Guide to extend volume in Windows 7

Updated on: September 12, 2019

This article introduces how to extend volume in Windows 7 32/64 bit without data loss, extend Windows 7 partition with Disk Management and partition editor software.

Windows 7 is much better than previous Windows Vista and XP, but the same with the old versions, low disk space issue still exists in Windows 7. Most of the Windows 7 users feedback that C drive is running out of space. The smaller C drive or longer computer running time, the higher probability. In this situation, you can extend Windows 7 volume without reinstalling operating system and programs.

To do this, Windows native Disk Management can help you under specific condition. Because of some limitations, you'll encounter many trouble while extending volume with this tool. Professional disk partition software is better choice.

How to extend volume with Disk Management

Windows 7 Disk Management inherited Extend Volume functionality from previous Windows Vista, which can be used to extend system partition and data volumes without losing data on the fly. However, before extend a partition (such as C:), you must delete the contiguous partition (such as D: or E:).

Steps to extend volume C in Windows 7 with Disk Management:

1. Press Windows and R together on the keyboard, press diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.

Open DM

2. Right click the right contiguous partition D and select Delete Volume.

Disk Management

3. Right click system C drive and select Extend Volume.

Extend Volume

4. Simply click Next in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.

Extend Volume Wizard

5. Available disk space is selected by default, click Next to continue.

Select disk space

6. Click Finish to confirm and begin extending.

Confirm

In a short while, system partition C is extended.

Partition Extended

Do NOT delete drive D if you installed programs into it, otherwise, they'll be invalid even if you transfer all files to other partition.

Windows 7 Extend Volume greyed out/disabled

There is another Shrink Volume function in Disk Management, why deleting drive D to expand C? This is because that Extend Volume will be grayed out after you shrinking any other partitions. This is the common issue encountered by Windows computer users.

Extend Volume disabled

As you see in the screen shot, Extend Volume is disabled for both drive C: and E: after shrinking D.

When you shrinking the adjacent drive D with built-in Shrink Volume feature, Unallocated space can only be made on the right side of D. But to expand C drive with Extend Volume, Unallocated space must be on the left side of D.

In a word, Extend Volume cannot merge Unallocated space to the right contiguous or any non-adjacent partition.

You'll also encounter Extend Volume disabled issue in following situations:

Only NTFS partitions are supported, FAT32 and any other types of partitions can't be extended via Disk Management even if there is right contiguous Unallocated space.

Cannot extend

Free space deleted from a Logical partition can't be extended to any Primary partition. Unallocated space deleted from Primary partition can't be extended to any Logical partition.

Cannot extend

Extend Windows 7 volume with partition editor

With professional disk partition software, you can extend volume in Windows 7 by shrinking other drives without deleting. Comparing with Disk Management, NIUBI Partition Editor has more advantages while resizing partition such as:

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 extend partition C in Windows 7 (32/64 bit) with NIUBI:

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. (The operations you do will be listed as pending on bottom left, real disk partitions won't be changed until you click Apply to confirm. If you did something wrong, simply click Undo to cancel.)

If there is not plenty of free unused space in the contiguous drive D, you can extend system partition C with the non-adjacent drive E. In that case, there's an additional step to move Unallocated space.

Watch the video how to extend partition volume in Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit):

Video guide

In Summary

Windows 7 native Disk Management utility provides Extend Volume to increase partition size, but it is useless if there is no or you cannot delete the right contiguous partition. To extend volume in Windows 7, partitioning software is much more powerful. Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor provides unique 1 Second Rollback, Virtual Mode, Cancel-at-well technology to ensure system and data intact. Furthermore, because of its special file-moving algorithm, it is much faster.

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