USB flash drive introduction
A USB flash drive is a plug-and-play device which includes a flash memory and an integrated Universal Serial Bus interface to store data. It may also be known as a flash drive or USB stick. Most USB flash drives are small and formatted as FAT32 file system. Besides, they have replaced many floppy disks or CDs because USB flash drives can store more data and transfer it at a faster rate. When users plug the device into the USB port, the computer operating system will recognize it as a removable drive and assign it a drive letter.
Typically, Windows Disk Management will not allow you to partition a USB stick since it’s a removable media. You may find that it’s impossible to shrink a partition on USB flash drive with Windows built-in Disk Management, no matter it is formatted with NTFS or FAT32. However, sometimes some people need to do it for better management. What should they do? Following instructions will give an example on how to shrink USB volume through a free third-party partition software - AOMEI Partition Assistant as well as using Diskpart in CMD.
How to shrink USB flash drive volume in Windows 7/8/10?
Free AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition supports to shrink volume on USB drive under almost all Windows PC systems, including Windows 7/8/8.1/10/XP and Vista. You need to download and launch it first. Partition Assistant can detect the removable USB flash drive automatically.
Step 1: Right click the volume you would like to shrink. Select "Resize Partition".
Tips: In Windows system, you’re able to create partitions on the removable drives. But only the first one is allowed to have a drive letter. Here we chose the partition without a drive letter.
Step 2: Adjust its size by dragging the border (either left side or right side). Then click "OK".
Step 3: After it goes back to the main interface, a new unallocated space appears now. Click "Apply" to execute the operation.
Tips: According to your demands, this unallocated space can be used to extend other volumes or create a new volume. And all functions in the software apply to not only removable drives, but also SSD and HDD.
Plus, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard version is widely used by home users. If you need more advanced features such as allocate free space, convert dynamic disk to basic, etc, AOMEI Parititon Assistant Professional version suits you.
Shrink partition on USB drive via Diskpart
Diskpart is a built-in command operation tool that allows you to resize partition, format volume, create new partition, etc. in Command Prompt. You can get into this tool by typing “diskpart” in Run box (press Windows + R key combo to start Run box). In Command Prompt, input following commands in turn.
select volume n (n is the USB partition)
shrink desired=10240 (the unit is MB, you can replace 10240 with any size that smaller than current size)
Note: If the USB is formatted with FAT32, you will get the error says: “The volume cannot be shrunk because the file system does not support it.” Convert to NTFS without losing data or try to shrink it using another partition manager.