On new laptops with preloaded Windows, you will mostly find one volume, occupying full Hard Disk space. So, you may only have a ‘C‘ drive (Windows drive) and no other volumes. However, you can shrink the existing volume in Windows 11 or 10 and create a new volume using freed-up space.
But remember, you can only shrink the 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 the HDD disk over time. So, we recommend you 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, and Windows 8/8.1 as well.
Step 1: Open Computer Management and Select Disk Management
First of all, open Computer Management. Right-click on the ‘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 the Computer Management utility.
In the Computer Management console, select ‘Disk Management‘ from the left pane to manage local disk drives.
The 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…‘
A New Shrink Volume window will open showing the 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 the selected disk drive (C). So, in this example, we have entered 5120MB (=5GB) space to shrink.
Step 3: Shrink Volume Successfully Completed
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 the shrunken size in your disk. You can use this unallocated space to create a new volume.
Shrink a Volume and Free up Space in Windows 10 and Windows 11
The 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.