It may so happen that you might need to increase the partition size of an existing drive. One option is where you get a new hard disk, but if you have enough space on the primary drive, you can increase/decrease the size to create more space. In this post, we will suggest how to increase Partition space or hard disk space by extending features in Windows 11/10
How To Increase Partition Space by Extending in Windows 11/10
I will start with an example. Let’s assume you have 20 GB free in one D drive and 10 Gb free in another, but the total occupied data is only 10 Gb. It means you can eventually transfer data from one drive to another using some File Copy Tool like Robo Copy and add the rest of the space to drive where you need it most.
If you have a brand new machine where you don’t have any data on your hard drive, delete and recreate partitions instead of messing with the Extend Partitions fundamentals. That would be a lot easier.
That said, let’s understand a few aspects you should know even though we are just talking about increasing partition size.
- What is Shrinking of Partitions?
- What is Extending of Partitions?
- How to extend the size of the existing partition
What is Shrinking of Partitions?
You can reduce the amount of space in any hard drive so you can squeeze out free space. But before doing so, you will need to defragment your hard disk. It is required for the best results and is something like cleaning up a room to put things in their place, so the room has more space.
What is Extending of Partitions?
Extending of partition is like using the free space to increase your room area. Technically you can extend a partition space by adding some free space. Remember it’s not the merging of partitions. That is different.
How to increase the size of the existing Partition in Windows 11/10
- You will need an admin account to complete the task.
- You need to have Free Space to extend any partition.
- The free Space section should be on the right of the partition you want to extend.
For the example below, I am calling the partition you want to expand as X.
Step 1: Understand the physical arrangement of your partition
Launch the Windows Disk Management tool by searching for the partitions tool in the control panel. You can also type diskmgmt.msc in the Run prompt, and hit enter. The tool displays a list of connected hard drives and partitions. Total Size, free space, status, file system, etc. are listed.
Since we are merging, extending, etc., make sure that you understand how partitions are ordered. Imagine it like a stack of bread on top of each other except that you can pull it out and replace it.
Step 2: Manage Files and Plan your space
- Find your exact requirement: How much space you want, existing partition space, their free space, etc.
- Start moving files from one partition to another so that you create free space which can be used by the partitions which need expansion.
Remember you can only extend a partition if there is a free space on the right.
Step 3: Create Free Space
Once all your files are moved, create free space if you don’t have from existing Partition or Volume. The free space is displayed in Green Color.
- Select a volume that is on the right of X and next to it.
- Right-click and click on Shrink Volume.
- Key in the amount of space you need to add to X.
- Once this is done, you will see Free Space on the right of X.
Step 4: Extending the Volume
- Since you have free space, Right-click on X and Select Extend Volume.
- Select which disk partitions you have listed on the screen and add them.
- Next and you will see a summary and the partition will be merged with free space.
One thing I did not warn you about backing up the data in the partition you plan to extend. It’s not required most of the time as the data will be not lost at all. I had tried it with almost 20 GB of data and nothing went off the disk.
However, if you are worried about data and even, we would suggest, Backup your data but then if you can spend time on backing data then creating free space is all hassle, just backup and recreate everything from fresh.
Also, there is a concept of Dynamic Disk which lets you extend partition space across disks, i.e., two or x number of the hard drive. It is handy as is not restricted by the physical location of your volume. We will talk about it in upcoming posts.
In a summary, depending on how much data you have decide what suits you best. Extending is a great option and use it when you get a chance.