How to Move/Merge Unallocated Space in Windows Server 2016

by John, Updated on: October 3, 2021

Besides creating new volume, Unallocated space can be combined to an existing partition without losing data. It is useful if you want to extend a partition when it is getting full. There's no move or merge function in Windows Server 2016 native Disk Management tool or diskpart command. If you want to move Unallocated space location or merge Unallocated space in Windows 2016 server, you have to run third party software. There's potential data loss risk if you move Unallocated space with an adjacent partition. Therefore, you'd better make a backup first and run safe partition software. In this article, I'll introduce detailed steps to move/merge Unallocated space in Windows Server 2016.

Be cautious when moving Unallocated space in Windows 2016 server

Windows Server 2016 Disk Management cannot move Unallocated space, so you need third party disk partition software. They are much more powerful, but they may cause system and/or data damage. When moving Unallocated space with a partition, the parameters of this partition must be modified correctly. In addition, all files in this partition must be moved too. Any slight error will cause damage. This is the reason why you'd better back up first and run safe partition software.

Among these server partition software, NIUBI Partition Editor is much safer and faster. If any error happens while moving partition and Unallocated space, it is able to automatically revert server to original status in a flash. Another Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies help you find and cancel incorrect operations. Thanks to its advanced file-moving algorithm, it is 30% to 300% faster than other tools.

To move and merge Unallocated space in Windows Server 2016, you just need to drag and drop on the disk map.

How to move Unallocated space next to C drive?

When system C: drive is running out of space, many people try to expand it with Extend Volume function in Disk Management. However, Extend Volume is disabled for C drive after shrinking D, because this Unallocated space is non-adjacent to C drive. In this situation, you need to move Unallocated space from right of D to the left side, then Extend Volume will be enabled.

Extend Volume disabled

How to move Unallocated space next to C drive in Windows Server 2016:

  1. Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click drive D and select Resize/Move Volume.
    NIUBI Partition Editor
  2. Drag the middle towards right side in the pop-up window, then Unallocated space is moved to the left at the same time.
    Move Unallocated
  3. Click Apply on top left to execute, done. (Any operations before this step only work in virtual mode.)
    Unallocated moved

How to merge Unallocated space to C drive in Windows Server 2016

Right click C drive and select Resize/Move Volume again. Drag the right border towards right in the pop-up window.

Merge Unallocated to C

Then system C drive is extended by merging this Unallocated space. Remember to click Apply to take effect.

C drive extended

Watch the video how to move and merge nonadjacent Unallocated space to C drive in Windows Server 2016:

Video guide

How to add Unallocated space to other volumes

After shrinking D drive in Disk Management, Extend Volume function is disabled for all other partitions. If you want to extend drive E, you can combine Unallocated space to it with NIUBI Partition Editor directly without moving.

To do this, right click E: and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag the left border towards left in the pop-up window.

Merge Unallocated to E

If there's another drive F that is on the right of E, to expand drive F, you should move Unallocated space to the right. To do this, right click E and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag the middle position towards left in the pop-up window.

Move Unallocated space

After that, run "Resize/Move Volume" again for drive F to combine Unallocated space. If you want, you can also move Unallocated space to the end of disk to create new volume.

Move/Merge Unallocated space to another disk

When a hard disk is full and no Unallocated space can be made, some people are wondering if it is possible to expand partition by adding Unallocated space from another separate disk. The answer is no. To a physical hard disk, the size is fixed. A 500GB disk can't be increased to 1TB. In this situation, you can clone disk to a larger one and expand partition(s) with additional disk space.

If you run Windows Server 2016 as virtual machine in VMware or Hyper-V, when a virtual disk is full, you can expand it directly. After that, additional disk space will be shown as Unallocated at the end of disk, then follow the methods above to move and combine Unallocated space to the partition(s) that you want to extend.

Besides moving and merging Unallocated space in Windows Server 2016/2019/2003/2008/2012, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk/partition management operations.