Extend Volume disabled

How to enable extend volume option in disk management?

In Windows XP and Server 2003, if a data volume or the system C drive is running out of space, you have to reinstall Operating System and recreate volumes, because the partitioned drive cannot be resized. From Windows Vista, Microsoft adds Shrink Volume and Extend Volume to change size of existing volumes directly. It is a good start to enhance the Disk Management ability. However many computer users feedback that Extend Volume grayed out after shrinking volume D, so they cannot extend C drive. In this article I’ll show you why Extend Volume is disabled for C drive and how to enable Extend Volume in Disk Management.

Extend Volume disabled

Why Extend Volume is disabled in Disk Management?

There could be 3 reasons why Extend Volume is disabled:

  1. The volume you want to extend is FAT32. Only NTFS or RAW partition can be extended. Actually, because of maximum 4 GB file and other limitations, few people use FAT32 as the File System for local disk partitions.
  2. There is no Unallocated space. Before extending a drive, you must shrink or delete other drive to get Unallocated space.
  3. Unallocated space is not adjacent to the volume that you want to expand. This is the most common reason. After shrinking the adjacent volume D, the Unallocated space is behind D rather than C. From the explanation of Microsoft, to expand a drive with Extend Volume function, the Unallocated space should be adjacent and on the right side of the drive that you want to extend.

Extend volume greyed out

Enable Extend Volume in Disk Management without program

To enable Extend Volume option in either Windows Server or PC, there are two choices: Disk Management snap-in and 3rd-party program.

If you can delete the adjacent volume, disk space of this volume will be converted to Unallocated and then Extend Volume is enabled. However, the destructive way is not suggested, especially for extending the system C drive. All Windows services and programs running from the adjacent volume such as D stop working after deleting. In addition, it cause losing data if you forget to back up or transfer files.

Note: the steps below are only used to show you how to enable Extend Volume by deleting volume. Do not do this if you cannot delete this volume.

  1. Back up or transfer all files in the adjacent volume.
  2. Open Disk Management, right click this volume and select Delete Volume.
  3. Right click C drive or other volume that you want to expand and then select “Extend Volume“.
  4. Finish the Extend Volume Wizard.

It is easy and fast to complete extending, however as I said above this operation is not suggested. With partition software, you can enable Extend Volume function without deleting other volume.

1 step to enable Extend Volume option non-destructively

Actually, it is also very easy and fast to solve this problem with partition software such as NIUBI Partition Editor. You just need 1 step to move partition. That is to say, move the adjacent volume such as D rightwards and then the Unallocated space will be moved to behind C drive, Extend Volume will be enabled immediately.

Move volume

Enable Extend Volume in Windows 10/8/7/Vista

In Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista both 32 and 64 bit, you can complete this task easily with free partition software. Step:

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and you’ll see the disk partition layout with is the same with Disk Management. Right click volume D and select “Resize/Move Volume“:

Move volume

In the pop-up window you’ll see volume D and the Unallocated space:

Original layout

Drag the middle position rightwards to move it:

Move volume

Volume D will be moved to the right side:

Move Unallocated space

Click OK and back to the main window, as you see, the Unallocated space is behind C drive.

Unallocated space moved

Extend Volume is enabled for C drive now, you may either extend C drive in Disk Management or with this free partition software.

Right click C drive and select “Resize/Move Volume” again, drag the right border rightwards to combine the Unallocated space in the pop-up window:

Extend C drive

Enable Extend Volume in Windows Server 2016/2012/2008

The step to activate Extend Volume in Windows Server is absolutely the same, however, all server partition software are commercial. Among these tools, NIUBI Partition Editor is the only one that can ensure 100% data safe. The unique 1 Second Rollback technology can automatically roll back the server to the status before resizing in ONE second if any software or hardware issue occur.

NIUBI Partition Editor