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2,673 Tutorials

Expand system partition in Windows

Download a third-party disk-management tool

Our Helproom Editor explains how to make a Windows drive partition bigger.

QUESTION I inadvertently made the partition size of my laptop's C drive too small. I have 400GB of free space on the drive, but I can't get Windows 7 to expand the partition. I logged in as an Administrator and tried right-clicking the partition, but the option to expand it was greyed-out. How can I expand the partition? G0slp

HELPROOM ANSWER Under some conditions the disk manager built into Windows isn't able to perform its operations, such as when the partition you wish to resize is in use. You may find it easier to download a third-party disk-management tool to do this for you.

As always with tasks such as this, we recommend you make a full image backup of your hard drive before you start. If something goes wrong you can be sure that your system and data are safe.

One such tool is MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition, which is available as a free download..

Partition Wizard is available both as an application you can install and run within Windows and as an ISO image you can burn to a CD and use this to boot the PC.

To resize your partition using Partition Wizard, launch the program and identify the partition you wish to expand.

You should see a section of your drive marked as '(Unallocated)'. You will be expanding your system partition to make use of this unallocated space, but for this to work the unallocated space must be located immediately after your system partition. If any other partitions are located between the system partition and the unallocated space, they will first need to be moved to the other side of the unallocated space.

Once you've moved these other partitions there should be no partitions or gaps between the system drive and the unallocated space.

Now select the system drive and choose the Move/Resize option. You'll be able to grab the right edge of the system partition and drag it to the right to expand it into the unallocated space.

Once you've arranged the drive and partitions to your liking, click the Apply button to simultaneously make all the changes to your drive.

If you're trying to resize your system partition from within Windows, MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition will offer to perform the operation for you upon rebooting windows. Select this option and your computer will restart and launch Partition Wizard in boot mode to complete the operation.

Once your PC has restarted you should find all the previously unallocated space has now been added to your system drive.

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor for more Windows advice. Or email our Helproom Editor for bespoke advice.

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