How to Increase/Change Partition Size in Windows Server 2016

by Lance, Updated on: July 19, 2022

After running Windows 2016 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 ask if it is possible to change partition size  in Windows Server 2016 without losing data. To adjust partition size in Windows 2016 server, 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 safe partition software. In this article, I'll introduce how to decrease and increase partition size in Windows Server 2016 with both kinds of tools.

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 in Server 2016:

  1. Press Windows + X 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 in Windows Server 2016 with 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 is not the best choice, you'd better run a safe and powerful disk partition software.

Change partition size in Windows 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 server system and data:

Download NIUBI Partition Editor, you'll see all disk partitions with detailed parameters and graphical structure on the right, available operations 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 partitions without losing data via several clicks. All files in a partition will be moved to root directory 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/increase partition size in Windows Server 2016 with NIUBI:

  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 2016 server:

Video guide

  1. The steps are similar if you want to increase partition size of D or other data volume.
  2. If you want to extend C drive with non-adjacent partition E, there's an additional step to move partition D to the right.
  3. If there's no available free space on a disk, you can copy disk to a larger one and increase partition size with additional space.
  4. 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.
  5. If you want to resize RAID partition, the steps are the same. Do not break array or do other operations to RAID controller.

Besides decrease and increase partition size in Windows Server 2016/2019/2022 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.