Increase C drive space in Windows 7

Updated on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces how to increase C drive space in Windows 7 32/64 bit without losing data, increase system C drive size with free space in other partition.

When system C: drive is getting full in Windows 7, you can increase C drive free space without reinstalling Windows and programs or backing up and restoring. However, it is not an easy task to many computer users. Searching by Google or in technical forums, many people ask the similar questions, for example: is it safe to decrease and increase partition size, will it cause data loss? Which is the right tool and what is the right way? This article introduces full solution to increase C drive space in Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit) without losing data.

Increase C drive space with Disk Management

Windows 7 has native Disk Management tool which can create, delete, format and set Active partition. Better than Windows XP, Microsoft added new functions in Windows 7 DM. Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions can help change partition size without losing data and on the fly. However, because of many limitations, Disk Management is not the best tool.

In most of Windows 7 laptop and desktop, both C and D drive are on the same hard disk, so many people try to decrease D to increase C drive space with built-in Disk Management tool.

In fact, it is impossible with Disk Management, because Unallocated space can only be made on the right of D after shrinking, but to increase C drive with Extend Volume function, Unallocated space must be on the left side of D.

Extend Volume disabled

As the screen shot shows, Extend Volume greyed out for C: and E: drive after shrinking D.

The only way to increase C: drive space with Windows 7 Disk Management is by deleting D to get adjacent Unallocated space behind C drive.

Do not do this if you installed programs to drive D.

If the right contiguous partition D is Logical, you still can't increase C drive even after deleting D. (Learn why can't extend C drive)

Increase C drive size with Unallocated or unused space

Windows 7 built-in Disk Management has many limitations but it is safe in most cases. There are many disk partition software in the market, but few are safe enough. Many people feedback disaster after resizing partitions such as boot failure, partition damage and data loss. In that case, you'll lose precious files if you have no backup. It also costs such as long time to restore everything even if you have backup.

Better than other software, NIUBI Partition Editor has innovative 1 Second Rollback technology to protect system and data. If anything goes wrong, it rollback computer to original status automatically and rapidly, so nothing will be changed or damaged.

If you have shrunk drive D or other volume, it is able to move Unallocated space to be contiguous and add into C drive. If you have not shrunk any partition, you can shrink any one on the same disk to increase C drive space with NIUBI. To do this, you just need to drag and drop on the disk map.

How to expand C drive with free unused space

Download NIUBI Partition Editor, you'll see the main window with disk partition structure and other information. In my test computer, there are drive C, D, E and a system reserved partition in Disk 0.

NIUBI Partition Editor

Steps to increase C: drive space in Windows 7 (32/64 bit) without losing data:

Step 1: right click drive D and select "Resize/Move Volume", in the pop-up window, drag left border towards right or enter an amount in Unallocated space before.

Shrink D

Then drive D is shrunk and Unallocated space is made on its left.

Partition D resized

Step 2: right click drive C and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag right border towards right in the pop-up window to combine the Unallocated space.

Extend C drive

Then the system partition C is extended from 40GB to 60GB.

Partition C resized

Step 3: click Apply on top left to execute. (All operations before this step only work in virtual mode.)

How to increase C drive size with Unallocated space

If you deleted a data volume or shrank the adjacent drive D in Windows 7 Disk Management, there will be Unallocated space. As I said above, many people shrank D but failed to expand C drive. In this situation, NIUBI Partition Editor can move Unallocated space to the left side of drive D and then add into C drive.

To do this, right click drive D and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag middle position towards right in the pop-up window.

Move Unallocated

Then Unallocated space is moved from right of drive D to the left. Follow STEP 2 above to merge it into C drive.

Watch the video how to increase C drive space in Windows 7 with disk space of other volume:

Video guide

Increase C drive free space with other disk

In few computers, system disk is small and there may be not enough free unused space in this disk. In that case, no software can increase C drive with free space on other separated disk. You need to clone the small disk to another larger one and expand C drive with additional disk space.

If you use VMware or Hyper-V virtual machine, it's much easier. You can increase virtual disk size, then additional space will be shown as Unallocated on the end of original disk, finally follow the methods above to add Unallocated space to C drive.

In Summary

Because of the inherent limitations, Disk Management is not the best tool. To decrease data volume and increase C drive space in Windows 7, you need professional and safe partitioning software. Because of the powerful data protection technologies and fast resizing ability, NIUBI Partition Editor can accomplish this task well. Besides changing partition size, it helps do many other disk partition management operations.