How to resize partition in Windows 11 laptop/desktop/tablet

by John, Published on: June 25, 2021

No matter you install Windows 11 by yourself or purchase the computer from a OEM manufacturer, the size of all partitions are allocated. But the scheduled partition size no longer meet the requirements after running the computer for a period of time. The typical example is that C drive is getting full. Many people ask if it's possible to adjust system partition size for Windows 11 computer without reinstalling OS and programs. Also can we resize Windows 11 partition without losing files in it? The answer is yes. In this article, I'll introduce how to resize volume in Windows 11 with native tool and free partition software.

Adjust partition size with Windows 11 Disk Management

The same with previous Windows 10, Windows 11 has a native Disk Management tool. Besides create, delete and format partition, Disk Management can resize allocated partition without losing data (in most cases). However, because of many limitations, Disk Management is not the best tool to resize Windows 11 partition. Actually, Disk Management can only be used to shrink a partition to create more volume, or extend a partition by deleting the right contiguous one. If you want to extend a volume by shrinking another one, Disk Management cannot help you.

How to shrink Windows 11 partition:

  1. Press Windows + X keys together and then click Disk Management.
  2. Right click any NTFS partition and select Shrink Volume.
  3. Enter an amount of space and then click Shrink button. If you don't enter an amount, the maximum available free space will be used by default.

How to extend Windows 11 partition:

  1. Transfer all files in the right contiguous partition (such as D:) to other place.
  2. Right click this partition and select Delete Volume, then the disk space will be changed to Unallocated.
  3. Right click the left contiguous partition (such as C:) and select Extend Volume.
  4. Simply follow up the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard via several clicks.

Some people may ask why not shrinking D to extend C drive, Disk Management cannot do this because of the limitations.

Limitations to resize volume with Windows native tool

Firstly, you should know that Disk Management supports NTFS partition only. FAT32 and any other types of partitions can't be resized. Other limitations of Disk Management to resize partition in Windows 11 include:

  1. It cannot resize partition smaller beyond the point where unmovable files are located.
  2. It can only shrink partition to the left and make Unallocated space on the right.
  3. It can only extend partition when there's contiguous Unallocated space on the right.
  4. It cannot move partition or Unallocated space.
  5. It cannot resize System Reserved, EFI and Recovery partition.

Now let me answer the question why you cannot extend C drive by shrinking D or other partition. When you shrinking D drive with Windows 11 Disk Management, Unallocated space can only be made on the right of D drive. This Unallocated space is nonadjacent to C drive, therefore, Extend Volume function is grayed out.

Resize partition in Windows 11 with free partition software

To resize partition in Windows 11 laptop/desktop/tablet, third party software is better choice. NIUBI Partition Editor has free edition for Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP home computer users. Better than other tools, it has unique 1-Second Rollback, Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies to protect system and data. Because of the special file-moving algorithm, it is much faster to resize disk partition.

Download the free edition, you'll see all storage device with partition layout and other information on the right. Click the front of disk or any single partition, you'll see available operations on the left and by right clicking.

NIUBI Partition Editor

How to resize volume in Windows 11 computer with NIUBI: right click any NTFS and FAT32 partition (here is D:) and select Resize/Move Volume. You have two choices in the pop-up window.

Choice 1: Drag left border towards right, or enter an amount of space in the box of "Unallocated space before".

Shrink partition D

This partition will be shrunk to the right and Unallocated space will be made on the left side.

Choice 2: Drag right border towards left, or enter an amount of space in the box of "Unallocated space after".

Shrink volume D

This partition will be shrunk to the left and Unallocated space will be made on the right side.

After getting Unallocated space, you may either create new volume(s) or combine to another partition. If you want to extend C drive partition, follow Choice 1 to shrink D drive and make Unallocated space on the left. If you want to extend E drive, follow Choice 2 to make Unallocated space on the right of D drive. After that, follow the corresponding method:

To extend C drive: right click it and run Resize/Move Volume again, drag the right border towards right in the pop-up window, then Unallocated space will be combined to C drive.

Extend C drive

To extend E drive: right click it and run Resize/Move Volume again, drag the left border towards left in the pop-up window, then Unallocated space will be combined to E drive.

Extend E drive

If you want to shrink nonadjacent E drive to extend C drive, there's an additional step to move the middle partition D. Watch the video how to resize partition in Windows 11 laptop/desktop/tablet:

Windows 11

Besides resizing partitions in Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP computer, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk partition operations such as move, merge, convert, defrag, hide, wipe, scan bad sectors and much more.

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