By Cherry / Last Updated October 13, 2021

Why shrink volume in Windows Server 2016?

Shrinking a volume means decreasing the original size of the selected partition. That is a useful practice if you want to make the fullest use of the disk space. For example, if you have a 350 GB hard drive and use only 100GB, you can shrink the partition to 150 GB. That will generate about 150GB unallocated free space, with which you can create another new partition for data storage.

Besides, if you have created three partitions on one hard drive: one for software, one for music, one for business, but the software partition grows quickly and is almost full while your business partition does not, you can shrink the business partition and extend the software by adding the generated free space.

Briefly, shrinking volume in Server 2016 can help create a new volume or extend another small partition. In this post, we will introduce how to shrink partition in Windows Server 2016.

How to shrink volume in Windows Server 2016?

To shrink partition on Windows Server 2016, a Server operating system corresponding with Windows 10, there are three methods: Disk Management, Diskpart and 3rd-party partition software. The most obvious benefit of Windows native tools to shrink volume is the task can be done online. Meanwhile, they have some limitations and we’ll explain in the following part.

1. Shrink volume with Server 2016 Disk Management

First of all, you can use the Windows Server 2016 Disk Management to shrink one partition. Just right click the partition you are going to shrink, select “Shrink Volume”.

Shrink Volume Dm

In the subsequent window, you can adjust how much space you want to shrink or free up. The amount available space to shrink depends on how much data is stored on the volume.

Shrink Size

After the shrinking process has completed, you can see there is an unallocated space behind the shrunk volume.

Shrink Result

  • Limitations of Disk Management

From above, we can know Disk Management indeed can shrink a volume in Server 2016. But sometimes it does not allow you to shrink volume or only allows you to reduce a little space. That’s because there are some disk fragments or other unmovable files like Page Files, Hibernation, etc on this partition (as the screenshot below), in those cases, you cannot use Disk Management to shrink partition on Server 2016.

Shrink Note

2. Shrink Server 2016 Volume with Diskpart

Diskpart is another Windows Server native utility for users to manage disk partitions. To use Diskpart to shrink volume on Windows Server 2016, you can use the following parameters. But here you need to open the prompt by pressing ‘WIN+R”, then type “diskpart” and press “Enter” to launch this tool. Take an example for shrinking the volume 2 on disk 0.

  • Type “list disk”. This parameter will list all the disks on your computer.

  • Type “select disk 0”. Select the disk which contains the partition you want to shrink.

  • Type “list volume”. Here will list all the volumes on the selected disk.

  • Type “select volume 2”. Select the volume you want to shrink.

  • Type “shrink desired=10240”. It will shrink 10240MB (10GB) for the volume.

Shrink Volume

  • Limitation of Diskpart for shrinking volume

Similar to Disk Management, Diskpart will fail to shrink volume when there are disk fragments on the partition. In this situation, you need to make defragment for your disk first, and then use its syntax to shrink volume. But if there is any unmovable file at the end of the partition, you cannot shrink volume with Diskpart utility, either.

3. Shrink volume in Windows 2016 with partition software (Recommended)

When you failed to shrink volume via Disk Management and Diskpart since there are many unmovable files at the end of the target partition, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. It can shrink volume successfully and securely in that situation, while keeping all data safe. Besides, it is not only compatible with Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012/2011/2008/2003, but also compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista.

Try Demo First Win Server and PC
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Attention: if the volume you want to shrink is the system partition, contains some running applications, or contains the AOMEI Partition Assistant installation contents/page files, this operation will be executed under the PreOS mode.

Step 1. Install and launch the software, right-click the partition you want to shrink (here takes F partition as an example), select “Resize Partition”.

Shrink Partition

Step 2. You can drag the mouse from the edge towards the central to shrink the partition as the following picture shows, or type the specific number to shrink volume for the Windows Server 2016.


Step 3. After the resizing, click “OK”, you will back to the main interface. Click “Apply” at the toolbar to submit the pending operations.


At last, wait for the process to be done.

What’s more….

After shrinking volume in Windows Server 2016, you can create a new partition or extend other partition’s size with the unallocated free space.

Creating new partition with the unallocated space is quite simple. This can be done via the above three tools. In Disk Management, you just right-click the unallocated space, select “New Simple Volume” and follow the guides. In Diskpart, you need to type “create partition primary size=n” to create new partition. In AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, right click the unallocated space, select “Create Partition” and follow the prompts.

Create Partition

But for extending other partitions, Disk Management and Diskpart will let you down since they only work when the unallocated space is behind the volume you wish to extend, and the unallocated space is right after the shrunk partition and cannot be moved. In this case, AOMEI Partition Assistant can help you as well. Its “Merge Partitions” function can directly merge the unallocated space (no matter where it is) into the target partition.

Choose Unallocated Space


We have shown you how to shrink volume in Windows Server 2016 with three different methods. By comparison, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is much easier and simpler; even there is any unmovable file as hinder. What’s more, it has various great other functions like migrating Windows Server to SSD, allocating free space from one partition to another, converting dynamic disk into basic without data loss, and more.

To install this wonderful program on an unlimited number of computers within one company to save money, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Unlimited. What's more, the Technician version is specially designed for technicians to provide billable services & unlimited for enterprise usage.  And the Unlimited and Technician have a useful feature, Create Portable Version, which can create AOMEI Partition Assistant to a removable device.