How to manage partitions with the Disk Management tool, in Windows

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 come with a handy disk management utility that allows you to create, resize and delete hard disk partitions on the fly, without having to boot into a special disk utility or purchase additional software. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to use the Disk Management tool to manage your partitions. As you will see from this tutorial, the tool is quite easy to use and you don't really need third party software. Let’s get started:

How to access Disk Management in Windows

In Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and in Windows 7, there are multiple ways in which you can open the Disk Management utility. Here they are:

How to access Disk Management in Windows 10

In Windows 10, you can launch Disk Management by using the power user menu. To open the power user menu, right click or tap and hold on the Start Menu button, or press the Alt + X keys on your keyboard. Then, click or tap on the Disk Management option from the menu, to open it.

Another way to launch Disk Management in Windows 10 is to use Cortana. Enter the words “disk management” in its search field on the taskbar and then click or tap “Create and format hard disk partitions”.

A third way to open Disk Management in Windows 10 is to launch Control Panel, go to System and Security and then click or tap on the “Create and format hard disk partitions” link from the Administrative Tools section.

Regardless of the path you choose to follow to open Disk Management, this is what you should see in the end:

How to access Disk Management in Windows 8.1

In Windows 8.1, just like in Windows 10, you can launch Disk Management by using the power user menu. To access this menu, right click or tap and hold the Start button, or press the Alt + X keys on your keyboard. Then, click or tap on the Disk Management option from the menu.

In Windows 8.1, you can also use the search function in order to launch Disk Management. Switch to the Start screen and start typing “disk management”. Once the search results start to show, click or tap “Create and format hard-disk partitions”.

You can also use the Control Panel in order to launch Disk Management. Go to the System and Security section and click or tap on the link called “Create and format hard disk partitions”.

Here is a sample of how the Disk Management window looks in Windows 8.1:

How to access Disk Management in Windows 7

In Windows 7, the fastest way to launch Disk Management is to use the search feature from the Start Menu.

Enter the words “disk management” and then click the “Create and format hard disk partitions” search result.

Another way to launch Disk Management in Windows 7 is to use the Control Panel. Once you have opened Control Panel, go to the System and Security section and click the “Create and format hard disk partitions” link from the Administrative Tools section.

This is how the Disk Management window looks in Windows 7:

How to access Disk Management from the Computer Management console, in Windows

The Disk Management utility can also be accessed as part of the larger and more complex Computer Management console, which is present in all the modern versions of Windows: 7, 8.1 and 10.

If you prefer this tool, follow the steps from the “How to Find Computer Management” section of this tutorial: Reasons Why Computer Management Is My Favorite Administrative Tool. Once you've opened Computer Management, look on the left/hand side and select Disk Management from the Storage section.

NOTE: The steps we’ll show you in this guide work the same way in Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and in Windows 7. That is why, for simplicity, we will use screenshots only from Windows 10.

Go to the next page of this tutorial and learn about how to create and delete partitions on your hard disk.

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About the Author: Codrut Neagu
Codrut is a Senior Editor on Digital Citizen. He has studies in IT, telecom and law. He's passionate about technology and he is fluent in working with several operating systems, including Windows and Linux. He likes to test security products and he feels like at home when digging through the registry, optimizing things or having fun on Telnet.