On new laptops with preloaded Windows, you will mostly find single volume occupying full Hard Disk space. So, you may only have ‘C‘ drive (Windows drive) and no other volumes. However, you can shrink existing volume in Windows 11 or 10 and create a new volume using freed up space.
But remember, you can only shrink free space left in your disk drive otherwise, there may be a data loss. For example, if your C drive is of 500 GB with 300 GB used and 200 GB free space, you can shrink only up to 200 GB of your C drive space. And shrinking more than that will cause data loss.
Shrink a Volume in Windows 11 or 10 to Create Free Space
One more important thing before we start. The data in HDD is not aligned systematically. The data get scattered in HDD disc over the time. So, we recommend you to run defragmentation first.
So, in this tutorial we are going to explain how to shrink a disk drive (volume) in Windows 11 and 10 to free up some space. And this same process works for Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 as well.
Step 1: Open Computer Management and Select Disk Management
First of all, open Computer Management. Right click on ‘My Computer‘ or ‘This PC‘ icon and select ‘Manage‘. Alternatively, you can also type compmgmt.msc in RUN and press ENTER. And this will open Computer Management utility.
In Computer Management console, select ‘Disk Management‘ from left pane to manage local disk drives.
Above screenshot shows that this PC has only one disk drive (C:) of around 70 GB but there are no other volumes. So, we will shrink this volume in Windows 11 or 10 to free up space for another disk drive.
Step 2: Shrink the Volume and Create Free Space
Right click on the drive that you want to shrink (Drive C in our case) and select ‘Shrink Volume…‘
New Shrink Volume window will open showing selected volume’s details. Enter the amount of space to shrink (in MB) and click on ‘Shrink‘ to shrink entered amount of the space from selected disk drive (C). So, in this example we have entered 5120MB (=5GB) space to shrink.
Step 3: Shrink Volume Successful
Go back to ‘Disk Management‘ and check available disk space. Here, you can see the space of the existing volume has been shrunk. And you can see unallocated space equal to shrunken size in your disk. You can use this unallocated space to create new volume.
Shrink a Volume and Free up Space in Windows 10 and Windows 11
Above tutorial explained, how you can easily shrink existing volume in Windows to free up space for creating a new volume. You can either create a new volume from unallocated space using or you can also use it for installing other Operating systems.
Hope you liked the tutorial. Feel free to share your queries and suggestions in the comment section down below.