How to decrease partition with Windows 10 Shrink Volume function?

Published on: May 17, 2019

This article introduces how to decrease partition size with Windows 10 Shrink Volume functionality. Guide to shrink partition volume on Windows 10 32 and 64 bit.

How to run Windows 10 Shrink Volume

Sometimes you need to shrink partition especially to the brand new OEM computer, which created only one or two volumes in a disk. By shrinking volume, you can decrease partition size without losing data to create new partitions.

After running a Windows 10 desktop or laptop for a period of time, one of the partitions run out of free space, then you may consider shrinking other volume to expand this partition. So, you can solve this problem fast without wasting a long time to reinstall Operating System and programs, or restoring from backup.

To help accomplish this task, Windows 10 has native Shrink Volume functionality in Disk Management. It is easy to use, but because of some limitations, it cannot shrink volume or help extend other partition.

Steps to shrink volume in Windows 10 Disk Management:

  1. Press Windows and X on the keyboard, and then select Disk Management.
  2. Right click the partition that you want to decrease and select Shrink Volume.
  3. Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB (1GB=1024MB), and then click Shrink to proceed.

If this hard disk is GPT style, the EFI and System Reserved partition cannot be shrank.

Shrink Volume

Limitations of Shrink Volume

Windows 10 Shrink Volume function can only decrease a partition towards left and generate Unallocated space on its right side. The serious issue is, this Unallocated space can't be combined to its right partition or any non-adjacent partitions. That means, 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.

Other limitations includes:

Better option to shrink partition with software

Comparing with the Windows 10 built-in tool, third party free partition software is much more powerful. When shrinking a partition, NIUBI Partition Editor can:

For example how to shrink volume (D) in Windows 10:

Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click drive D and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag either border towards the other side, then it will be shrank.

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

Shrink D

Unallocated space will be produced on the left side.

Shrink D rightwards

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

Shrink D

Unallocated space will be produced on the right side.

Shrink D lefttwards

If you want to create new partition, right click the Unallocated space and select "Create Volume".

If you want to expand C or E drive, right click it and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag the border to combine the Unallocated space.

Besides creating, resizing and moving partition, NIUBI Partition Editor Free help you extend, merge, copy, convert, defrag, wipe, check, hide, scan partition, etc. It is 100% clean and free for home users.