Windows 10 Disk Management tool

Updated on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces what Windows 10 Disk Management is, how to run, what does it do, advantages and shortages comparing with other partition manager.

What is Windows 10 Disk Management

Disk Management is a Microsoft Windows built-in utility first introduced in Windows XP. It has same ability with Diskpart command but work with a graphical interface.

It displays all connecting hard disk with layout on bottom, it also lists all single partitions on the top followed by the type, file system, status, capacity, free space, usage percentage, etc.

It enables users to view and manage the disk drives installed in their computer and the partitions associated with those drives. Windows Vista improved the ability by adding new Shrink and Extend Volume function.

Windows 10 Disk Management is inherited from this version, all functions and interface keep the same, no further improvement for so many years.

Disk Management

How to open Windows 10 Disk Management:

What does Windows 10 Disk Management do

The same with other Windows built-in utilities, Disk Management can do some basic operations, but it is not excellent comparing with third party disk partition software.

There is a list what does Windows 10 Disk Management do.

To a brand new hard disk:

Online, offline and initialize. Hard disk must be online and initialized before creating new volume. When initialize disk, you can select partition style as MBR or GPT.

Initialize disk

To Unallocated space:

Create one or more new volumes.

To a disk with volume:

Convert basic disk to Dynamic disk.

To a disk without any volume:

Convert MBR disk to GPT and vice versa, convert basic disk to Dynamic disk and vice versa.

To an allocated partition:

Disk Management

  • Open root directory with File Explorer
  • Mark partition as Active
  • Change drive letter and path
  • Format partition
  • Shrink volume and make Unallocated space on the right.
  • Extend volume with Unallocated space behind it.
  • Delete partition
  • Add mirror

If you select Add Mirror, both disks will be converted to dynamic.


To dynamic disks:

Dynamic disk

Disk Management can create Simple, Mirrored, Spanned, Stripped and RAID-5 volume.

To create RAID 5 volume, there must be at least 3 dynamic disks. There are only two in my computer, so this option is grayed out.

Though Windows Disk Management has this ability, but it is not suggested to use dynamic disk volumes, because:

It uses much resources of this computer and degrade performance.

Price of hard disks and other hardware devices are much lower, you'd better build hardware RAID arrays. The benefits of mirror, faster read and write, fault-tolerant, etc. are not achieved by Operating System but RAID controller.

Advantages of Disk Management

Comparing with free partition software, Windows 10 Disk Management has the ability to create and manage dynamic disk volumes. However, as I explained above, dynamic disk volumes has no much sense nowadays.

Another "real" advantage is that Shrink Volume function can shrink a partition without rebooting computer. It is important to a server, but to a personal computer, rebooting is usually not a problem.

Shortages of Disk Management

Anything Windows 10 Disk Management cannot do could be shortage, but to most of Windows 10 computer users, the common operations are creating, deleting, formatting, shrinking, extending, moving and converting partitions.

Windows 10 Disk Management can create, delete and format partition, but it cannot move or convert disk partition without losing data.

About shrinking and extending partition, it has Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions, but there are still shortages such as:

With free partition manager software such as NIUBI Partition Editor, you can drag the border towards the other side to shrink a volume and make Unallocated space on either side, or combine any adjacent Unallocated space. Drag the middle position to the other side, you can move partition and Unallocated space. Learn how to repartition hard drive on Windows 10.

Download it and you'll see the main window.

Partition Editor Free

Single partitions are listed on top right with detailed parameters. All hard disk are displayed on bottom right with partition layout. Available operations to highlighted disk or partition are listed on the left.

Comparing with other free and commercial partitioning software, NIUBI Partition Editor has advantages such as: