Windows 10 Disk Management - howto guide and free alternatives

This article includes three parts

Disk Management Functions

Disk Management is a convenient tool in Windows system, which enables to free manage disk space. As the new released Windows operating system, Windows 10 Disk Management has some improvements compared to the previous Windows OS. Usually, you can perform following task with Disk Management on Win10:

  • Open or explore any volume so as to view files
  • Change drive letter and paths for any volume
  • Mark partition as active
  • Add mirror
  • Format or delete volume
  • Extend or shrink volume
  • Convert MBR disk to GPT disk
  • Convert GPT disk to MBR disk
  • Convert dynamic disk to basic hard disk
  • Check the Properties of volume

These operations can be easy to perform under Disk Management.

Video Tutorial - Shrink, Extend, Delete, Create Partition with Windows 11/10/8/7 Disk Management

Extend volume disabled? Or hard to use disk management? Try freeware Partition Resizer Free which would definitely work when disk management failed to work for you.

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How to Open Windows 10 Disk Management from computer or cmd

When you want to perform any operation under Disk Management, you need to open it first of all. You can open Disk Management on Windows 10 with different methods. Here are some possible ways to enter Disk Management on Windows 10 computer:

1. You can open Windows 10 Disk Management from Command Prompt. First of all, you should make sure that you run as Administrator of your computer. Then, you can open "Command Prompt" and type "diskmgmt" and finally press "Enter" button on the keyboard.

2. You can open Disk Management in Windows 10 by pressing Win + R to open the Run dialog box. And then you can type "diskmgmt.msc" after opening the Run dialog box and finally press "Enter" button.

Open disk management from runOpen disk management from run

3. You can open Disk Management on Windows 10 by right clicking "This PC" and then click "Manage". Finally, you can select "Disk Management" under "Storage". You may have some other methods to open Windows 10 Disk Management. You can accomplish your task after opening Disk Management no matter you want to resize hard disk, format volume, delete volume, change drive letter and paths, etc.

windows 10 open disk management

Windows 10 Delete Volume with Disk Management

After right clicking a partition under Disk Management on Windows 10, you can select "Delete" option to delete the selected partition. When you delete a partition on Windows 10 with Disk Management, all data stored on this partition will be erased immediately and the disk space will show as unallocated space.

delete volume in windows disk managementDelete volume in Windows disk management

Note: this could also be done by freeware Partition Resizer.

Windows 10 Create and Format Partition on Disk Management

On Windows 10, you can create a new partition under Disk Management. Usually, you need to right click an unallocated volume and select "New Simple Volume" option so as to enter the New Simple Volume Wizard. Then, you need to set the size and assign a drive letter to this new volume. Finally, you need to format the volume to proper file system in order to make it work normally.

Format partition in disk managementFormat partition in disk management

Windows 10 Disk Management to Resize Hard Drive for Free

As a PC user, you may have encountered Windows 10 disk partition low disk space problem. Since the release of Windows 10 operating system, many Windows users like to upgrade previous Windows OS to Windows 10. After upgrading to Windows 10 OS, some users find a problem that system partition runs on low disk space in which situation their computer runs quite slowly. Or somebody finds that data partition does not have enough free space for data storage. In a word, it is really a problem whether it is a system partition or data partition runs on low disk space on Windows 10. If so, you need to resize hard drive. Usually, you can free manage disk space in Win10 under Disk Management. When you want to extend system partition with Windows 10 Disk Management, you may run into two situations:

1. If there is existing contiguous unallocated space under Disk Management, you just need to right click system partition and click "Extend Volume" option and then you can add the contiguous unallocated space to the system partition.

extend partition in disk management

2. If there is no unallocated space, you still need to squeeze free space from another partition that has enough free space. First of all, you can right click the partition that has enough free space and then select "Shrink Volume" so as to get some unallocated space.

Then, you can add the unallocated space to system partition to get it extended if it's just on the right side of the partition you want to extend.

However the unallocated space is usually not close to C drive and the 'Extend Volume' will gray out.

shrink volume


1, Delete volume next to the drive you want to extend, and then extend volume will be activated in Disk Management

2, Move unallocated space next to the partition like c drive with free tool Partition Resizer

Hard to resize partition size? Try easy to use freeware Partition Resizer to resize partition for free.

Windows 10 Extend/Delete Volume Is Grayed out under Disk Management

"Extend Volume" option is grayed out when you right click a partition that you want to extend? What is wrong?

Cause: There is no contiguous unallocated space behind the partition that you need to extend. Therefore, if the "Extend Volume" option is grayed out when you attempt to expand system partition.

shrink volume

Solution: how to fix extend volume greyed out in Windows

Delete volume greyed out in Disk Management

delete partition greyed out windows 10

When delete volume option is not available in disk management, it could be the following causes.

Causes and solutions:

  • 1, The volume has been set to save system file such as page file, virtual memory file, system files on this drive. You need to remove this setting.
  • 2, There are logical partition on the left side of the volume or free space that makes the delete volume disabled. You need to delete the logical partition at first.

Disk Management Failed? Try Free Partition Resizer

IM-Magic Partition Resizer Free is a useful disk management tool which is effective and free, it is easy to use.

If it is unable to mange disk space on Win10 under Disk Management, you can free download IM-Magic Partition Resizer Free. It is a freeware, which has the similar function to Disk Management.

This free partition software can not only shrink volume to create unallocated space, but also enables you to move the unallocated space close to the partition you want to extend. Besides, this partition software is also able to format partition, delete partition, merge partition, convert mbr disk to gpt etc.

Download IM-Magic Partition Resizer Free Edition

download free windows 10 partition software

disk management alternative tool

For Windows Server all versions ==> Download IM-Magic Partition Resizer Server


Q: Top 5 free partition software alternative to Windows disk management

A: Here is a list of free partition software that you may use for disk management use

  • 1, IM-Magic Partition Resizer Free
  • 2, Gparted
  • 3, Partition Wizard
  • 4, Partition Master
  • 5, Macrorit Disk Expert

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