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How to Resize (Extend & Shrink) Partition Without Losing Data

Tracy King updated on Sep 10, 2020 Partition Master | How-to Articles

On this page, you can learn how to resize partition without losing data by using the [1] native Windows 10/8/7 Disk Management and [2] third-party EaseUS partition manager software. Both programs are good at extending or shrinking the NTFS partition. However, if your partition's file system is not NTFS but FAT32, you can only download the third-party program to change the partition size. 

Related topic: NTFS vs FAT32

Can You Resize Partition Without Losing Data?

When it comes to resizing a disk partition, data safety is the first thing that strikes people's mind. Since resizing a partition is practically to shrink one partition or extend the other one, it's hard to start the first step before figuring out the risk, and many people are asking "can you change partition size without losing data?" as well as the following frequently asked questions. You can check the quick answers.

Q1: Does resizing or moving partition delete data? 

Resizing & moving a partition can be two different things. Moving partition is to adjust the forward and backward position of the partition on the disk and won't delete data. Is it safe to resize Windows partition? Yes, the resizing partition can be subdivided into extending and shrinking partitions. Both operations don't delete data.

Q2: What does it mean to shrink a volume?

Hard drive shrinking is the practice of reducing the size of your partition to create unallocated space that you can use elsewhere. Before your computer can use the space on the hard drive to store data, the drive needs to be split up into separate areas, called partitions.

Q3: Will I lose data if I shrink volume?

Shrinking partition won't cause data loss. If the partition includes unmovable files (such as the page file or the shadow copy storage area), the volume will shrink to the point where the unmovable files are located. That is to say, the used space with existing data is unavailable to shrink space. 

Solution 1. Resize Partition Without Losing Data Using Windows 7/8/10 Disk Management 

Windows Disk Management is by default installed on all Windows operating systems and Windows servers, and it offers the very basic functionality of extending or shrinking a volume of an HDD, SSD, or USB external hard drive. The "Shrink Volume" is 100% safe to make sure that your data will be not affected. However, it's worth noting that the "Extend Volume" option CAN or CANNOT delete data, depending on whether there is unallocated space on the right side of the partition you're trying to enlarge.

Besides, Windows Disk Management only supports the NTFS file system. The upcoming tutorial is exclusively applicable to resize NTFS partition only.

To shrink a partition without losing data, follow the step-by-step guide:

Step 1. Press Windows + R keys to bring up the Run box, type diskmgmt.msc, click OK to open Windows Disk Management.

open disk management

Step 2. Right-click on the partition that you want to decrease its size and select Shrink Volume.

resize partition without losing data - extend volume

Step 3. On the Shrink volume window, you can see the total size before shrinking and the size of available shrink space. Here, you need to enter the exact amount of space to shrink. Click Shrink, and it will be done in seconds.

resize partition without losing data - shrink volume

Go back to the Disk Management interface, you can see the disk space has been decreased, and there is unallocated space available now.

To extend a volume without losing data, you need to do it carefully:

You can directly extend a volume if there is unallocated space on the right side of the partition you want to resize. Otherwise, the Extend Volume is grayed out and becomes an invalid option in Disk Management.

If there is no unallocated space next to the partition, you have to delete the adjacent partition to make unallocated space. Deleting a partition will lead to data loss, you should back up files in advance.

If you do not want to delete the partition but must extend the partition, you can use the "Allocate Space" function of EaseUS Partition Master to directly add free space to the target partition, such as move space from d drive to c drive Windows 10.

Solution 2. Resize Partition Without Losing Data Using a Free Partition Manager

EaseUS Partition Master enables you to resize, move, create, and merge partitions with simple clicks without losing data. This partition manager supports both NTFS and FAT file systems. In other words, it allows you to not only resize NTFS partition but also to resize FAT32 partition. Moreover, the "Create partition" utility built in this program can help you create an NTFS/FAT partition. Its "Convert to NTFS" function enables you to convert FAT (FAT12/FAT16/FAT32) to the NTFS file system. Its "Merge partition" function enables you to merge FAT/NTFS partition to another NTFS partition.

Now, download EaseUS Partition Master and follow the steps below to resize a partition without data loss with ease. 

How to shrink a partition in Windows 10/8/7 without losing data


Step 1: Install and launch EaseUS Partition Master

On the main window, right-click on the partition that you want to shrink and select "Resize/Move".

Run EaseUS Partition Master

Step 2: Adjust partition size

To shrink a partition, use your mouse to drag one of its ends to shrink partition space.

Adjust partition size

You can also adjust the partition size box to shrink the target partition.
Click "OK" to continue.

Confirm to decrease partition

Step 3: Shrink partition

Click the "Execute Operation" button and "Apply" to keep all changes.

Keep changes

How to extend a partition in Windows 10/8/7 without losing data

Step 1. Locate the Target Partition

To start extending partition, you should first launch EaseUS Partition Master and locate the target partition which you would like to extend.

Step 2. Extend the Target Partition

1. Right-click on the target partition which you would like to extend and select "Resize/Move".

Select target partition to extend

2. Drag the partition panel rightward or leftward to add unallocated space into your current partition and click "OK" to confirm.

choose another drive to allocate space

3. If there is no or not enough unallocated space on your disk, use the advanced partition resizing function to directly allocate free space from other partitions to the target drive without deleting or formatting.

Find the "Allocate XX space from" option, then click "Select partition". Choose the partition from which you want to allocate space. Drag the partition panel rightward or leftward to resize the partition you want to extend. Then click "OK" to confirm.

choose another drive to allocate space

Step 3. Execute Operations to Extend Partition

Click the "Execute Operation" button and click "Apply" to keep all the changes. 

finish extending partition

Which Way Will You Choose to Resize A Partition?

To sum up, you can use either Ease Partition Master or Windows Disk Management to shrink partition, and no data loss will happen. But if you want to expand the partition, you need to consider the situation. If you can generate unallocated space on the right side of the target partition, both methods are feasible. If there is no unallocated space and you don't want to delete the partition, you'd better use Ease Partition Master for data security. 

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