Usually when we buy a branded PC, it comes with Windows pre-installed. While installing Windows, manufacturers usually create single Disk Drive (Volume) of the whole Hard Disk space. It means, if there is 500GB HDD, they will make ‘C‘ Drive of 500GB and won’t create any other disk drives. And if there is only one disk drive (‘C:’) in your PC, you have to keep all your data in C: drive which makes it vulnerable to loss due to OS corruption and other issues.
Above mentioned problems can be easily solved by creating another disk drive in your PC. But to create a disk drive, you have to have some free unallocated space in your HDD. But as you don’t have any free unallocated space in your HDD, you can shrink your C: disk drive to free up some space. But remember, you can shrink only free space left in your disk drive otherwise, you may lose some data. For example, if your C: drive is of 500GB and 300GB of it is used and there is only 200GB left, you can shrink only upto 200GB of your C: disk drive. Shrinking more than that will cause data loss. This tutorial shows, “how to shrink a disk drive (volume) in Windows to free some space or reduce it’s size.” This process works for Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 10.
How to shrink local disk drive in Windows/Windows 10 to free some space or reduce it’s size?
First open Computer Management utility. Right click on ‘My Computer‘ or ‘This PC‘ icon and choose ‘Manage‘ or type compmgmt.msc in RUN and press ENTER to open Computer Management utility.
In Computer Management, on the left side, click on ‘Disk Management‘ to manage local disk drives.
Above screenshot shows that This PC has only one disk drive (C:) of 31GB. There are no other disk drives. We will shrink some of this drive’s space to make room for another disk drive.
Right click on the drive that you want to shrink (Drive C in our case) and select ‘Shrink Volume…‘
This will open Shrink drive dialog box where you can enter the amount of the space to shrink from this drive.
New Shrink window will open showing selected volume details like, total size, size available to shrink etc. 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). I have entered 5120MB (about 5GB) space to shrink in this example.
Go back to ‘Disk Management‘ and check available disk space.
Now, you see the size of the existing disk drive is reduced and there is free unallocated space available in your HDD.
You have successfully reduced selected disk drive (volume) size in Windows/Windows 10 by shrinking an existing disk drive. You can use this newly freed space to create another disk drive from unallocated space of your HDD or you can also use it for other purposes. Enjoy, have fun!