Reason 1

Extend Volume doesn’t work on Windows PC and Server

This article explains the reasons why Extend Volume doesn’t work in Windows 10/8/7 and Server 2019/2016/2012/2008 (R2) Disk Management, and the corresponding solution to fix this issue.

Windows Server 2008 and the subsequent versions have built-in Extend Volume feature in Disk Management to expand both system volume and data drives. However, many people feedback that “Windows 10 won’t let me extend volume partition“. “When I right click the partition, Extend Volume is gryed out“. This issue is very common on both Windows PCs and Servers. In fact, the very old Windows XP and Server 2003 have the ablity to expand hard drives via DiskPart command prompt, too.

No matter you use DiskPart command or GUI Disk Management, there are same restrictions that leads to Extend Volume doesn’t work. There are 3 most common reasons and I’ll show you one by one.

Reason 1 No adjacent Unallocated space

Extend Volume only works when there is adjacent Unallocated space, in addition, this Unallocated space must be on the right side of the drive that you want to extend.

As we know, there are two ways to get Unallocated space in Disk Management: delete and shrink a volume. If you want to extend C drive by shrinking the adjacent drive (D), it is impossible. Because Shrink Volume feature can only produce Unallocated space on the right side of D when shrinking, but to expand C drive with Extend Volume feature, Unallocated space must be on the right side of C. This is the reason why people feedback that Extend Volume doesn’t work for C drive partition.

To show you this limitation, I shrank drive D on my Windows 10 laptop. As you see, Extend Volume doesn’t work for both drive C and E after shrinking D. (20GB Unallocated space is nonadjacent to drive C and is on the left side of E.)

Extend Volume greyed out

Solution 1 Combine and move Unallocated space with disk partition software. Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video.

Tips NIUBI Partition Editor works in its virtual mode, you can undo and redo the pending operations before clicking Apply to take effect,

Reason 2 FAT32 partition is not supported

In fact, Extend Volume only support NTFS partition, so you cannot extend a volume even if there is adjacent Unallocated space on the right side.

To show you this restriction, I formatted my D drive from NTFS to FAT32, as you see, Extend Volume doesn’t work for D.

Extend Volume disabled

Solution 2 Simply combine or move the Unallocated space with NIUBI Partition Editor.

 Free space in Logical partition can’t be extended to Primary partition

This issue only exists in MBR style disk.

My Windows 10 laptop has GPT disk only, to show you this restriction, I get the screenshot from my old Windows 7 computer. As you see, Extend Volume greyed out for C drive, although I deleted the adjacent drive D.

Free space

Unlike Primary partitions that work as independent unit, Logical Partition is part of the Extended partition. Extended partition works like a container and the disk space will be converted to Free after deleting any Logical partition. To enable Extend Volume for C drive, you need to delete all Logical partitions one by one, and then delete the entire Extended partition.

With NIUBI Partition Editor, you just need to drag and drop on the disk map. When Extend Volume doesn’t work on either Windows PC or Server:

  • If there is adjacent Unallocated space on either side, right click this partition and run “Resize/Move Volume”, drag the border towards other side to combine the Unallocated space.
  • If the Unallocated space is nonadjacent, drag the middle position in the pop-up window to move it.

Move Unallocated

Besides shrinking, moving and extending partition drives, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk and partition management operations.