Transfer/Move Free Space in Windows Server 2019/2022

by John, Updated on: August 21, 2022

When system C drive is getting full, many people ask whether it's possible to move free space from D or other partitions? The answer is yes, but you must run third party software, because no Windows native tool has this ability. To move disk space in Windows server, you'd better back up in advance and run safe server partition software. In this article, I'll introduce how to move/transfer free space in Windows Server 2019/2022 without losing data.

Windows Server 2019/2022 can't move disk space

From Windows Server 2008, there are Shrink and Extend Volume functions added in Disk Management console. It can help you resize partition without losing data under some particular condition. To be accurate, it can only help you shrink a NTFS partition to create new volume, and extend a partition by deleting the right contiguous volume. It cannot move space from D to C drive .

As you see in the screenshot, Extend Volume is disabled for both C and E drive after shrinking D in Disk Management.

Extend Volume disabled

This is because:

  • Shrink Volume function can only make Unallocated space on the right while shrinking a partition.
  • Extend Volume function can only extend Unallocated space to the left contiguous partition.

As you see in the screenshot, after shrinking partition D, C drive is nonadjacent to the Unallocated space, drive E is on the right, so Extend Volume doesn't work.

Another Windows native diskpart tool has same restrictions.

Move space from D/E to C drive on the same disk

To move space in Windows Server 2019/2022, you have to run server partition software. There are many choices in the market, but you'd better back up first and run the safest, because there's potential system and data damage risk while resizing partition . Better than other disk partition tools, NIUBI Partition Editor is much safer and faster because of the advanced technologies:

How to move free space in Windows Server 2019/2022 from D to C:

  1. Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click drive D (contiguous partition) and select "Resize/Move Volume".
  2. In the pop-up window, drag left border towards right or enter an amount in the box of "Unallocated space before". Then part of free space will be changed to Unallocated on the left.
  3. Right click drive C and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag right border towards right in the pop-up window, then Unallocated space will be moved into C drive.
  4. Click Apply on top left to execute, done.

Video Server 2019

If you want to move disk space from E (nonadjacent partition) to C drive, similarly, shrink E and make Unallocated space on the left. But before adding Unallocated space to C drive, there's an additional step to move Unallocated space from right of D to the left.

Can't move free/Unallocated space from another disk

In some servers, there's no other volume or not enough free space on the same disk. Many people ask whether it's possible to move free/Unallocated space from another disk. The answer is no, no software can transfer space from a different/separated disk. However, there's still a way to expand partition.

Option 1: to a physical disk

The size of a physical hard disk is fixed, a 500GB disk can't be decreased to 400GB or increased to 600GB. If there's unavailable free space on a physical disk, you can copy to a larger one, then additional space can be transferred and added to other partition(s). Follow the steps in the video:

Video Server 2019

Option 2: to a virtual disk

If you run Windows Server 2019/2022 as guest virtual machine in VMware or Hyper-V, you can expand original disk without copying to another one. Follow the steps below:

After expanding virtual disk, additional disk space is shown as Unallocated on the end, then follow the steps to move and merge Unallocated space to other partition(s).

In Summary

If you want to move free space in Windows Server 2019/2022, the native Disk Management and diskpart tools cannot help you, you should back up first and run safe partition software. Because of the advanced technologies, NIUBI Partition Edition can help you accomplish this task fast and safely. Follow the corresponding method according to your own disk partition structure. If you use any types of hardware RAID arrays such as RAID 1/5/6/10, there's no difference, simply follow the same methods above. Besides shrinking, extending partition and moving space on a disk, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk partition operations.