How to Change Partition Size in Windows Server 2016

by Lance, Updated on: September 25, 2021

Disk partitions are allocated while installing Operating System or by OEM manufacturer. After running the server for a period of time, the scheduled partition size is no longer perfect. The most common issue is that C drive becomes full. Many server administrators are wondering if it is possible to change partition size without losing data . To adjust partition size on Windows Server 2016, you may use native Disk Management or third party partitioning software. Disk Management utility is safe but has many limitations, disk partition software is more powerful but has potential data loss risk. You'd better make a backup and run safest partition software.

Adjust partition size with Server 2016 Disk Management

In Windows Server 2016 Disk Management, there are Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions to help change partition size without losing data (not 100%). As the name, Shrink Volume is used to decrease partition size and Extend Volume is used to increase partition size. However, not all disk partitions can be shrunk and extended.

How to decrease partition size:

  1. Press Windows and X together on the keyboard and click Disk Management in the list.
  2. Right click the drive that you want to decrease (must be NTFS) and select Shrink Volume.
  3. Enter the amount of space in MB and then click Shrink to execute.

Enter amount

How to increase partition size in Windows Server 2016:

  1. Right click a partition (such as D:) in Disk Management and select Delete Volume.
  2. Right click its left contiguous partition (such as C:) and select Extend Volume.
  3. In Extend Volume Wizard window, simply click Next till Finish.

Extend Volume Wizard

Limitations to change partition size with Server 2016 Disk Management:

  1. It can only shrink and extend NTFS partition, other types of partitions are not supported.
  2. It can only make Unallocated space on the right while shrinking a partition.
  3. If there's file system error, it cannot shrink partition, if there are unmovable files, it can only shrink little space.
  4. It can only extend a partition when there's adjacent Unallocated space on the right side.
  5. The partitions that you want to delete and extend must be the same Primary partition or Logical drive.

Because of these limitations, Disk Management cannot extend partition in Server 2016 by shrinking another one.

Change partition size in Server 2016 with safe software

With server partition software, there are no such limitations. However, you'd better back up server first, because there's potential system damage and data loss risk. Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has powerful technologies to protect system and data:

Download this software, you'll see all disk partitions with detailed parameters and graphical structure on the right, available operations to the selected disk or partition are listed on the left side and by right clicking.

NIUBI Partition Editor

How to split and merge partitions

If you want to create more volumes without starting over, you can shrink a large volume to get Unallocated space. If there are too many partitions, you can merge 2 contiguous partitions without losing data via several clicks. All files in a partition will be moved to a folder in the other partition automatically.

How to split partition:

Video guide

How to merge partitions:

Video guide

How to decrease and increase partition size

Most of the server administrators want to change partition size of both C: and D: drive, because C drive is getting full but there is plenty of free space in D. You can shrink D drive to make Unallocated space on the left and then add into C drive. To adjust partition size, you just need to drag and drop on the disk map of NIUBI.

How to decrease and increase partition size in Windows Server 2016:

  1. Right click D: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag left border towards right in the pop-up window. (You may also enter an amount in the box of Unallocated space before)
  2. Right click C: drive and select Resize/Move Volume again, drag the right border towards the right side to combine this Unallocated space.
  3. Click Apply on top left to execute. (Any operations before this step only work in virtual mode.)

Video guide to change partition size in Windows Server 2016:

Video guide

  • The steps are similar if you want to increase partition size of D or other data volume.
  • If you want to extend C drive with non-adjacent partition E, there's an additional step to move partition D to the right.
  • If there's no available free space in a disk, you can copy to a larger one and increase size of partition(s) with additional space.
  • If you want to change virtual partition size in VMware or Hyper-V, there's no difference, simply install NIUBI to the virtual server and follow the steps above.
  • If you want to change partition size for RAID 0/1/5/10, the steps are exactly the same with resizing physical disk partitions. Do not break array or do other operations to the RAID controller.

Besides decrease and increase partition size in Windows Server 2016/2019 and previous Server 2012/2008/2003, NIUBI Partition Editor helps move, merge, convert, defrag, hide, wipe partition, set read-only attribute, scan bad sectors and much more.