How to Shrink a Volume in Windows 7

How to Shrink a Volume in Windows 7Ever wanted to know how to shrink a volume in Windows 7? Yes, yes, I know. Many of you are saying, “but, Chris, why are you writing about Windows 7 when Windows 8 has been out for a while?”

I answer because I’m asked. Also, a lot of people — especially if they work for a company that doesn’t have a real reason to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 — are still using this outdated (but still perfectly fine) operating system! Maria Dorset writes:

Chris, I need to create a new partition on my hard drive, and I’ve been wondering how to shrink a volume in Windows 7. Can you help me?

No matter how much space is on your hard drives, there’s always going to be the wishful desire in all of us that they could be just a little bit roomier. We fill them up with so much junk that it’s hard to believe we once made do with sub-gigabyte hard drives in the not-so-distant past. Now terabytes and multi-terabytes aren’t uncommon, and they don’t cost arms, legs, or even pinkie fingers (unless you’re buying from the suspicious-looking but well-dressed computer shark down by the docks and you miss a payment, but then you’ve probably got bigger problems than trying to squeeze every last bit of storage out of your hard drives).

But let’s pretend that you’re not trading off digits or kneecaps for your tech and that you’re keeping those hard drives organized with partitions. In the past, if you wanted to shrink a volume to make room for a new partition, you had to use third-party tools. The Disk Management Tool in Windows 7 includes a utility that lets you easily shrink a volume. The following tip shows you how to use the Disk Management tool in Windows 7 to shrink a volume.

Your first step is to open the Disk Management tool. Simply click Start, and type diskmgmt.msc in the Search box.

Right click the diskmgmt.msc entry and click Run As Administrator. The Disk Management Tool opens.

Within the Disk Management tool, right click the volume that you want to shrink. Select Shrink Volume from the menu. The Disk Management tool analyzes the volume and presents the Shrink window.

Use the up and down arrows beside the Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB: field to select the amount of space to shrink.

Next, click the Shrink button at the bottom of the window.

When Windows 7 finishes shrinking the volume, you have a new unallocated partition. You can use the unallocated partition to create a new volume.

Now that you know how to shrink a volume in Windows 7, maybe there’s something else you’d like to ask? The request line is always open!

Image: Shared by Robert Glen Fogarty

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Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.

  • Anon.

    if only i knew about this b4

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1255088842 Thømas Houps

    All this seemed to do is fill up my ssd so before i had 14gbs free now i have 1 HELP :(

    • Michael Parker

      Dude, its not for making more space, its to shrink the physical volume size so you can create a new partition. If you don’t need a new partition, don’t do this – you need to reverse what you did by expanding the volume.

  • Matthew Miller

    Thomas. shrinking the partition simply makes what windows sees are your primary hard-drive smaller, so you have to create a new volume to utilize the remaining 13gb on your hard drive.

  • chuckbucket

    this is how i run windows 8 preview and my old windows 7