Shrink Partitions in Windows 7

You can shrink partitions in Windows 7 and partition that empty space. In order for your computer’s hard drive to be able to store data, it must first be partitioned and formatted. Partitioning a drive is often recommended as the size of modern hard drives can be more efficient and manageable if it is segmented. It can also be beneficial to store data on one partition and your Windows installation on another because if you need to reinstall Windows you will not lose your data. But partitioning is dangerous business, especially a drive that already contains a partition with data on it.

Shrink Partitions in Windows 7

The safest way to partition a drive is when the computer or hard drive is new. But you do have the ability to partition an existing drive that already has data stored on it. To do so, click the Start button, then right-click Computer and select Manage. You will be taken to the Computer Management section where you can then select Disk Management.

You should see all of the drives you have installed on your computer. Most of you will only see a single drive that might be partition into two partition, such as a C: drive and a D: drive often used for a recovery partition. Some of you will only see a C: drive partition.  In order to shrink a volume, you will need to right-click on a partition and select Shrink Volume. Windows will begin looking at the drive to see how much of it you use for a new partition.

Note: Windows will not move data around like some non-destructive partition tools, so be sure to delete any files,uninstall unnecessary programs, run disk cleanup and defrag the drive before proceeding. This will ensure you have the ability to claim as much space as possible for the new partition.

shrink partitions

Once Windows is done analyzing the partition, you will see how much space you can use for the new volume and can adjust in down from there depending on how much space you want to use for the new partition.

windows 7 partition

Once this is complete, you can right-click and format the new partition. The partiton will have a new drive letter designation and then be writable.

Before you begin this process, be sure to backup all of your data. It isn’t inconceivable that something can go wrong and the drive will no longer recognize the old partition or its existing data. If you want to squeeze every last sector out of a partition you will need to use a non-destructive partitioning utility that will physically take existing data and move it all as far forward as possible. Partition Magic is an example of such a utility.