Windows 7 / Getting Started

How to Resize a Volume

New in Windows Vista, and also included in Windows 7, is the ability to expand and contract simple volumes without a third-party tool. You can also expand and contract spanned volumes, but striped volumes are fixed in size. To change the size of a striped volume, you need to delete and re-create it.

Note Third-party products offer additional flexibility in resizing partitions, allowing the resizing of partitions with no available unallocated space immediately adjacent to the partition that you want to extend and also allowing you to control the placement of the unallocated space after shrinking the partition.

To shrink a volume, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Disk Management snap-in.
  2. Right-click the volume you want to shrink and then click Shrink Volume.
  3. The Shrink dialog box opens and shows the maximum amount by which you can shrink the volume in megabytes. If desired, decrease the amount to shrink the volume and then click Shrink. The shrink process will proceed without further prompting.

You can also use DiskPart interactively from an elevated command line, using exactly the same steps as you would use with a script. The following interactive steps show how to shrink a volume as much as possible.


  Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7100
  Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
  On computer: WIN7
  DISKPART list volume

DISKPART> list volume
Volume ###LtrLabelFsTypeSizeStatusInfo
Volume 0FNew VolumeNTFSSimple20 GBHealthy
Volume 1ENew VolumeNTFSSimple40 GBHealthy
Volume 2RDVD-ROM0 GBNo Media
Volume 3CNTFSPartition75 GBHealthySystem
Volume 4DNew VolumeNTFSPartition52 GBHealthy
DISKPART> select volume 4

  Volume 4 is the selected volume.

DISKPART> shrink querymax

  The maximum number of reclaimable bytes is: 26 GB

DISKPART> shrink

  DiskPart successfully shrunk the volume by: 26 GB

Note In the code list, the command shrink querymax queries the volume to determine the maximum amount of shrinkage that the volume will support. The actual number will depend on the amount of free space on the volume, the fragmentation level, and where critical files are located on the volume.

To extend a volume, the steps are similar:

  1. Open the Disk Management snap-in.
  2. Right-click the volume you want to extend and then click Extend Volume. The Extend Volume Wizard appears.
  3. Click Next. The Select Disks page appears.
  4. Select the disks and set the amount of space from each disk to include in the extended volume. If you are extending a volume on a basic disk and you choose noncontiguous unallocated space or space on a second disk, the extension will also convert any disks involved to dynamic disks as part of the extension. Click Next.
  5. On the Completing The Extend Volume Wizard page, click Finish. If the extension requires conversion to a dynamic disk, you'll see a warning.
[Previous] [Contents] [Next]

In this tutorial:

  1. Managing Disks and File Systems
  2. Overview of Partitioning Disks
  3. How to Choose Between MBR or GPT
  4. Converting from MBR to GPT Disks
  5. GPT Partitions
  6. Choosing Basic or Dynamic Disks
  7. Working with Volumes
  8. How to Create a Simple Volume
  9. How to Create a Spanned Volume
  10. How to Create a Striped Volume
  11. How to Resize a Volume
  12. How to Delete a Volume
  13. How to Create and Use a Virtual Hard Disk
  14. File System Fragmentation
  15. Backup And Restore
  16. How File Backups Work
  17. File and Folder Backup Structure
  18. How System Image Backups Work
  19. How to Start a System Image Backup from the Command Line
  20. How to Restore a System Image Backup
  21. System Image Backup Structure
  22. Best Practices for Computer Backups
  23. How to Manage Backup Using Group Policy Settings
  24. Previous Versions and Shadow Copies
  25. How to Manage Shadow Copies
  26. How to Restore a File with Previous Versions
  27. How to Configure Previous Versions with Group Policy Settings
  28. Windows ReadyBoost
  29. BitLocker Drive Encryption
  30. How BitLocker Encrypts Data
  31. How BitLocker Protects Data
  32. TPM with External Key (Require Startup USB Key At Every Startup)
  33. TPM with PIN (Require PIN At Every Startup)
  34. TPM with PIN and External Key
  35. BitLocker To Go
  36. BitLocker Phases
  37. Requirements for Protecting the System Volume with BitLocker
  38. How to Enable the Use of BitLocker on the System Volume on Computers Without TPM
  39. How to Enable BitLocker Encryption on System Volumes
  40. How to Enable BitLocker Encryption on Data Volumes
  41. How to Manage BitLocker Keys on a Local Computer
  42. How to Manage BitLocker from the Command Line
  43. How to Recover Data Protected by BitLocker
  44. How to Disable or Remove BitLocker Drive Encryption
  45. How to Decommission a BitLocker Drive Permanently
  46. How to Prepare AD DS for BitLocker
  47. How to Configure a Data Recovery Agent
  48. How to Manage BitLocker with Group Policy
  49. The Costs of BitLocker
  50. Windows 7 Encrypting File System
  51. How to Export Personal Certificates
  52. How to Import Personal Certificates
  53. How to Grant Users Access to an Encrypted File
  54. Symbolic Links
  55. How to Create Symbolic Links
  56. How to Create Relative or Absolute Symbolic Links
  57. How to Create Symbolic Links to Shared Folders
  58. How to Use Hard Links
  59. Disk Quotas
  60. How to Configure Disk Quotas on a Single Computer
  61. How to Configure Disk Quotas from a Command Prompt
  62. How to Configure Disk Quotas by Using Group Policy Settings
  63. Disk Tools
  64. EFSDump
  65. SDelete
  66. Streams
  67. Sync
  68. MoveFile and PendMoves