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How to Partition C Drive in Windows 10 & 11 without Formatting

If you have purchased a PC or laptop with Windows pre-installed, it must have a single C Drive by default. It’s better to keep your Windows installation separate from other files. Therefore, it’s a good idea to partition the C Drive into 2 or 3 drives so that I can manage your files better. Whether your PC is running Windows 10 or 11, you can easily partition the C drive without formatting. There’s no recommended partition size in Windows but I prefer to split the hard drive into equal sizes. Using the Disk Management tool in Windows, you can easily partition a hard drive, delete it, merge it with any other existing drive or increase the C Drive space.

While it’s easy to partition a hard drive on Windows 10 and 11 without a data wipe, it’s still recommended that you take a backup of everything before proceeding. Did you know that you can hide a Drive in Windows via the Disk Management tool?

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Steps to Partition C Drive in Windows 10 and 11

The Disk Management tool has been an integral part of the OS since Windows 7. You can use it to create, delete and extend the volume of a partition. You do not need a third-party partition manager tool to partition the C Drive in Windows 10 or 11. Let’s check out the steps to do the same.

  1. Open the Windows Disk Management tool. There are 2 ways you can do that.
    • Right-click on the Start menu icon and select Disk Management in the Power User windows disk management via power user menu
    • Alternatively, you can also launch Disk Management via the Run box. Press the Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run dialog box. Then type or paste “diskmgmt.msc” and click on the OK button.launch windows disk management via run box
  2. When the Disk Management window opens, you’ll the details of your hard disk as Windows (C:) along with other storage devices connected to your Windows PC. ‘Disk 0‘ represents the portion of the hard drive on which the Windows OS is installed.
  3. Right-click on Windows (C:) and select the Shrink volume option from the context menu. This option lets you choose the size of the C Drive so that you can free the remaining space that can be allocated to a new partition.shrink c drive in windows 11
  4. The Disk Management wizard will calculate the total volume space and you’ll be asked to choose the size (in megabytes) you want to allocate to the C Drive. Since my HP laptop has a total of 475GB of storage left, I’ll allocate around 200GB to the new partition. You’ll need to do a little math to decide how much space you want to assign to different drives. Having allocated the space next to the Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB option, click on the Shrink button.choose partition size for c drive in windows
  5. As soon as the shrinking of the selected space is done, you’ll see the remaining free space ready to be allocated to a new drive in the Disk Partition window as shown below.
  6. Now, right-click on the unallocated space area highlighted with yellow and select New Simple Volume.create new partition in windows 11
  7. When the New Simple Volume Wizard window pops up, click the Next button.create a new partition in simple volume wizard
  8. A new pop-up window will appear prompting you to select the size of the new partition. Allocate the volume size in MB and click on the Next button.specify new volume size in disk management
  9. Next, you need to assign a drive letter. By default, Windows automatically picks the next letter of the alphabet as the drive letter. However, you can still choose another letter if you want from the drop-down menu. Click on the Next button to proceed.assign a drive letter to the new partition in windows 11
  10. The next step is to perform a quick format of the new partition. Don’t worry, it won’t affect the data stored on your C Drive. It’s recommended that you proceed with the default setup as shown below. You can assign a new label or name to the New Volume if you wish to. Also, check the box next to Perform a quick format option and click on the Next button.perform a quick format of the new partition in windows
  11. Just format the new partition when prompted.format the newly created drive in windows 10
  12. If you didn’t make any mistakes following the above steps, you’ll see the new partition you just created listed in the Disk Management window.c drive partition created a new volume in windows

You now know how to partition C Drive in Windows 10 and 11 without formatting.

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Steps to Increase C Drive Space in Windows 10 & 11 without Formatting

Having created a new partition, you can delete it, merge it with some other partition or increase the size of the C Drive. Let’s see how we can do that.

  1. Open the Disk Management tool by right-clicking on the Start menu icon and selecting Disk Management from the Power User Menu.
  2. Right-click on the hard disk partition you want to delete and select the Delete Volume option from the context menu.delete partition in windows disk management
  3. You’ll receive a warning message telling you that all data of the partition you’re going to delete will be erased. Click on the Yes wipe warning windows 10
  4. When the selected partition is deleted, you’ll see a new label showing unused space entitled “Unallocated“. You can allocate this unused space to C Drive or any other existing partition on your Windows PC. For example, if you want to increase the C Drive space, right-click on Windows (C:) and select Extend Volume.increase c drive space windows 10
  5. You can either add the total unused space to the C Drive or some part of it. For instance, if you got a total of 200GB of unallocated space, you can add 100GB to the C Drive and the remaining 100GB to any other existing drive. Having selected the amount of space to be added to the C Drive, click on Next followed by the Finish button.extend space to the c drive partition in windows 11
  6. That’s it, you have successfully increased the space on the C Drive.increase c drive space in windows 10

Fix the Extend Volume Option Greyed Out Issue

So far, we saw how we can partition the C Drive in Windows 10 and 11 and delete a partition to add its space to the C Drive. In case you have more than 2 drives on your Windows PC, you need to delete the drive next to the C Drive otherwise the Extend Volume option for this partition will remain greyed out. Suppose You have C, D, and E drives on your PC, deleting or shrinking the E Drive won’t help you increase the C Drive space.

You must move the files and data stored on the D Drive to E Drive and then delete it. The Unallocated space slot must be located adjacent to C Drive otherwise the Extend Volume option will not be available for it.

Below, you can see that when I deleted the D Drive, its space became available to be added to the C Drive using the Extend Volume option.

extended volume option greyed out for c drive

I hope this tutorial was detailed enough to help you learn how to partition the C Drive and increase its space in Windows 10 and 11 using the Disk Management tool.

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