Windows 10 Disk Management - The Most Helpful User Guide

In this tutorial, you will learn what is Windows 10 Disk Management, how to open it as well as how to use it for disk partition management. Moreover, a better Disk Management tool will be introduced to help manage disk partitions more conveniently in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7.


By Emily / Updated on November 16, 2023

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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, an 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 initializing a new drive, extending a basic volume, shrinking 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, and choose "Manage" in the context menu. Then, you will get into the Computer Management window, Select and click Disk Management on the left.

Click DM by Manage

◤ Way 2. Open Disk Management via “Run”

Press the 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. Search and enter

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 already know about Disk Management, then, we will talk about how to use it to solve the real problem. Most Windows 10 desktop and laptop users have encountered the problem of low disk space warning, especially for the system partition. To solve such kind of problems, extending volume would be the most effective way.

Some users may want to create a new partition since now most disk only has a big C drive. In this part, we'll show you how to extend volume and how to shrink the volume to create a new drive.

1. Extend C drive via Disk Management with adjacent unallocated space

If there is an adjacent unallocated space behind C drive, you can extend it in Disk Management. Here are detailed steps:

Step 1. Press Windows + R at the same time to open Run dialogue.

Step 2. Input diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter to open Disk Management.

Step 3. Right-click C drive and choose "Extend Volume".

Windows 10 Disk Management Extend Volume

Step 4. Follow the prompts that will appear to complete this operation.

Extend wizard

Note: If the Extend Volume greyed out and cannot be clickable, 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.

2. Create a new partition in Disk Management from C drive

To use Disk Management to create a partition from C drive, you need to create unallocated space first, and then create a new partition based on it.

Step 1. Press the "Windows + X" and select "Disk Management" from the menu.

Step 2. Locate the C drive in the list of available disks and right-click it.

Step 3. Select "Shrink Volume" from the context menu that appears.

Shrink volume

Step 4. In the Shrink window, enter the amount of space you want to allocate to the new partition in megabytes (MB), then click "Shrink".


Step 5. Once Disk Management has completed the shrinking process, you'll see a black area labeled "Unallocated."

Step 6. Right-click the unallocated space and select "New Simple Volume" from the context menu that appears.

New simple volume

Step 7. Follow the prompts in the New Simple Volume Wizard to assign a drive letter, format the new partition, and complete the creation process.


Is it easy? Yes, and using Disk Management to initialize disk, delete volume, and 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.

But, what can you do when you don't have unallocated space or adjacent space on hard drive?

If you insist on enlarging the partition via Disk Management, but there is no 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 initialize the disk”, and so on.

What should you do when those bad things happen?

Better one-in-all disk manager for Windows 10

Windows 10 Disk Management is a good utility for Windows users. But it does have a lot of limits. Thus, we’re looking for a better disk manager, and here we recommend- 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, 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. As only as there is unallocated space adjacent to the partition, no matter if 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.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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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.
 The" 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 and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.

Step 2. Right-click on the partition you need to extend (e.g. D Drive) and choose AdvancedMerge 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 to 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 Space" instead to directly move some free space from one partition to another.

Before you do:✎...
If there are 4 primary partitions on an MBR disk, and you want to split one of them, the partition that is being split will be converted to a 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 the other partitions from primary to logical partition, and then the program will allow you to split the system partition. The newly generated partition will be automatically set as a 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 Pro VS Windows 10 Disk Management

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

If Windows Disk Management could not solve your problem, why not choose this great disk management tool? Free download to have a try.

Free Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download


In Windows 10  Disk Management, you can do some basic adjusts and your devices should meet the conditions of Disk Management. However, AOMEI Partition Assistant can realize flexibly manage disks and management on your Windows PC. And the operation is also simple, you can efficiently manage disks on your PC.

FAQs about Windows 10 Disk Management

How do I access Disk Management in Windows 10?
Right-click on the Start button, select "Disk Management" from the context menu, or press Win + X and choose "Disk Management" from the Power User menu. In this post, we list 4 ways to open Disk Management, you can follow the steps to easily access this tool.

Can I merge two partitions in Disk Management?
No, Disk Management doesn't have a built-in feature to merge partitions. AOMEI Partition Assistant carries this function for you if you need. Also, the operation is very user-friendly.

What should I do if Disk Management doesn't recognize a new disk or USB drive?
Disk Management is also available for USB, SD card, and various external disk/drive. If your USB drive is unrecognizable on Disk Management, you can check the physical connections, try a different USB port, and ensure the disk is properly initialized. In Disk Management, right-click on the disk, select "Initialize Disk," and follow the prompts.

Emily · Staff Editor
Emily is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; she has a great passion for providing easy solutions for people to tackle with all disk or partition management problems. In addition to writing articles about disk/partition management, she also edits great tutorials on how to back up and restore disk for data security. In her spare time, she loves to learn computer skill to improve herself or stay with her family to enjoy a good day.