This article introduces how to shrink disk partition on Windows 10 (32/64 bit) without losing data. Drag and drop to shrink hard drive with free partition editor software.
Shrink partition with Windows 10 Disk Management
Two common scenarios why you need to shrink partition for your Windows 10 desktop or laptop:
- Forget to create more volume when installing Operating System, so you got a single C drive besides the system reserved partitions. Many OEM computers have only 1 or 2 volumes in a hard disk.
- After running the computer for a period of time, some partitions are running out of space.
About the first issue, you can shrink the allocated partition to get Unallocated space, and then create more partitions without wasting a long time to reinstall Operating System. About the second issue, you can shrink hard drives with plenty of free space, and then combine the Unallocated space to the drives that are running low.
Windows 10 (32/64 bit) has native Shrink Volume functionality in Disk Management, which can decrease partition size on the fly, fast and easily. It can help you well if you just want to create new volume, but because of some limitations, it can't help you shrink a partition to expand other one.
Steps to shrink partition with Windows 10 Disk Management:
- Press Windows and X on the keyboard, and then select Disk Management.
- Right click the partition that you want to decrease and select Shrink Volume.
- Click Shrink to proceed with default maximum space or enter an amount in MB (1024MB=1GB) manually.
If this disk is GPT style, the EFI and System Reserved partition cannot be resized.
Shrink hard drive with partition editor
In fact, Windows 10 Shrink Volume function can only shrink disk partition towards left and generate Unallocated space on its right side. In addition, only NTFS and RAW partition are supported. Other common issue include:
- If the amount of free space changed before you clicking Shrink button, you may receive the error of "not enough free space".
- You can only shrink little space if there are unmovable files located in the partition that you want to shrink.
- Unallocated space shrank from a partition can't be combined to other partitions with Extend Volume function. In other words, if you want to shrink C drive to expand D, or shrink D to expand C or E drive, it is impossible with Disk Management tool.
To shrink partition in Windows 10, free partition editor software is better choice. You just need to drag and drop on the disk map to shrink, extend or move and merge partitions.
Download NIUBI Partition Editor Free, you'll see detailed disk partition info on the right and available operations on the left.
Unavailable operations to the highlighted volume are hidden automatically, so it always looks clean and simple.
How to shrink partition in Windows 10
For example: if you want to shrink volume D, right click it and select "Resize/Move Volume" feature. You have two options in the pop-up window.
If you drag left border towards right in the pop-up window,
Unallocated space will be produced on the left side.
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 how to extend partition in Windows 10.
It is easy to shrink disk partition in Windows 10 with either native Disk Management or free partition editor software. Obviously, NIUBI Partition Editor is much more powerful, it also helps you do many other operations.