Shrink volume with built in tool
Windows built-in tool Disk Management can be used to shrink/extend volume, create partition, initialize disk, and other operations regarding disk and partition management. However, it does have its restrictions. If you want to shrink volume beyond half its size, you are most likely going to find out that the size of available shrink space is far less than what you desire, though the disk space is barely used. Then you try to do the same with DiskPart from command line prompt, you will end up with an error saying that the parameter is incorrect. For example, the screenshot below is to shrink C drive which is about 49GB and has about 40GB free space, however, the size of available shrink space is only about 24GB. Why is that? Is there a way to increase the available shrink space?
The reason why cannot shrink volume at most
If you pay attention, you will notice the warning that you cannot shrink a volume beyond the point where any unmovable files are located, given after Disk Management calculates the available shrink space. Therefore, the problem is unmovable files messing up with the free disk space. You can try the steps listed below to remove or disable the unmovable files:
Step 1: Turn off system protections and remove all your system restore points. To do that, you need a system tool, Disk Cleanup. Before removing all system restore points, it is recommended to create a system image backup just in case.
Step 2: Disable hibernation and delete the hibernation files. To turn off hibernation, you can run the command “powercfg /h off” in a command prompt. By default, hibernation is disabled in Windows 10. If you are using Windows 10 operating system, you can skip this step.
Step 3: Defrag the volume that you want to shrink with Disk Defragmenter or other defrag tools.
After these three steps, check the shrink volume option again to see the available shrink space. Usually, you can now use Disk Management to shrink volume by the amount of space you wanted. However, if it doesn’t satisfy you and you want to shrink the partition even further, you can try third party partition software to resize partition.
Shrink volume with AOMEI Partition Assistant
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a free Windows partition manager software that enables you to shrink a partition to nearly the total free disk space. If you are looking for a way to shrink a basic volume past half its size or more, AOMEI Partition Assistant is a good shot. Let’s see how it works:
1. Download, install and open this free application.
2. Right click on the partition you are going to shrink and select Resize Partition.
3. In pop out window, drag the slider leftwards or enter the partition size to get the partition shrunk.
4. At this point, preview the partition layout and click Apply to put the operation in process if no problem. The program makes no changes to your disk until you click Apply button, so you can easily undo the operations.
In seconds, AOMEI Partition Assistant will shrink volume beyond half its size. The unallocated space created by shrinking volume can be used to create a new partition or added to the existing partitions using Merge Partitions. In addition, it allows you to migrate OS to SSD, convert MBR to GPT without data loss, quickly partition hard drive, and many more. You can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Professinal to get even more powerful features, like Dynamic Disk Convert to convert dynamic disk to basic disk without data loss and quickly partition hard drive. If you are a server user, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.