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What Is Disk Management and Its Features? Your Windows 11 Guide

Updated by Tracy King on Nov 22, 2021
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Disk Management is widely known as a disk partitioning tool that Windows users can apply to partition hard drives and execute some basic partition management operations in their computers. 

However, do you know all the features and benefits of Disk Management? And what can you do with it? If there is an alternative that is easier to use and replace Disk Management? Here in the below, we'll cover all the questions, and discuss everything that you want to know about Disk Management. Let's go.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
1. Features of Disk Management Create new simple volumes, Extend or shrink volumes, Delete volumes...Full steps
2. Open Disk Management in Windows 11 Open Disk Management Using Quick Access or Power User Menu...Full steps
3. Use Disk Management in Windows 11 Guide 1: How to Partition Hard Drive in Disk Management...Full steps
4. Disk Management Alternative (Video Tutorial) EaseUS Partition Master is easier to partition hard drive in Windows...Full steps

What Is Disk Management - Explanation

Screenshot of Disk Management in Windows 11

Definition: According to Microsoft, Disk Management is a system utility in Windows that enables users to perform advanced storage tasks. Disk Management helps for setting up a new drive, extending volume, shrinking a partition, and changing drive letters or assigning a new drive letter on a target disk.

Supported OS: Disk Management is available in most versions of Windows operating systems, including Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, and Windows 2000. Also, it's available in all Windows Server systems.

So what are the benefits of Disk Management or what can you do with this tool besides the operations mentioned above? Check the featured functions that you may like in Disk Management in the next part.

What Are the Benefits of Disk Management - Features

What exactly can the Disk Management tool do for you? Check the below list table, and you'll learn all the features and benefits that you can get by using Disk Management in Windows:

Basic Disk Management Features Advanced Disk Management Features
  • Create new simple volumes
  • Extend or shrink volumes
  • Delete volumes
  • Change drive letter and path
  • Format partitions
  • Explore partition content
  • Open partition
  • Initialize disk to MBR or GPT
  • Mark partition as Active
  • Convert MBR to GPT, or GPT to MBR (Requires deleting all partitions.)
  • Convert Basic to Dynamic disk

Basically, you can do all the above operations on a local hard drive using Disk Management on your computer.

Formatting volumes and most advanced operations in Disk Management will cause data loss, so make sure that you back up all data before partitioning your disks with this tool.
For a safe disk manager, EaseUS Partition Master deserves a try.

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So how will you open Disk Management and use it to partition your disk drives in Windows 11 or older computers? Let's see.

How to Open Disk Management in Windows 11

There are many ways that you can apply to open Disk Management in Windows 11 or older Windows computers. Here we collected secure ways that you can follow any guide here to open Disk Management in Windows 11 or older computers:

#1. Open Disk Management Using Quick Access or Power User Menu

Right-click the Start icon or press "Windows + X" keys to launch the Quick Acces menu > Click "Disk Management".

 Start menu

#2. Open Disk Management Using Search Menu

Press "Windows + S" keys to launch the "Search" menu > Type Create and format hard disk partitions > Click the search result to open Disk Management.

Create and format hard disk

#3. Open Disk Management Using Run Dialog

Press "Windows + R" keys to launch the Run dialog > Type diskmgmt.msc > Click "OK" to open Disk Management.

Open disk management from run dialog

#4. Open Disk Management Using PowerShell or Command Prompt

Right-click the Start icon and select "PowerShell" or type cmd in the search box and right-click Command Prompt, select "Run as administrator" > Type diskmgmt, and hit Enter in the command window.

Open Disk Management from powershell or cmd

#5. Open Disk Management Using Computer Management

Right-click the Start icon and select "Computer Management" from the result > Expand Storage and click "Disk Management" to open it.

Image of computer mangement

#6. Open Disk Management Using Control Panel

Type Control Panel in the Search menu, and click "Control Panel" from the result > Click "System and Security" > Under Windows Tools, click "Create and format hard disk partitions". Or search Create and format hard disk partitions in Control Panel to open it.

Open disk management from control panel

So how do you use Disk Management to partition and manage hard drives on your computer? Follow the next guide to make use of your computer drive space for free now.

How to Use Disk Management in Windows 11 - Tutorials

On this page, we'll show you some basic tips to use Disk Management and allocate disk space in Windows 11:

  1. #1. Partition a drive - create a new volume
  2. #2. Format a drive
  3. #3. Extend or shrink a drive
  4. #4. Change drive letter
  5. #5. Delete a partition
  6. #6. Initialize a new disk
  7. #7. Convert basic to dynamic
  8. #8. Convert MBR to GPT, or convert GPT to MBR

Let's see the details.

#1. How to Partition Hard Drive in Disk Management

  • Open Disk Management, right-click the unallocated space, and select "New Simple Volume...".
  • Click "Next" and set the volume size > Assign a new drive letter.
  • Set the file system, volume label, and tick "Perform a quick format" and click "Next".
  • Click "Finish".

Create new simple volume.

#2. Format a Drive in Disk Management

Open Disk Management > Right-click a volume that you tend to format, and select "Format..." > Set the volume label, file system, and tick "Perform a quick format" > Click "OK" to confirm.

Format volume in Disk Management Windows 11

#3. Shrink or extend a drive in Disk Management

Shrink volume: Open disk management > right-click on a partition with free space, select "Shrink Volume..." > Enter the space size to shrink, and click "Shrink".

Shrink volume

Extend volume: Open Disk Management > Right-click the target drive with an unallocated space adjacent and select "Extend Volume" > Click "Next" > Adjust the space you want to use to extend volume and click "Next" > Click "Finish".

Extend volume

#4. Change Drive Letter in Disk Management

  • Open Disk Management > Right-click the partition you want to change its drive letter and select "Change drive letter and its path...". 
  • Select a new drive letter for the drive and click "OK" to confirm.

Change drive letter

#5. Delete a Partition in Disk Management

  • Open Disk Management > Right-click on the partition that you want to delete and select "Delete Volume...".
  • Click "OK" to confirm.

Delete volume

related articles

Delete All Partitions

If you are looking for an easy way to delete all partitions at a time on an HDD or SSD in Windows 10, 8, or 7, you'll have three methods here to try and remove all partitions on your own.

Delete volume

#6. Initialize a New Disk in Disk Management

  • Connect the new disk computer via the SATA and power cables > Open Disk Management and locate the new disk.
  • Right-click on the new disk and select "Initialize Disk".
  • Set the partition style as MBR or GPT.
  1. 1. MBR: Create up to 4 partitions on 2TB or smaller disks.
  2. 2. GPT: Create more than 4 partitions on a 3TB or bigger disk.

Initialize disk

#7. Convert Basic to Dynamic in Disk Management

Open Disk Management > Right-click the disk that you want to convert to Dynamic and select "Convert to Dynamic Disk". 

Convert Basic to Dynamic disk

Note that Disk Management can only convert a basic disk to dynamic. If you tend to switch a dynamic disk to basic, follow this link for help: Convert Dynamic to Basic without Losing Data. 

#8. Convert MBR to GPT, or convert GPT to MBR

Note that converting MBR to GPT or GPT to MBR requires partition deletion in Disk Management. It's essential that you back up all essential data before committing the below operations:

  • Open Disk Management > Right-click partition on a partition on the target drive and select "Delete Volume" > Click "Yes" to confirm.
  • Repeat the operation to delete all partitions.
  • Right-click the target disk and select "Convert to GPT Disk" or "Convert to MBR Disk".

Convert MBR to GPT

If you prefer a lossless solution to convert MBR to GPT or vice versa, try the tips here for help: 

Disk Management Alternative in Windows 11

Apart from Disk Management, there are also some alternative tools in Windows 11 that computer beginners can apply to manage hard disk partitions with ease. 

If you prefer an easier tool to partition hard drive in Windows 11/10 compare to Windows Disk Management, EaseUS Partition Master is equivalent to help. 

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Aside from the above-listed features, EaseUS Partition Masters do more than you can expect. Here is a list of advantages that you can benefit from this professional partition manager software:

  • Clone and replace the old drive with a newer, bigger HDD/SSD.
  • Migrate OS to HDD/SSD without reinstallation.
  • Convert MBR to GPT, GPT to MBR without data loss.
  • Merge adjacent or non-adjacent partitions.
  • Split partitions, adjust new disk layout in 1-click.
  • Fix low disk space error in 1-click. 
  • 4K align SSD.

Tutorial: Partition and Manage Disks with EaseUS Partition Master

[1] "Resize/Move" enables you to adjust space of a selected disk partition as wish. By "Resize/Move", you can shrink a volume, extend the other one, or create unallocated space for special use.

[2] "Clone" is for the purpose of making two identical hard disks or partitions with the same layout and content. You can use the "Clone" feature to upgrade a hard disk, replace a failing one, backup the drive data and so on.

[3] "Delete" is a common method to remove an unwanted disk partition, turning it into unallocated space.

[4] "Format" is frequently used in many situations. By formatting a drive partition, you can alter the file system, fix some corruption issues, and sometimes remove viruses and malware.

[5] "Allocate space" is very useful when one drive partition space is too much while the other is inadequate. 

[6] "Migrate OS" makes it easy to transfer a Windows installation drive to the other without reinstalling.

[7] Conversion between GPT and MBR, NTFS and FAT32, and Basic to Dynamic is getting more and more popular among EaseUS Partition Master customers. Besides all the listed benefits, there are so many functional yet practical features are waiting you to explore. 

Using Disk Management to Partition Hard Drive Is Easy, Go and Try Now

On this page, we briefly defined what is Disk Management, introduced basic and advanced features of Disk Management, and displayed the guidelines to show you how to open and use this tool to manage hard drives in Windows 11.

Note that the operating steps of Disk Management in older operating systems like Windows 10/8.1/8/7 are almost the same. You can directly follow the tips above to manage a hard drive on your PC.

Also, if you prefer a more efficient tool to replace Disk Management, turn to EaseUS Partition Master for a try.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

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About the Author

Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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