What Is the C Drive on a Computer and How to Manage it?

Why is the C drive so important and what is the C drive on a computer? This time, you’ll find what the C drive contains and how to manage it in different ways.


By Michael / Updated on May 12, 2023

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What is the C drive on a computer?

Before explaining what is the C drive, I’ll first introduce what a drive is. A drive is a computer component used to store data. It may be a static storage device or removable. All drives store nonvolatile data, which means the data is not erased once the power is turned off.

There’re different drives lettered from C to Z on a PC. Among them, the C drive is the most important one. C drive, also called system drive or primary drive, stores critical system data and related files and other applications. If there’s something wrong with the C drive, your computer may not be able to boot normally or you may meet frequent system crashes and slow speed. As for the other drives like D, E and F, they’re data drives, used to store regular files like third-party software and games and generally, they don’t affect the system.

How to partition a C drive on a new PC?

When you boot a new PC for the first time, you’ll notice there’s only a C drive in This PC. Of course, you can just let it be and take it as a data drive. However, if you install too many programs on the C drive, you may run into issues like C drive full which causes many other problems. So, in this case, it’s necessary to create other drives from the C drive – we call this “partitioning”.

Use Disk Management

Disk Management is a free Windows built-in utility for users to manage their disks. It provides features including volume shrinking, volume extension, and volume deletion. This time, you’re going to learn how to use Disk Management to create another drive from the existing C drive.

1. Right-click on “This PC” on the desktop and select “Manage”.

2. Click on “Disk Management” on the left in the popup window.

3. Find the C drive on the disk and right-click on it.

4. Select “Shrink Volume”.

shrink volume

5. Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB and hit “Shrink” to proceed.

enter the amount

6. Now, you’ll notice a piece of unallocated space appear on the right side of the original C drive. Right-click on the unallocated space and select “New Simple Volume”.

new simple volume

7. Follow the onscreen guide until the final step to create a new partition. (If you still wish to create other partitions, then, don’t use up all the unallocated space you created.)

create new partition

8. Repeat the steps above to create other drives.

Warning: Disk Management only supports shrink drives in NTFS or RAW. If your drive is in FAT32, then, you must convert FAT32 to NTFS or find another workaround for partition creation.

Use third-party software

As you can see above, with Disk Management, you can only create one single drive every time and it doesn’t support shrinking drives in FAT32 either. To make things easier, this time, I recommend a more powerful third-party utility – AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. By using this impressive software, you can create up to 6 partitions from the C drive simultaneously within only a few clicks whether the C drive is in NTFS or FAT32. More than this partition creation feature, you can also split partitions, merge partitions and make other changes to drives.

What is the C drive on a computer? Now that you’ve found the answer, let’s see how to create other drives from the C drive when you boot your laptop for the first time. Download the demo to have a try!

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Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional on your PC. Then, after all disks and partitions appear in the window, click on the disk where the C drive is and select “Quick Partition” on the right toolbar.

quick partition

Step 2. Preset the number of partitions to create and hit “Start Partitioning”. Then, the partitioning process should begin.


Wait a few seconds before it’s completed.

How to move files from a C drive to another drive to free up space?

What is the C drive on my computer? Since you’ve learnt about the importance of the C drive, I think you won’t want the C drive to be full or be clogged up. But what if it did happen? How to fix it? Here, you can still resort to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. With its powerful inbuilt app mover, you can easily move any programs including OneDrive, Microsoft Office, and video games from the C drive to another data drive to free up disk space.

1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Right-click the target drive and choose the “App Mover” option.

app mover

2. In the popup window, select the C drive where the programs are.

select the c drive

3. Tick the programs you want to move and select another dive as the destination drive. Then, hit “Move”.


4. Hit “OK” when prompted and the program transfer will begin.


5. After completing, hit “Finish”


What is the C drive on a computer? This is a common question for a novice who don’t know very well about computer knowledge. So, in the post above, I explained the definition of the C drive in the most explicit words and meanwhile, to make your user experience better, I gave some tips for C drive management. As for AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, it’s absolutely a good tool because I have tested on my own and used it for a long time. It’s secure and easy-to-use without any bundleware and popup ads. It does help me save a plenty of storage space of the C drive than other methods do. To use this software on Server computers, please try the Server edition.

Michael · Staff Editor
Michael is a professinal editor of AOMEI editor team.