform, so follow the steps in the video:

Compare with Windows and 3rd-party tool

Windows built-in Disk Management is very weak to resize volume or manage disk partitions, but a professional partition manager software is very helpful for your computer maintenance.

FeaturesNIUBI Partition Editor FreeWindows 10, 7, Vista Disk ManagementWindows XP Disk Management
Create, delete, format partitionYesYesYes
Change drive letter YesYesYes
Extend NTFS partitionYesYesNo
Shrink NTFS partitionYesYesNo
Extend/Shrink FAT partitionYesNoNo
Resize, move partitionYesNoNo
Copy, convert, defrag, wipe, hide, set Active partitionYesNoNo
Check volume, scan bad sectors, change disk status, set read-only attribute…Learn MoreYesNoNo

NIUBI Partition Editor Free Edition is 100% free for home users, 100% clean without any ads or plugins. Download