Shrink Volume Less Than Free Space in Windows 10/8/7

December 8, 2016

Learn why the available shrink space is less than free space when using Disk Management shrink volume in Windows 10/8/7 and how to shrink a partition more than the given available shrink space.

Shrink volume with Disk Management

There are many solutions to shrink volume less than free space. Many users prefer to use Windows built-in utility Disk Management. To open Disk Management, you can go to Control Panel > System and Security, or type in “diskmgmt.msc” in the search box and press Enter.

To shrink volume with Disk Management:

1. Right-click on the volume you want to shrink and choose “Shrink volume”.

Shrink Volume

2. The program will query volume for available shrink space, and then the next pop out window will show you the amount of space available to shrink. You just enter the amount of space to shrink and click Shrink.

Shrink X

Generally, Disk Management will shrink the partition or volume to the amount you entered successfully. But if, unfortunately, the size of available shrink space is less than free space on this volume or the operation fails with not enough space available error, then you may try to use Diskpart.

Shrink volume with Diskpart

To open Diskpart.exe utility, you can type “diskpart” in the Run box and press Enter, or run “diskpart” command in a regular command prompt. You can refer to the following commands for shrinking a volume:

  • DISKPART> list disk
  • DISKPART> select disk [disk number]
  • DISKPART> list partition
  • DISKPART> select partition [partition number]
  • DISKPART> shrink desired=[size in MB]

For example, to shrink partition 2 on disk 1, type the following commands:

  • list disk
  • select disk 1
  • list partition
  • select partition 2
  • shrink

Diskpart Shrink

If you do not specify any parameters for the desired size for shrinking, it will shrink the selected partition by the maximum amount of space. Possibly, you may get the error saying that the specified shrink size is too big and will cause the volume to be smaller than the minimum volume size. The reason why shrink size is much less than the free space is that it can only shrink the partition size down to where the first unmovable/locked file located, as the Disk Management warning states. You may defragment the volume to increase available shrink space a bit. Also turning off System Restore points temporarily might be helpful. If you still cannot shrink a partition by your desired size, you need to use the third party partition manager freeware.

Shrink volume with AOMEI Partition Assistant

As a free disk and partition management program, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard lifts all the restrictions that Disk Management has. It allows you to shrink a partition by nearly the whole free space, regardless of the location of unmovable files. If you are troubled to find a way to shrink partition further, AOMEI Partition Assistant can easily relieve you.

To shrink a partition or volume with AOMEI Partition Assistant:

1. Download, install and open the partition manager program.

2. Right-click on the partition you want to shrink and choose Resize Partition.

Resize Partition

3. In the next screen, drag the end of the partition leftwards or type in a specific partition size you desire, and then click OK.

Shrink Partition

4. The program enables you to preview the partition layout before applying any changes to your hard disk. If everything is fine, click Apply to execute the operations.

Apply

That’s it. To shrink volume less than free space with AOMEI Partition Assistant is easy. If you want to create a new partition or extend partition with the unallocated space, you can use this freeware to accomplish it, too. Besides, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is capable of many things, such as convert dynamic disk to basic, convert system disk between GPT and MBR, allocate free space, Windows 10/8 to Go creator, etc. For server users, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.