How to Extend C: Drive in Windows 11 Without Losing Data

by John, Updated on: April 21, 2022

After running Windows 11 laptop, desktop or tablet computer for a period of time, many people encounter a problem that C: drive is getting full. In this situation, nobody likes to reinstall operating system and all programs. It also wastes a long time to recreate partitions and restore everything from backup. Many people ask whether it's possible to extend C drive in Windows 11 without losing data. The answer is yes. In this article, I'll introduce how to extend C drive partition in Windows 11 desktop/laptop/tablet with free tools.

To extend C: drive in Windows 11 computer, there are several ways. Select the corresponding method according to your own disk partition configuration.

1. How to extend C drive in Windows 11 without software

In most of computers, there's free space in other partitions on the same disk. You may either delete or shrink these partitions to get Unallocated space, and then add space to C drive. If you don't want to use any third party software, you may try Windows 11 native Disk Management tool. But to extend C drive with Windows 11 Disk Management, your disk partition configuration must meet all requirements below:

  1. There's enough free space in the contiguous partition (such as D:) and you must delete it to get adjacent Unallocated space on the right of C drive.
  2. The right contiguous D: drive must be a Primary partition.
  3. There are no programs installed in the contiguous partition (D).

Only when your disk partition configuration meets the requires above and you can delete partition, you may try Disk Management. Otherwise, jump to the next section.

How to extend C drive in Windows 11 with native Disk Management:

  1. Press Windows + X keys together and click Disk Management in the list.
  2. Right click the contiguous partition D and select "Delete Volume" option.
  3. Right click C: drive and select "Extend Volume" option, follow up the Extend Volume Wizard via several clicks.

If your disk partition configuration doesn't meet the requirements or if you don't want to delete any partition, there's free disk partition software to help you increase C drive space in Windows 11 computer. Better than other free and commercial programs, NIUBI Partition Editor has unique 1-Second Rollback, Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies to protect system and data. In addition, it is 30% to 300% faster because of the special file-moving algorithm.

2. How to enlarge C drive in Windows 11 with free software

NIUBI Partition Editor has free edition for Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP home computer user. To extend C drive in Windows 11 computer with NIUBI, you can shrink D drive and make Unallocated space on the left, then C drive can be extended fast and easily. Operating System, programs and anything else keep the same with before. If there's not enough free space in the adjacent partition (D), you can shrink a nonadjacent partition to expand C drive.

Download NIUBI free edition, you'll see all storage devices with partition structure and other information on the main window. In my computer, there are C, D, E and several small partitions on Disk 0.

NIUBI Partition Editor

How to extend C drive in Windows 11 with NIUBI Partition Editor free edition:

  1. Right click the adjacent partition (here is D:) and select "Resize/Move Volume" option. In the pop-up window, drag the left border towards right, or enter an amount directly in the box of "Unallocated space before".
    Shrink partition D
  2. Right click C: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume" option again, drag the right border towards right to merge this Unallocated space.
    Extend C drive
  3. Click Apply on top left to execute, done.

How to extend C drive with nonadjacent partition

As I said above, if there's not enough free space in the adjacent partition D, you can shrink a non adjacent partition on the same disk. The steps are similar but there's an additional step to move the middle partition(s). If there's only C drive or no available free space on the system disk, no software can move free space from another disk. If your disk is like this, jump to the last section.

Steps to expand C drive in Windows 11 with nonadjacent partition:

  1. Run NIUBI Partition Editor to shrink the nonadjacent volume (here is E:) and make Unallocated space on the left (similar with step 1 above).
  2. Right click the partition in the middle (here is D:) and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag the middle of D drive towards right in the pop-up window. Then Unallocated space will be moved to the left.
  3. Extend C drive with Unallocated space (the same with step 2 above).
  4. Click Apply to take effect of the changes.

Watch the video how to extend C drive in Windows 11 laptop/desktop/tablet:

Windows 11

3. How to increase C drive space with a larger disk

If there's only C drive on the system disk, you can clone this disk to a larger one and extend C drive with extra disk space. Watch the video how to operate.

Windows 11

If there are other partitions on the system disk and you don't want to copy disk, you can move one of the data partition to another disk, delete this partition and add its space to C drive.

Besides extending C drive in Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP computer, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk partition management operations such as merge, convert, defrag, hide, wipe, scan bad sectors, optimize file system and much more.