How to Shrink Partition/Volume in Windows 10/8/7

by John, Updated on: May 15, 2022

Partitions have been allocated by computer manufacturer or by yourself when installing operating system. Many people ask if it is possible to shrink Windows 10 partition without losing data? Nobody likes to reinstall operating system and all programs. Two common reasons why shrinking partition in Windows 10 computer:

If you want to shrink a partition in Windows 10 to create more, you may try Windows native Disk Management or diskpart command line tool. If you want to shrink a partition to extend another one, these native tools cannot help you. You need third party safe partition software. In article, I'll introduce how to shrink partition in Windows 10/8/7 without losing data. Shrink Windows 10 volume with free disk partition tools.

1. How to shrink partition in Windows 10/8/7 without software

In old Windows XP, if you want to decrease a partition, there's a diskpart command tool, but it is difficult to common users. From Windows 7, Microsoft added new Shrink Volume function in another Disk Management tool. Because both native tools cannot change the start position of a volume, many people encountered issue while shrinking partition in Windows 10/8/7 computer.

If you are interested to command line tool, refer how to shrink Windows 10 volume with diskpart cmd.

Steps to shrink partition in Windows 10 with Disk Management tool:

  1. Press Windows + X  hot keys together and click Disk Management in the list.
  2. Right click the partition that you want to decrease and select Shrink Volume.
  3. Click Shrink to proceed with default maximum available space or enter an amount in MB (1024MB=1GB) manually.

In general, this partition can be shrunk in a short time. If you want to shrink partition in Windows 7/8, press Windows and R keys together, input diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management. Other steps are the same with above.

Shrink partition DM

2. Shortages to shrink partition in Windows 10/8/7 with native tools

To shrink volume in Windows 10/8/7 computer, diskpart command tool and Disk Management are not the best tool, because they have the same disadvantages as below:

  1. They can only shrink NTFS partition, FAT32 and any other types of partitions are not supported.
  2. They can only shrink partition towards left and make Unallocated space on the right.
  3. They can only shrink little space if there are unmovable files located in the partition that you want to shrink.
  4. They cannot extend other partition with Unallocated space that shrunk from a volume.

To shrink hard drive partition in Windows 10/8/7, third party software is better choice. Comparing with Windows native tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has more advantages such as:

  1. Support shrinking and extending both NTFS and FAT32 partitions.
  2. Make Unallocated space on either left or right side when shrinking partition.
  3. Shrink partition to minimum size if you want, because they can move the "unmovable" files.
  4. Merge Unallocated space to any contiguous or nonadjacent partition on the same disk.

There's potential data loss risk with unreliable partition software, you'd better make a backup in advance. Better than other software, NIUBI Partition Editor has innovative 1-Second Rollback, Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies to protect system and data. It has free edition for Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP home computer users.

Download NIUBI free edition, you'll see all storage device with partition structure and other information on the right. Available operations are listed on the left and after right clicking.

Main window

3. How to shrink volume in Windows 10/8/7 with free partition editor

To shrink partition in Windows 10/8/7 laptop/desktop, it is very easy, you just need to drag and drop on the disk map. For example: if you want to shrink D: drive, right click it and select "Resize/Move Volume", you have two options in the pop-up window.

If you drag left border towards right in the pop-up window,

Shrink D

Unallocated space is made on the left.

Shrink D rightwards

If you drag right border towards left in the pop-up window,

Shrink D

Unallocated space is made on the right.

Shrink D lefttwards

If you want to create more partitions, right click the Unallocated space and select "Create Volume" feature, there are more options than Disk Management. If you want to extend a partition after shrinking another one, follow the steps in the video.

Video guide

In Summary

To shrink partition in Windows 10/8/7, the native Disk Management and diskpart are not the best tools because of many shortages. Third party software are better choice, but you'd better back up in advance. Because of the powerful data protection technologies and fast file moving ability, NIUBI Partition Editor is the first choice. Besides shrinking volume in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP, it helps you do many other operations such as copy, merge, convert, defrag, hide, wipe partition, scan bad sectors, etc.