Shrink partition

How to shrink partition in Windows Server 2019?

All disk partitions are allocated while installing Operating System, but sometimes you need to shrink the partitioned drive. The typical example is that some people forget to create and edit partition while installing Windows, so all disk space are used by C drive except some small system reserved partitions. What to do in this situation? You can shrink partition in Windows Server 2019 without reinstalling.

Shrink partition

If you want to create more drives to preserve different types of files. You can shrink large disk drive to release Unallocated space, and then you can create new volumes with this space. This article shows to 2 methods to shrink volume on Windows Server 2019.

Shrink partition with Disk Management

Server 2019 Disk Management has built-in Shrink Volume functionality, but because of some limitations, you still need third party server partition software.

It is very easy to shrink volume in Windows Server 2019 Disk Management, follow the steps:

  1. Right click Windows flag on bottom left corner of the screen, and then select Disk Management.Server 2019 disk management
  2. Right click the disk drive that you want to shrink and select Shrink Volume.Shrink Volume Server 2019
  3. Enter the amount of space to shrink.Enter amount

In a short while, this drive (D) is shrank and 20GB Unallocated space is generated on the right side.

Drive D shrank

Limitations of Shrink Volume functionality

Windows Server 2019 native Disk Management has the ability to shrink a partitioned drive, but it has limitations including:

1. Only NTFS partition is supported

Shrink Volume can only shrink NTFS partition, FAT32 and other types of partitions are not supported. When you right click a FAT32 partition, Shrink Volume is greyed out.

Shrink Volume grayed out

2. Only support shrinking towards left

When you shrinking volume with Disk Management, you can only shrink this drive towards left and generate Unallocated space on the right side.

3. Cannot shrink volume beyond limit

Have you noticed the tips in the shrinking window? “You cannot shrink a volume beyond the point where any unmovable files are located.”

Cannot shrink volume

For example: C drive is made up of 4 blocks A, B, C and D. If the unmovable files are located in block C, you cannot shrink volume to block B or A even though there is free space.

C drive block

This is the reason why many people feedback that they cannot shrink volume beyond half limit. They can only shrink little space even though there is plenty of free space in this drive.

Then what are the “unmovable” file included? Page file and very large file such as hibernation, system backup files.

Shrink drive with server partition software

Comparing with Server 2019 built-in Disk Management, NIUBI Partition Editor supports both NTFS and FAT32 partitions. It can generate Unallocated space on either side. Furthermore, it can move the “unmovable” files, so it can shrink disk drive to minimum size.

How to shrink Server 2019 partition with NIUBI Partition Editor:

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and you’ll see the main window. The right side is similar with Disk Management, on the left side it lists the available operations to the selected disk and partition.

Right click the drive that you want to shrink (here is D) and select Resize/Move Volume.

Select drive and feature

In the pop-up window, if you drag the right border towards the left

Shrink drive leftwards

Unallocated space will be generated on the right side.

Partition shrank

If you drag the left border towards the right

Shrink drive rightwards

Unallocated space will be generated on the left side.

Drive D shrank

If you want to extend C drive with the adjacent Unallocated space, right click C and select Resize/Move Volume again. In the pop-up window, drag the right border rightwards.

Extend C drive

Unallocated space will be combined into C drive.

C drive extended


Windows Server 2019 Disk Management can only shrink NTFS partition and generate Unallocated space on the right side. Sometimes you can only shrink little space if there are unmovable files located in this drive. NIUBI Partition Editor has no such limitations. To shrink volume on Windows Server 2019, you just need to drag either border in the pop-up window. Besides shrinking and extending disk partition, it can do many other operations.

Download to try