How to increase Partition space by extending in Windows

It may so happen that you might need to increase your partition size of an existing drive. One option you might think of getting another hard disk but we would suggest you to go through your entire list of files and folder so see if you can actually manage to bring them in one place.

For example you might have 20 GB free in D drive and 10 Gb free in another but the total occupied data is only 10 Gb.  So this 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.

Now if you have brand new machine where you don’t have any data on your hard drive, Just delete and recreate partitions instead of messing with the Extend Partitions fundamentals. That would be lot easier.

So there are few aspects you should know even though we are just talking about increasing partition size.

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 you hard disk. This is required for best results and is something like cleaning up room to put things at their place so the room has more space.

For De-fragmentation you can use Windows 7 De-fragment Scheduler or Tools like MyDefrag or Defraggler

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 its not merging of partitions. That is totally different.

Basic Requirement :

  • Your windows account should be an administrator account.
  • You need to have Free Space to extend any partition.
  • Free Space section should be on right of partition you want to extend.

Extend Shrink Restriction

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 Partition Manager tool by searching for partitions tool in control panel.
  • This tool will give you clear idea of how your partitions are located physically.

Step 2: Manage Files and Plan your space

  • Find your exact requirement : How much space you want, existing partitions 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 needs expansion. Remember you can only extend a partition if there is a free space in the right. See the image above.

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 with Green Color.

  1. Select a volume which is on right of X and next to it.
  2. Right click and click on Shrink Volume.
  3. Key in the amount of space you need to add to X.
  4. Once this is done you will see Free Space on the right of X.

Shrink Volume in Windows

Step 4 : Extending the Volume

  • Now since you have free space, Right click on X and Select Extend Volume.
  • Now select which disk partitions you have listed in the screen and add them.
  • Next and you will see a summary and the partition will be merged with free space.

Extend Volume Wizard Windows

One thing I did not warn you as about backing up the data in the partition you plan to extend. Its not required most of the time as the data will be not lost at all. I had tried it with almost like 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 hard disk. This is really useful as are not restricted by the physical location of your volume.  We will talk about it in upcoming posts.

As 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.