How to manage partitions with the Disk Management tool, in Windows - Page 2

What information will you find inside the Disk Management tool

In the Disk Management section, you'll see that the right side of the window is populated with your disks’ information. It shows you the name, size and type of each partition created on the disks found on your system.

Keep in mind that the Disk Management utility can only manage file systems compatible with Windows operating systems, such as FAT16/FAT32 and NTFS. While it can see other types of partitions, such as ones created and formatted by Linux or other operating systems, it can only delete them. For more information on partition types, please see: Wikipedia's page on File Systems.

How to delete a disk partition with Disk Management

In some cases you'll want to remove a partition from your hard drive, either to make space to extend an existing partition, or redo the partition, but with a different size or file system.

To remove a partition, right-click or tap and hold the partition you're trying to remove and then click or tap on "Delete Volume".

You'll be prompted to confirm your choice, to make you aware that if you remove the partition all data on it will be erased. Therefore, please make sure you've backed up any critical data on that partition prior to clicking or tapping Yes.

You'll now see the deleted partition showing as "Free space" or Unallocated in the Disk Management utility.

How to create a disk partition with Disk Management

If you do have "free" space on your hard drives, you can use it to create new partitions. The actual logic behind using Primary, Extended and Logical partitions is outside the scope of this tutorial. However, we recommend this very informative article, called What is a Partition.

You'll see unpartitioned space highlighted and labeled as Unallocated or "Free space".

To create a partition here, right-click or tap and hold the free space and select "New Simple Volume".

The previous action will bring up the "New Simple Volume Wizard". Click or tap Next.

The wizard will ask you for the size of the partition, which you can specify as you wish, using all or just part of the total available free space.

Then, you can choose to “Assign a drive letter”, “Mount in an empty NTFS folder” or “Do not assign any drive letter or drive path” for your new partition. Make your choice and click or tap Next.

You'll be asked for information on how the partition should be formatted. Keep in mind that if you wish to use this partition, it needs to be formatted. In most cases, you'll want to use NTFS. This is the default and preferred file system since Windows NT, providing increased performance, security and fault tolerance when compared to FAT16 or FAT32. For more information, read this article: Why you should use NTFS.

If you don't want to format the partition, select "Do not format this volume" and click or tap Next. If you do want to format the partition, select the second option, using NTFS as the file system and keeping the default Allocation unit size. You'll also want to label the volume, which is a required step if you plan on sharing this partition with other devices running on different operating systems. The Volume label will also show up next to the drive letter when viewing the partition in File Explorer or Windows Explorer. After you've completed this step, click or tap Next.

The wizard will now display a summary of the settings you chose for the new partition. Click or tap on Finish to complete it.

Once this is done, you'll be back to the Disk Management utility and you should see the new partition being formatted. This process will generally take only a few seconds, but it depends on the size of the partition and the speed of your computer.

When it's all done, you'll see the new partition listed.

Go to the next page in this guide to learn how to format and resize any disk partition.