This article introduces how to merge partitions in Windows 7 without losing data, combine partitions with Disk Management and NIUBI Partition Editor.
Sometimes you need to merge disk partitions together, for example: there are too many drives causing it difficult to locate the partition and files. Another reason why some people want to merge partitions in Windows 7 is because C drive getting full. By merging drive D to C, there will be more free space in C drive again.
Windows 7 Disk Management has Extend Volume function that is able to help merge partitions partly. If your disk partition configuration meet the requirements, you can combine volumes without software. However, this native tool has limitations so you still need professional partitioning software in many cases.
Merge partitions in Windows 7 without any software
Windows 7 Disk Management has no "Merge Volumes" feature, but you can accomplish with Extend Volume indirectly. For example if you want to merge C and D drive in Windows 7, follow the steps below.
Steps to merge partitions with Windows 7 Disk Management (32 & 64 bit):
- Back up or transfer all files in drive D to other place.
- Press Windows and R together on keyboard, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.
- Right click drive D and select Delete Volume.
- Right click drive C and select Extend Volume, simply click Next till finish in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard.
Can't merge partitions with Disk Management
It is easy and fast to merge partitions with Windows 7 Disk Management, however it is not the best tool because of many limitations. Preconditions to combine partitions with Disk Management:
- The target partition must be formatted as NTFS, for example: when merging drive E to D, D is the target partition.
- The two partitions must be contiguous and you can only merge the right partition into the left. (you can't merge partition D to E)
- The two partitions must have the same type, both are Primary or Logical.
- The two partitions must be on the same disk.
Even if your disk partition configuration meets the requirements, there are still shortages by merging partitions with Disk Management:
- You'll lose files if you forget to transfer or back up before deleting the right contiguous partition.
- There must be other partition to save files of the drive that you should delete.
- If you want to combine C and D drive, you can't delete D if you installed programs in it.
Better way to combine Windows 7 partitions
Comparing with Disk Management, NIUBI Partition Editor is much more powerful, you can merge two contiguous partitions via several clicks, no matter these partitions are NTFS or FAT32, Primary or Logical, no matter you want to merge the left partition into the right one or the right one into the left (system partition can't be merged into other data volume). In addition, all files will be transferred into the target partition automatically.
Download NIUBI Partition Editor, you'll see all disk partitions with structure and other information on the right, available operations to selected disk or partition are listed on the left and by right clicking.
In my Windows 7 computer, there are drive C, D, E and a system reserved partition on same Disk 0. I'll show you how to merge D and E drive as example. It is similar if you want to combine other partitions.
Step 1: Right click either drive D or E and select "Merge Volume", in the pop-up window, click the check-boxes of both partitions, and then select the target partition in the drop-down box. (When merging C and D drive, you can't select D as target.)
Step 2: Click OK and back to the main window, press Apply on top left to execute. (Any operations before clicking Apply only work in virtual mode.)
Watch the video how to merge partitions in Windows 7 without losing data:
Resize partitions instead of merging
No matter you merge Windows 7 partitions with Disk Management or third party software, you'll lose one of the partitions. As I said above, if you installed programs into D drive, you can't merge partition D to C.
Another issue, if you want to merge two non-adjacent partitions such as merge drive E to C, neither Disk Management nor any 3rd-party software can do this.
By resizing partitions, part of unused space will be converted to Unallocated which can be added into other partitions no matter they are contiguous or not. With this method, you won't lose partition or any files, everything keeps the same with before.
Watch the video how to resize partitions in Windows 7:
Besides shrinking, extending and merging partitions, NIUBI Partition Editor helps copy, convert, defrag, hide, wipe, create, format, scan partition, etc.