This article introduces how to merge two partitions in Windows 10/8/7 (32/64 bit) with native Disk Management or third party partition editor.
Merging partitions means combine 2 partitions/volumes into a larger one. Two typical example why merging partitions in Windows 10/8/7: 1, system C drive runs out of space, by combining it with another partition you can increase C drive free space. 2, there are too many volumes causing it difficult to locate partition and the files you need. In this article, I'll introduce detailed steps to merge partitions in Windows 10/8/7 without losing data.
2 ways to merge partitions in Windows 10/8/7
To combine Windows 10 volumes, there are two choices: native Disk Management utility and 3rd-party partition software. Disk Management is a built-in component of all Windows Operating System, which can do some basic management operations such as create, delete and format volume. In Windows 7 Disk Management, new Shrink and Extend Volume functions are added to help change partition size without losing data (in most cases).
Windows 8 and 10 inherited the same functions without any improvements. There's no Merge Volumes built in Disk Management, Merging partitions is realized by the Extend Volume indirectly.
To combine 2 partitions in Windows 10/8/7 Disk Management, your disk partition configuration must meet all requirements below:
- Both volumes are the same Primary partition or Logical drive.
- Both partitions are on the same disk.
- The destination partition must be formatted with NTFS file system.
Other shortages while merging partitions with Disk Management:
- It cannot merge 2 non-adjacent partitions.
- It can only merge a volume into the left contiguous one, for example: merge drive D into C, or merge drive E to D.
With partition editor software, there are no such restrictions to merge partitions in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP.
① Combine partitions in Windows 10 Disk Management
When merging 2 partitions with Disk Management, the right contiguous partition will be deleted. Remember to back up or transfer files in this partition before deleting.
Steps to merge partitions in Windows 10/8/7 Disk Management:
- Press Windows and R on the keyboard, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management (Press Windows and X on Windows 10).
- Right click D: drive and select Delete Volume, then its disk space will be converted to Unallocated.
- Right click C: drive and select Extend Volume.
- Click Next till Finish on the pop-up dialog boxes.
In a short time, original drive D is merged into C drive.
② How to merge partitions with NIUBI partition editor free
Better than Disk Management, third party software can merge two partitions without so many restrictions. Among these software, NIUBI Partition Editor has unique 1-Second Rollback, Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies to protect your system and data, so it is recommended to accomplish this task. To combine partitions, only several clicks are needed. In addition, all files will be moved to a folder in root directory of the destination partition automatically. It has free edition for Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP home users.
Steps to merge partitions in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP with NIUBI Partition Editor:
Step 1: Download the free edition, right click either partition that you want to combine together and select "Merge Volume".
Step 2: In the pop-up window, click the check-boxes of both partitions and then click OK.
When you merge two data volumes, you can select either as destination in the drop-down box. But when merging C and D drives, you can only select C as destination, because system partition can't be removed. So, merging system partition C: to data volume (D:) is disabled.
Step 3: Press Apply button on top left to execute. (Real disk partitions won't be changed until you click Apply to confirm).
After merging volumes complete, open C drive in Windows Files Explorer and then you'll see a fold that that is named as D to C(date and time). All files of D will be moved to this folder automatically.
Watch the video how to combine partitions in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP (32 and 64 bit):
Disadvantage of merging 2 partitions together
One of the partitions will be deleted no matter which tool you use, it doesn't matter if you want to combine two data drives. But if you want to extend C drive by merging D, it is not suggested, because:
- You'll lose data if you forget to back up or transfer before deleting partition (with Disk Management).
- All Windows services, application, shortcuts that point to drive D will stop working after deleting.
- In some particular condition, you still cannot extend C drive after deleting D.
The best idea is shrinking D drive instead. Part of free unused space in it will be converted to Unallocated, then combine this Unallocated space into C drive. In this way, nothing will be changed except partition size.
Follow the steps to expand C drive by shrinking other partitions:
Merge partitions on disk 0 and disk 1 (separate disk)
If you want to merge a data volume in Disk 1 to system C drive in Disk 0, no partitioning software can do this. If there is not enough free space on the same disk, you have two choices:
- Move a data partition in Disk 0 to another disk, then delete it and add space to C drive.
- Copy entire system disk to another larger one.
Besides merging partitions in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP, NIUBI Partition Editor Free Edition helps you do many other operations such as shrink, extend, convert, defrag, hide, wipe, scan bad sectors. It is the same with Professional Edition except lacking of 1-Second Rollback technology and bootable media builder.