How to Shrink a Volume in Windows 7

Although there are many tools available to resize partitions for a hard drive, Windows 7 comes with two built in features, shrink and extend.

Their functionality is limited, but if you only want to make the hard drive partition smaller or extend it to make it bigger, then these tools will suffice. Here we will limit our discussion to modifying the volume by shrinking.

Step 1. Start -> Control Panel -> System and Security ->Administrative Tools

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Control Panel

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Select Administrative Tools

Now Look for Computer Management

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Computer Management

Select the Disk Management option.

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Computer Management Detail

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Disk Management

There are several partitions on the hard drive. There is also an external hard drive attached.

Next select the disk or volume.

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Various options exist but select Shrink Volume

In this example we will use the Simple Drive (I) Disk1, and perform the shrink volume option.

The first step will be to determine how much if any space is available to shrink from the volume.

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Querying Volume for available space

The amount of space is determined and displayed.

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Results of Review Status

At this point the amount of the review show that there is close to 20000 mb available. For our purposes, we will choose a smaller amount to resize the hard drive.

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Amount To Shrink - 200mb

After the volume has been resized, these are the results.

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A New Volume has been made - 201 mb size

Now we prep the volume to be used.

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Creating a New Volume - Simple Volume

Microsoft uses a wizard to make the volume. Select the New Simple Volume, and you get the following:

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Launching the Simple Volume Wizard

To keep it simple, select the defaults when possible.

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Specify the Volume Size

Next Specify the Volume Drive Letter.

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Assign A Drive Letter - J

Format the Volume.

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Format the Partition with NTFS

Complete the Wizard

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Complete The Simple Volume Wizard

The new disk management features

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New Volume - Partition

The result of the partition and format on the new volume (J)

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14 Responses to How to Shrink a Volume in Windows 7

  1. Scott Buehler October 29, 2009 at 9:07 pm #

    Wow. Thanks for this. My wife was frustrated when she got her new high end system with a 1TB drive C:!

    Appreciated.

  2. Geoff November 23, 2009 at 3:52 am #

    In Windows 7 you can actually view the progress of a shrink as it runs, and even cancel it if you want!
    Check out this blog post about the issue.

  3. Max - The IT pro March 7, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    My pal has an iMac 24″ and Disk C is 450 GB. I want to put C at 100GB for Windows 7 and keep the rest for a DATA partition. But it won’t let me…only wants to allow me to shrink by 222100. Disk C only has 17 GB used so far. WTF?? Argghhh!

    So here’s my #s:
    Total size before shrink in MB: 451559
    Size of available shrink space in MB: 222110
    Enter amount of space to shrink in MB: 221110 (this was automatically inserted and I can’t increase this value)
    Total size after shrink in MB: 229449 (greyed out)

    So, why can’t I put that number to 350000?????? Any1 know of a resize tool for Win7?? I’m gonna have to relieve Disk Administrator of its duties.

    • Yuzhkin June 30, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

      Hi Max. Did you ever get a solution to the shrink drive issue. I have the same with my C drive, which has 60 GB free. Shrinkdrive finds no free space. If I try to shrink my D drive it will do it, but that is not what I want to do.
      Paul

  4. Yuzhkin July 1, 2010 at 4:18 am #

    Hey, Max. Still working on it. Here is the latest tip I have to work on. It seems the Master file Table MFT is located at the end of the drive, for some reason in Vista and 7. http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/working-around-windows-vistas-shrink-volume-inadequacy-problems/
    Easeus free download won’t work on 64 bit windows 7, so I have to try Power Defragmenter to move the MFT. What a hassle! Maybe I should just buy Easeus Pro for 64 bit Win7, and stop wasting time! I used it with XP, and it worked a treat. BFN. Paul

  5. Mohd July 22, 2010 at 2:40 am #

    hi
    I purchased new Dell laptop with single hard drive of 500 GB.I want to have to to three partitions without the disk being formatted.What to do?
    Shall I have to format the C disk before making partition.Then OS that the DELL lloaded will be gone.Withot the disk being formatted ,Is it possible to create partition.
    Mohd

  6. Hotculture October 2, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    OMG i jus tried this out and it happened for the first time second drive i allocated 200GB but now it says unallocated and its just not happening getting some sort of error pls helllppp

    • vithal October 20, 2010 at 2:11 am #

      it tries to conver to dynamic disc it does`nt work

  7. Mdw75 November 17, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    this was very helpfull thanks for the great walk threw.

  8. Rishikesh25 January 10, 2011 at 3:18 am #

    thanks

  9. Shaikhtousif December 13, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    hiĀ  i had 500 gb hard disk in which c drive is off 450gb.
    and then i shrink the c drive.afterward i am not able to use that unallocated space.
    it is niether creating new drive or not showing extend volume in other drive.
    it is giving error you have maximun no of partition on that…
    please help…

  10. Shirishkanungo December 23, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    it does not work .gives an error message that conversion to dynamic disk is not possible

  11. Vishal January 14, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    hey,i shrink my disk successfully bt i cant format that shrinked disk,it shows the error as disk already has max no of partitions…..wat i do now….

  12. jatin January 21, 2012 at 5:44 am #

    after all process it is showing a the creation of virtual hard disc which is unable to allocat ????pop up is comming again again and it is not done

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