By AOMEI / Last Updated September 2, 2020

Why shrink volume in Windows 8 or 8.1?

When you shrink a partition in Windows 8 or 8.1, the ordinary data will automatically be relocated on the drive and generate a piece of unallocated space, with which you can create a new partition, and extend another volume. Generally speaking, most users want to shrink a basic volume in Windows 8/8.1 with the purpose of enlarging another volume. So, how to shrink volume in Windows PC? Look further, please!

Part 1. Shrink a volume via Windows 8 Disk Management

Disk Management is a built-in tool in Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 7/10, which can help the users manage disk partitions to optimize the performance of their computers. It has the "Shrink Volume" feature, allowing users to reduce NTFS partition size and generate unallocated space. Let us check how to do it step by step.

Step1. Right-click "Computer", select "Manage" and then click "Disk Management" in the "Storage" folder to open Windows 8 Disk Management. Right-click on the volume which you want to shrink and select "Shrink Volume" as below:

shrink volume

Step 2. In the pop-up window, enter the amount of space to shrink.

shrink d

Then you can preview an unallocated space behind D drive. When you right-click on it, you can only see "New Simple Volume" that allows you to create a new partition.

unallocated space

But can you use the unallocated space to extend another volume, like system C: drive? To verify it, you can right-click the Windows 8 C: partition, then you will find the “Extend Volume” option is disabled and not clickable. Why? That’s because the Windows built-in Disk Management comes with the following limitations:

1. "Extend Volume" feature is only available when there is contiguous unallocated space on the right side of the partition you need to enlarge.
2. "Shrink Volume" feature only generates unallocated space on the right side of the partition you shrink and you are not allowed to move it.

What’s worse, sometimes you cannot shrink volume in Windows 8 or 8.1 as the above steps shows and receive an error message saying “You cannot shrink a volume beyond the point where any unmovable files are located. See the 'defrag' event in the Application log for detailed information about the operation where it has completed.”. That’s might because there are unmovable files on the volume, such as Hibernation, Page files, and system protections. So you have to first disable those unmovable files.

Part 2. Shrink volume via Windows 8 Command Prompt

In addition to Disk Management, the built-in Command Prompt tool can also help shrink a basic volume in Windows 8 or 8.1.

1. Type “cmd” in search box and find CMD program. Right click it and select “Run as Administrator”.

2. In the Command Prompt, type following commands and press Enter after each command.

  • diskpart

  • list volume

  • select volume n (n is the volume you want to shrink)

  • shrink desired=10240 (you can replace 10240 with any other size you want)

  • exit


You should note the Command Prompt has the same limitations as the Disk Management. And when there are some unmovable files on the target volume, you cannot shrink it and get an error message.

Part 3. Flexibly shrink volume in Windows 8 via freeware

When you cannot shrink successfully due to the unmovable files in the middle or at the end of the target partition, you can turn to the free partition manager: AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It allows you to shrink volume beyond half. You can download the freeware and check out the following steps.

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Right-click the partition you want to shrink and select “Resize Partition”.

Shrink D Drive

Step 2. In the pop-up window, drag the slider bar to the left side and click “OK”.

Drag Leftward

Step 3. Click on “Apply” to commit the pending operation.

Apply Shrink

More info: how to extend another volume after shrinking volume Windows 8

As mentioned above, the new generated unallocated space is always on the right side of the partition you shrink. However, the Disk Management and Command Prompt can only extend the partition that has an adjacent unallocated space behind it. Meanwhile, both of them do not support moving partition. So the unallocated space, which is not next to C drive, can't be added to the system partition. Luckily, the free AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can conveniently merge unallocated space, wherever it locates on the disk, into the target partition. Only 3 steps can make it done.

Before you do:
1. Make sure there is unallocated space on your disk, if there is no, you can resize partition to get unallocated space
2. If there are other applications running on the partition which you are going to perform, AOMEI Partition Assistant will notice you to close those applications or to execute this operation in PreOS Mode.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition. Right-click C drive and select “Merge Partitions”.

Merge Partitions

Step 2. In the pop-up window, tick the unallocated space. Click "OK".


Step 3. Click "OK". You can see C drive has been extended. Please click "Apply" to commit the operations.


Furthermore, this freeware also comes with the “Move Partition” feature, which can move a partition to another location as long as it is adjacent to an unallocated space so that you can make the unallocated space and the to-be-extend volume adjacent to each other.


From the above, we can make a conclusion that Windows 8 Disk Management and CMD has some limitations: they allow you to shrink the partition to create new volume only, but you can't add the unallocated space to another partition. However, with the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant, you can easily shrink volume in Windows 8 and add the generated unallocated space to another volume.

In addition, this partition software can help you migrate OS to SSD, make bootable CD, wipe partition, clone partition, etc. You can enjoy more advanced features like allocating free space from one drive to another, aligning SSD partitions, securely erasing SSD drive, converting boot disk between MBR and GPT without deleting volumes, and more, you can upgrade to Professional Edition.