By Emily / Last Updated August 15, 2022

Overview of Windows 10 Disk Management

Windows 10 is one of the most popular Operating Systems (OS) released by Microsoft. It improves much compared with Windows 8 such as adding the Start Menu seen in Windows 7, a virtual desktop system, a voice assistant named Cortana, Xbox app and streaming, and Edge browser.

Disk Management is a built-in tool in Windows 10 that is widely known by PC users. It is able to help you manage hard disk partitions without rebooting the system and any interruption. It is a convenient tool for Windows 10 users.

Help in Windows 10 Disk Management

As a Windows 10 user, you must know how to use Disk Management to manage your hard disk partition, or to solve some common problems such as initialize a new drive, extend a basic volume, shrink a basic volume, etc. Here is what Disk Management in Windows 10 can help:

Create, delete & format partition Change drive letter and paths Mark partition as active
Explore partition to view files Extend & Shrink partition Add mirror
Initialize a brand new disk Convert empty disk to MBR/GPT Convert empty dynamic disk to basic 

Way 1. Open Disk Management via “This PC”

 Right click “This PC” on the desktop, choose "Manage" in the content menu.

Click DM by Manage

 Then, you will get into the Computer Management window, Select and click Disk Management in the left.

Way 2. Open Disk Management via “Run”

Press Windows key and R key simultaneously to open the “Run” window, type "Diskmgmt.msc" in the empty box and press Enter key (or tap OK).

Open DM

Way 3. Open Disk Management via “Search”

Click Search, and type "disk management" in the search box and select "Disk Management" in the list.

Open DM

Way 4. Or directly type "disk management" in the Search box and choose "Create and format hard disk partitions" from the results.

Open Disk Management

How to Use Disk Management in Windows 10

Since we have already known about the Disk Management, then, we will talk about how to use it to solve the real problem.

Most of Windows 10 desktop and laptop users have encountered the problem of low disk space warning, especially for system partition. To solve such kind of problems, extend volume would be the most effective way. Well, how to extend volume with Disk Management in Windows 10?

Open Disk Management. It will display all hard drives and partitions on your PC. Right-click the partition you would like to expand and then choose Extend Volume (e.g. C partition).

Windows 10 Disk Management Extend Volume

Is it easy? Yes, and using Disk Management to initialize disk, create partition, shrink volume, delete volume, format volume is as same easy as extend volume-Select the disk or partition-> right click it-> choose the operation you want to execute and follow the hints step by step.

However, you may not solve your problem with Disk Management in some situations. You may get a lot of problems, for example, “extend volume greyed out”. Is there something wrong with this tool? No, the reason is that the function of Extend Volume in Windows 10 is only available when there is contiguous unallocated space behind the partition you would like to extend.

What can you do when you don't have unallocated space on hard drive? If you insist on enlarging the partition via Disk Management, but there is not contiguous unallocated space, the only solution is to delete the partition behind the to-be-extended volume, and then add the generated unallocated space into the target volume using the "Extend Volume". You may meet other problems, such as “shrink volume greyed out”, “the disk is not showing up in Disk Management”, “cannot initialized the disk”, and so on. What should you do when those bad things happened?

Better disk manager for Windows 10

Windows 10 Disk Management is a good utility for Windows 10 users. But it does have a lot of limits. Thus,we’re always looking out for a better disk manager and we found it- AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, a powerful and free disk management tool that can totally fix the shortages of the built-in disk partition manager in Windows 10. It is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, and the latest Windows 11.

For example, AOMEI Partition Assistant allows you to extend partition whether or not there is unallocated space right behind the extended partition in Windows 11/10/8/7, XP and Vista. As only as there is unallocated space adjacent to the partition, no matter it is on the left side, or right side, the Resize/Move Partition of AOMEI Partition Assistant can help you enlarge the partition with the unallocated space.

What's more, you can even use AOMEI Partition Assistant to enlarge a partition without unallocated space on the hard drive. The following contents will show you how to extend partition successfully with this disk manager in Windows 10 within two different situations.

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▶ Case 1: Extend partition when there is non-contiguous unallocated space [FREE]

In this situation, we recommend the "Merge Partitions" of AOMEI Partition Assistant, which can combine two adjacent partitions, or non-contiguous unallocated space into another existing partition.

Before you do:✎...
You can merge one or more parts of unallocated space into a partition.
" System Reserved" partition could not be merged.
 If there are running applications in the partition you are going to operate, AOMEI Partition Assistant will suggest you close them or perform the operation under PreOS Mode.
 If there is no unallocated space on the disk, please go to Case 2.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.

Step 2. Install and launch it. Right-click on the partition you need to extend (e.g. D Drive) and choose Merge Partitions.

Merge Partition

Step 3. Tick the checkbox before the unallocated space and then click OK.

Select hte Partition

Step 4. Now you can preview the unallocated space that has been added into C drive. To save the change, please click Apply button in the top left corner.

Click Apply

▶ Case 2: Extend partition when there is no unallocated space [Advanced]

When there is not any unallocated space on the disk, you can try the "Allocate Free Sapce" instead to directly move some free space from one partition to another.

Before you do:✎...
If there are 4 primary partitions on a MBR disk, and you want to split one of them, the partition that is being split will be converted to logical partition automatically.
If one disk has four primary partitions, the program would not allow you to split the system partition or boot partition, unless you could convert one of other partitions from primary to logical partition, and then the program will allow you to split system partition. The new generated partition will be automatically set as logical partition.

To unlock the advanced function, you need to upgrade AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard to the Professional edition.

Step 1. Open this software, right-click a partition that has enough space (here is D partition), and then choose Allocate Free Space.

Allocate Free Space

Step 2. Enter the size of free space you would like to add into another partition (here is C drive), and then click OK.

Allocate from D to C

Step 3. Now you can preview that some free space has been allocated to C drive from D partition. Click Apply to save the changes. Then you will extend partition C.

Apply Allocate Free Space

Note: When the free space of C drive is inadequate, you can also choose to run Disk Cleanup on it, or move installed applications from it to another drive, and so on. 

AOMEI Partition Assistant should be a great Windows disk manager that can totally replace Disk Management in Windows 10. Here we have compared the AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional edition with Windows Disk Management:

Features AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro Windows 10 Disk Management
Create partition, delete partition, format partition, change drive letter
Extend/Shrink NTFS partition
Extend/Shrink FAT32 partition
Merge partitions, merge unallocated space, move partition
Allocate free space from one partition to another
Convert MBR to GPT / GPT to MBR  without data loss
Convert dyanmic disk to basic disk without data loss
Convert primary to logical/logical to primary  partition without data loss
Convert NTFS to FAT32 without formatting
Migrate OS to SSD or HDD
Make Windows PE bootable disc
Recover lost/deleted partition
Clone disk/partition
Move folder / Apps
Schedule defrag disk partition
Test Disk Speed
Change serial number, change partition type ID

Obviously, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional is more powerful than Disk Management in Windows 10, 8, 7, and the latest Windows 11. If Windows Disk Management could not solve your problem, why not choose this great disk management tool? Free download to have a try.

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