How to shrink partition in Windows 10/8/7

by John, Updated on: September 1, 2020

This article introduces how to shrink partition in Windows 10/8/7 (32/64 bit) without losing data. Shrink volume with Disk Management and free partition editor.

No matter you installing Windows Operating System by yourself or get the computer from OEM manufacturer, hard drive partitions are allocated. Is it possible to shrink partition in Windows 10/8/7 without losing data? Two common reasons why shrinking allocated partition:

If you want to shrink a partition to create more, you may try Windows native Disk Management or diskpart command line tool. If you want to shrink partition to extend C drive, these native tools cannot help you. In article, I'll show you detailed steps how to shrink partition/volume in Windows 10/8/7 without losing data.

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 in Disk Management tool, but can only shrink part of partitions without losing data. Windows 10/8 inherited the same function without improvement, so many people encountered issue while shrinking and extending partitions.

Firstly, let's how it works and then I'll talk about the shortages.

How to shrink partition in Windows 10/8/7 with Disk Management:

  1. Press Windows and R together on the keyboard, input diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.
  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.

Shrink partition DM

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

Although Diskpart works in different way, it has same shortages with Disk Management while shrinking partition in Windows 10/8/7:

  1. Only NTFS partition is supported, FAT32 and any other types of partitions can't be shrunk or extended.
  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. Unallocated space that shrunk from a partition can't be extended to other partitions.

To shrink volume in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP, third party software is better choice. Comparing with Windows native tools, disk partition software 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.

However, 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 unique 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 to a selected disk or partition are listed on the left, unavailable operations are hidden automatically to keep clean.

Main window

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

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. Follow the steps to shrink and extend partition with NIUBI.

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 first. Because of the powerful data protection and fast file moving ability, NIUBI Partition Editor is recommended. 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.