How to Shrink Volume Formatted with FAT32 in Windows 7/8/10?

December 23, 2015

As Windows 7/8/10 built-in Disk Management cannot shrink FAT32 volume, this article will tell you how to use free software to shrink volume formatted with FAT32 without data loss.

What is FAT32?

FAT32 is a commonly used file system in Windows. This term refers to the way that Windows use to store data on the hard drive. FAT stands for "File Allocation Table", which keeps track of all your files and locates them on the disk. Even if a file becomes fragmented, the file allocation table can still keep track of it. FAT32 is an improvement of the original FAT system, because it uses more bits to identify each cluster. This enhances the management and efficiency of a computer.

Why need to shrink volume?

Most users face the problem of imbalanced allocation of volumes or said partitions. It may cause many troubles like low disk space, running out of space and so on. Especially the lack of system space can make a computer work very slowly even lead to data loss. In such situations, one ideal way is to shrink one volume to increase another. Sometimes, maybe users just want to create a volume. It can also be realized by shrinking volume.

How to shrink FAT32 volume with AOMEI freeware?

As you know, there’s built-in Disk Management in Windows system. However, it can not do either extending or shrinking FAT32 volume.

Greyed Out

Here, volume E is FAT32 file system. If you right click on it, both "Extend Volume" and "Shrink Volume" options are greyed out. Due to its own flaws, Disk Management can only resize NTFS volume rather than FAT32 as well as FAT/FAT16. Thus, a third-party partition software is needed. Following instructions will show you how to shrink FAT32 volume with free software - AOMEI Partition Assistant.

First, you need to download Partition Assistant Standard Edition (free). Install and launch it.

  • Right click the FAT32 volume you want to shrink. Select "Resize Partition".
Resize Fat32
  • You can adjust its size by dragging the border (either left side or right side). Then click "OK".
Size And Position
  • Now there’s a new unallocated space. Click "Apply" to save the change.
Apply Operation

Tips: Before clicking "Apply", you’re able to perform other operations, too. Such as Create Partition, Split Partition, Merge Partition, etc. Generally, AOMEI Partition Assistant breaks many limitations of built-in Disk Management. You’ll find more functions that help you to optimize your computer.