How to Repartition Hard Drive on Windows 10 without Losing Data

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When we talk about “disks” with the designations C:, D:, etc., we are actually talking about partitions, i.e. physical disk partitions. Each hard disk used has at least one partition. You can reduce this partition and create new ones from extra space. This is useful if you want to install more than one operating system or if you really want to partition programs and data.

Repartition Disk Drive Preparation

But first we must take some precautions.

Step 1: Make a full image backup of the entire disk if you don’t already have it. Disasters happen (check out our selection of the best Windows backup software to help you get started).

Step 2: Make sure you have enough free space on your existing partition to create a new one. You’ll find the following items useful for creating space:

You can also empty the trash garbage can.

If you still don’t have enough space, you can move the files to an external drive. Once you have finished partitioning, you can move them back to the new partition.

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Partitioning your hard drive in Disk Management

  • Right-click on “My Computer”, “Computer” or “This Computer” and select “Management” to open “Disk Management”. It displays the partition state, drive letter, file system, disk space used and other necessary factors.
  • Partition extension: If there is unallocated space next to the partition you want to expand, you can perform an extension. Right-click on the partition and select “Extend volume”. Follow the wizard to complete the extension.
  • If there is no mating space or even unallocated space on your hard drive next to the partition, “Expand Volume” is highlighted in gray.
  • To shrink the partition: right-click on the partition and select Reduce Volume. You should be able to reduce the size of the partition by half.
  • To create a new partition: right-click on an unallocated area and select New Single Volume. Follow the wizard to complete the creation. You can save unallocated space by deleting existing partitions, but make sure you back up important files before you start.

If you want to completely repartition your hard drive, you can delete all existing partitions to convert unallocated space into a single partition. Then perform the partitioning and creation. However, this can only be done on an external hard drive, since Windows does not allow you to delete system partitions. It is also a question of formatting a partition with another file system.

Use third-party alternatives

Unfortunately, partitioning a disk is not always so easy. Some files at the end of the disk may not be able to be moved, so you cannot reduce an existing partition. Or maybe you have several recovery partitions on your drive that cannot be deleted with Windows Disk Management.

If the manual process requires too many clicks to your liking, there are alternatives. You can find a long list of third-party tools to help you partition your hard drive in Windows 10. However, we recommend to use only some of them.

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