Cannot shrink volume on USB flash drive in Disk Management?
A USB flash drive , as known as flash drive or USB stick, is a plug-and-play device that includes a flash memory and an integrated Universal Serial Bus interface to store data. Most USB flash drives are small and formatted as FAT32 file system. Besides, they have replaced many floppy disks or CDs due to its larger capacity and faster data transfer 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 also impossible to shrink a partition on USB flash drive with Windows built-in Disk Management since the “Shrink Volume” option is greyed out (shown as the picture above), no matter it is formatted with NTFS or FAT32. However, sometimes you really to shrink the USB partition for better management. Then what you can do to successfully shrink a USB volume? Just keep reading.
2 Methods to shrink USB flash drive volume in Windows 7/8/10
When you cannot shrink the volume on a USB flash drive or other removable media, you can try the DiskPart.exe tool or some partition management software.
1. Apply DiskPart.exe tool
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 and hit on Enter after every one.
select volume n (n is the USB partition)
shrink desired=10240 (the unit is MB, you can replace 10240 with any size that is smaller than current size)
When you see the message saying “DiskPart successfully shrunk the volume by...”, you can type “exit” command and press “Enter” to leave this window.
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.” Thus, you can convert FAT32 to NTFS via the “convert drive: /fs:ntfs” command in advance.
2. Employ the free partition manager
If running the complex command is not the thing you are good at, or your USB flash drive is formatted with FAT32 file system, you can switch some GUI tool like the free partition manager: AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. This freeware can shrink volume on USB flash 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".
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.
So, when you cannot shrink USB volume via Disk Management, the DiskPart and AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard are great workarounds. For FAT32 and NTFS USB partitions, the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is much better. In addition, it is also able to clone USB drive, wipe USB drive, or copy Windows OS to USB drive, etc.
If you need more advanced features such as allocate free space, convert dynamic disk to basic without deleting volumes, transfer OS to SSD, convert disk to MBR or GPT without removing volumes, recover lost partitions, etc, you can upgrade to Professional edition.