By Emily / Last Updated August 12, 2020

Windows native free partition manager-Disk Management

Sometimes, Windows users might need to extend partition, shrink partition, delete partition, format partition, convert MBR disk to GPT, convert dynamic disk to basic disk and more. Then, as one of the free Windows native partition managers, Disk Management will be their prior choice. To access it, right-click on “This PC”->“Manage”-> “Disk Management” under “Storage” in the left panel. Right-click a partition or disk, and all functions you can use will be displayed in the drop-down menu.

Extend Or Shrink Greyed Out

Limitations of Windows 10/8/7 Disk Management

Generally speaking, this free partition manager can help complete most disk partition management tasks. But under some special situations, this tool will let you down due to its noticeable limitations. For example:

The “Extend Volume” or the “Shrink Volume” option is greyed out when you try to extend or shrink a FAT partition. That’s because Disk Management can only extend or shrink NTFS partitions.
The “Extend Volume” is greyed out when there is not an adjacent unallocated space behind the to-be-extended partition.
The “Delete Partition” will also be unclickable when you attempt to delete volume on USB flash drive (removable device) or the recovery partition, OEM partition and more.
Disk Management only allows you to do conversion between GPT disk and MBR disk after deleting all existing volumes. And you cannot delete system partition and convert boot disk through it.
Disk Management only permits you to convert basic disk to dynamic without deleting volumes. But converting dynamic disk back to basic disk requires you to remove existing volumes first of all.

When you cannot perform the above disk partition management due to the limitations, you will need third-party free partition software.

Turn to the best free partition software for Windows 10, 8, 7

From the above content, we know that the free partition software is necessary to make up the disadvantages of Disk Management. However, what’s the best free partition manager for Windows 10/8/7 users? Here we highly recommend you using AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. This free partition manager is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 64-bit and 32-bit PCs. It breaks out the limitations of Disk Management and makes disk partition management in Windows PC as easy as a pie.

It can extend or shrink both NTFS and FAT32 partition.
When the unallocated space is not adjacent to the partition you wish to enlarge, it allows you to move partition to make them neighboring first, and then extend the partition.
It can force delete partition on removable device or remove recovery, OEM and other system-related partitions.
It is able to convert disk between MBR and GPT partition styles without deleting partitions beforehand. For converting dynamic disk to basic one, you won’t need to delete volumes, either.

Demonstration: how does the free partition software work?

In this section, we will show you how to use the free partition manager. First of all, download the best free partition software, install and launch it on your Windows PC.

After entering its main interface, you can right-click any one partition to check all available functions (as shown in the screenshot).

Operation On Partition Std

Among all features, this below demonstration mainly tells how it extend a partition when the unallocated space is not adjacent: first, move the partition between the target partition and the unallocated space to the right side, and then enlarge partition with unallocated space:

Step 1. Right-click the partition in the way of the to-be-extend partition and the unallocated space, and select “Resize/Move Partition”.

Move Partition D

Step 2. In this window, drag the partition to the right side and click “OK”.

Drag To Right

Step 3. Now, the unallocated space is located right behind the target partition. Now right click the partition and select “Resize/Move Partition”.

Extend C Drive

Step 4. Drag the bar to the right side to add the unallocated space to it, and then click “OK”.

Enlarge

Step 5. Back to the main interface, you can preview the result. Click “Apply” to actually execute it.

Apply

If you think this method is a little complicated with 5 steps, you can switch to the “Merge Partitions” to directly merge unallocated space into another partition within 3 steps. If there is no unallocated space and you want to directly assign some free space from one partition to another, you can upgrade to Professional Edition. Its “Allocate Free Space” feature can be a perfect choice.

Allocate From D To C

In addition to those fantastic partition managements, this free partition manager also has many amazing functions for managing the entire hard disk. Right-click a hard disk, and you will see them (as shown in the following pictures) such as rebuilding MBR, cloning disk, converting disk to MBR/GPT, surface test, wiping hard drive, etc.

Operation On Disk Std

Last but not least, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard also offers many wizards: Migrate OS to SSD Wizard, Create Bootable Media, NTFS to FAT32 Converter, etc.

Summary

With so many practical functions, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can be the best free partition software for Windows 10, 8, 7 64-bit or 32-bit. It not only makes up the limitations of Windows snap-in Disk Management tool, but also adds numerous new functions to help easily and effectively manage disk partitions. If you are looking for the best partition software for Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server can meet your requirements well.