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

by John, Updated on: October 16, 2021

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 waste a long time to recreate partitions and reinstalling operating system and all programs. 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 partition software.

1. How to extend C drive with adjacent partition D

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

In most of computers, there's free space in the contiguous partition D (or E). You may either delete or shrink this partition 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 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 a contiguous partition (such as D:) on the right of C drive, you must delete this partition to get adjacent Unallocated space.
  2. The right contiguous D: drive must be a Primary partition.
  3. There are no programs installed in the contiguous partition.

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 software, NIUBI Partition Editor has unique 1-Second Rollback, Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies to protect system and data. In addition, it is much faster because of the special file-moving algorithm.

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. All you need to do is clicking, drag and drop on the disk map.

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 (without deleting volume):

  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.

2. How to extend C drive with nonadjacent partition

In some computers, there's not enough free space in the adjacent partition. In that case, you can shrink any nonadjacent partition on the same disk to get Unallocated space. The steps are similar but there's an additional step to move Unallocated space next to C drive before extending.

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

  1. Shrink the nonadjacent volume (here is E:) and make Unallocated space on the left (similar with step 1 above).
  2. Right click the middle partition D and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag the middle block towards right in the pop-up window. Then Unallocated space will be moved to the left of D drive.
  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 or no available free space on the system disk, you cannot add space from a partition on a separate disk. In that case, you can clone the system disk to a larger one and extend C drive with extra disk space, follow the steps in the video:

Windows 11

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.