How to Partition a Hard Drive (Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, +) (2023)

what to know

  • The first thing to do after installing a hard drive is to partition it.
  • To partition a drive, open Disk Management, select the drive, create a volume of the desired size, and select a drive letter.
  • Then you want to format the drive unless you have advanced partitioning plans, but that's not very common.

This article describes how to partition a hard drive in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP.

What is partitioning?

Partitioning a hard disk in Windows means separating a part of it and making it available to the operating system.

In other words, a hard disk is not useful to your operating system until it is partitioned. Furthermore, it is not available foryouto store files until you format it (which is another equally simple process).

Most of the time, this "part" of the hard disk is all the usable space, but it is also possible to create multiple partitions on a hard disk so that you can store backup files in one partition, movies in another, etc.

Manually partitioning (as well as formatting) a hard disk isnonecessary if your ultimate goal isclean install of windowsin unit. Both processes are included as part of the installation procedure, which means you don't have to prepare the unit yourself.

How to Partition a Hard Drive in Windows

Don't worry if this process seems a little more complicated than you think, because it's not. Partitioning a hard drive in Windows is not difficult at all and usually only takes a few minutes to complete.

Here's how to do it:

These instructions apply to Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.

  1. Open Disk Management, the tool included in all versions of Windows that lets you partition disks, among many other things.

    How to Partition a Hard Drive (Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, +) (1)

    No. Windows 11/10/8/8.1, oadvanced user menuis the easiest way to start Disk Management. You can alsoopen Disk Management via command prompton any version of Windows, but the computer management method is probably the best for most people. To checkwhat version of windows is installedon your computer if you are not sure.

  2. When Disk Management opens, you should see ainitialize diskwindow with the message"You must initialize a disk before Logical Disk Manager can access it."

    How to Partition a Hard Drive (Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, +) (2)

    (Video) How to Partition a Hard Drive (Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, +)

    On Windows XP, you will see aInitialize and Convert Disk Wizardscreen instead. Follow this wizard, making sure you don't select the option to "convert" the disk unless you're sure you need to. Go to Step 4 when done.

    Don't worry if this window doesn't appear. There are legitimate reasons why you might not see it; soon we will know if there is a problem or not. Go to Step 4 if you don't see this.

  3. On this screen, you will be asked to choose a partition style for the new hard drive. To chooseGPTif the newly installed hard drive is 2TB or more. To chooseMBRse for inferior a 2 TB.

    To chooseACCORDINGLYafter making your selection.

    How to Check Free Hard Drive Space in Windows
  4. Locate the hard drive you want to partition on the drive map at the bottom of the Disk Management window.

    You may need to maximize thedisk managementocomputer managementwindow to see all drives at the bottom. An unpartitioned drive will not appear in the list of drives at the top of the window.

    If the hard drive is new, it will probably be on a dedicated line labeled Disk 1 (or 2, etc.) and sayunassigned. If the space you want to partition is part of an existing drive, you will seeunassignednext to any existing partitions on that drive.

    If you don't see the drive you want to partition, you may have installed it incorrectly. Shut down the computer and verify that the hard disk is installed correctly.

  5. Once you find the space you want to partition, press and hold or right-click anywhere and choosenew simple volume.

    How to Partition a Hard Drive (Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, +) (3)

    In Windows XP, the option is callednew partition.

  6. To chooseNext >about itNew Simple Volume Wizardwindow that appeared

    (Video) How to create a new Hard Drive partition on Windows 11/10/8/7 with Disk Management?

    How to Partition a Hard Drive (Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, +) (4)

    No Windows XP, unSelect partition typethe screen below appears, where you must chooseprimary partition. Heextended partitionThe option is only useful if you are creating five or more partitions on a single physical hard drive. selectNext >after making the selection.

  7. To chooseNext >about itSpecify volume sizestep to confirm the size of the unit you are creating.

    How to Partition a Hard Drive (Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, +) (5)

    The standard size you see onSimple volume size in MB:The field must equal the value shown in theMaximum disk space in MB:field. This means that you are creating a partition equal to the total space available on your physical hard drive.

    You can create multiple partitions, which will eventually become multiple independent drives in Windows. To do this, figure out how many and how big you want these drives to be and repeat these steps to create these partitions. For example, if the drive is 61437 MB and you want to partition it, specify an initial size of 30718 to partition only half of the drive and repeat the partition again for the rest of the drive.unassignedspace.

  8. selectNext >about itAssign drive letter or pathstep, assuming the default drive letter you see is fine for you.

    How to Partition a Hard Drive (Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, +) (6)

    Windows automatically assigns the first available drive letter, ignoring A and B, which on most computers will beDomi. We invite you to define theAssign the following drive letteroption for whatever is available.

    You are also welcomechange hard drive letterlater if you want.

  9. To chooseDo not format this volumeabout itformat partitionstep and then selectNext >.

    How to Partition a Hard Drive (Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, +) (7)

    (Video) How to Create Disk Partition on Windows 11,10,8,7

    If you know what you're doing, feel free to format the drive as part of this process. However, as this tutorial focuses ondivisiona hard disk in Windows, we leave the formatting for another tutorial, linked in the last step below.

  10. Check your options onComplete the New Simple Volume Wizardscreen, which should look something like this:

    How to Partition a Hard Drive (Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, +) (8)

    • volume type:volume simples
    • Selected disk:Disco 1
    • volume size:61437 megabytes
    • Drive letter or path:F:
    • file system:None
    • Size of the allocation unit:by default

    Since your computer and hard drive are unlikely to look exactly like mine, expect yourselected disk,volume size, youDrive letter or pathvalues ​​may be different from what you see here.File System: Noneit just means you've decided not to format the drive at this point as well.

  11. To choosefinalizeand Windows will partition the drive, a process that will take just a few seconds on most computers.

    You may notice that your cursor is busy during this time. Once you see the new drive letter (F: in our example) listed at the top of Disk Management, you'll know the partitioning process is complete.

  12. Windows will try to open the new drive automatically. However, as it is not yet formatted and cannot be used, you will see this message: "You must format the disk in the F: drive before you can use it. Do you want to format this?"

    This only happens on Windows 11, 10, 8 and 7. You won't see this on Windows Vista or Windows XP and that's perfectly fine. Skip to the last step below if you're using one of these versions of Windows.

  13. selectCancel. Or if you knowHow to Format a Hard Drive in Windows, do not hesitate to choosedisk formatinstead of. If it doesn't, check out a tutorial before trying.

    How to Partition a Hard Drive (Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, +) (9)

    advanced partitioning

    Windows only allows very basic partition management once you create one, but severalfree disk partition management software programsThey are there and can help if you need them.

frequently asked questions

(Video) How to create Partition on Windows 11 | Partition Hard Drives

  • How do I delete a hard drive partition?

    In Disk Management, select the partition you want to delete. Right click on that partition and selectdelete volume. selectSimto confirm that all data will be lost.

  • How do I delete a hard drive partition on my Mac?

    OrForms>public utility services>disk utility. Select the partition you want to delete and clickDelete. Confirm the deletion by selectingDelete, then selectDone.

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(Video) How to Partition a Hard Drive (Windows 11,10, 8, 7) Computer Drive partition 1


How do I partition my hard drive in Windows 11? ›

To create and format a new partition (volume)

The select Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management. In the left pane, under Storage, select Disk Management. Right-click an unallocated region on your hard disk, and then select New Simple Volume.

What is the best partition size for Windows 11? ›

The partition must have at least 20 gigabytes (GB) of drive space for 64-bit versions, or 16 GB for 32-bit versions. The Windows partition must be formatted using the NTFS file format.

How do I partition a 1tb hard drive in Windows 11? ›

  1. Step by step: How to partition hard disks in Windows 11. Step 1: Open Disk Management. Step 2: Selection of the data carrier. Step 3: Shrink volume. Step 4: Create partition.
  2. Windows 11: Delete and merge hard disk partitions. Step 1: Open Disk Management. Step 2: Select and delete partition. Step 3: Extend volume.
Jan 25, 2022

How to divide C drive into D and E? ›

Replies (3) 
  1. Run Disk Management. Open Run Command (Windows button +R) a dialog box will open and type "diskmgmt. ...
  2. In the Disk Management screen, just right-click on the partition that you want to shrink, and select “Extend Volume” from the menu.
  3. Locate your system partition — that's probably the C: partition.
Mar 28, 2016

What type of partition does Windows 11 use? ›

For the OS disk drive, Windows 11 requires GPT as its disk partition style. While for the data disk, you can either set it as GPT or MBR according to the disk storage size - for larger than 2TB, use GPT; for smaller than 2TB, use MBR.

How do I manually partition a hard drive? ›

Create a partition from unpartitioned space with these steps:
  1. Right-click This PC and select Manage.
  2. Open Disk Management.
  3. Select the disk from which you want to make a partition.
  4. Right-click the Unpartitioned space in the bottom pane and select New Simple Volume.
  5. Enter the size and click next, and you are done.
May 12, 2022

What is an example of partitioning? ›

Partitioning is used to make solving maths problems involving large numbers easier by separating them into smaller units. For example, 782 can be partitioned into: 700 + 80 + 2. It helps kids see the true value of each digit. Rather than seeing 782 as an intimidating number, they'll see it as, 700, 80 and 2.

What are the three types of partitions? ›

Different Drive Partitions
  • Primary Partition: Contains one file system and typically stores the boot files for the primary operating system. ...
  • Extended Partition: A defined area where logical drives are stored. ...
  • Logical Partition: Can be used to store data, but can't boot an operating system.
Jul 9, 2018

What should my partition size be? ›

Another easy way to size up portions is to use your hand as a guide: A clenched fist is about 1 cup — and that's the amount experts recommend for a portion of pasta, rice, cereal, vegetables, and fruit. A meat portion should be about as big as your palm.

How big should my boot partition be? ›

100Mb will suffice, if you define /boot, /usr, and /var. Otherwise use the Use remaining space option. Swap partition should be, at a minimum, the same size as system memory. The safest size is twice the amount of physical RAM.

How many partitions is best for 1TB? ›

How many partitions are best for 1TB? 1TB hard drive can be partitioned into 2-5 partitions. Here we recommend you to partition it into four partitions: Operating system (C Drive), Program File(D Drive), Personal Data (E Drive), and Entertainment (F Drive).

How do I partition a 500GB hard drive in Windows 11? ›

Best partition size for 500GB HDD & SSD

Combining the size and the normal needs of Windows OS, we suggest you partition a 500GB HDD or SSD into C/D/E/F drives with about 130-150GB, 100GB, 90-100GB, 120GB sizes. The C drive is the drive that stores the operating system, system files, and other associated information.

What two methods could you use to partition the hard drive? ›

GPT and MBR are the two different methods for partitioning hard drives. Each of them stores the partitioning information on a drive in its own way. The information includes where partitions start and begin. Therefore, your operating system knows which sectors belong to each partition and which partition is bootable.

How can I partition my hard drive in Windows 11 without losing data? ›

Extend Hard Drive Partitions in Windows 11:
  1. Press Win+R keys to open the CMD and Type diskmgmt.
  2. Go to the Unallocated partition or (any partition disk you want to extend) and right-click on it. Next, Click on the "Extend Volume" option.
  3. Click the Next button. ...
  4. Click on "Next > Finish" to extend the disk partition.
Sep 22, 2022

How do I split my SSD into two partitions Windows 11? ›

How to Partition a New/Second SSD in Windows 11
  1. Press Windows + S keys, type partition, and select Create and format hard drive partition from the result.
  2. Once Disk Management opens up, locate and right-click on the new SSD, select Initialize Disk.
Feb 1, 2023

How do I split my C drive in Windows 11 without formatting? ›

Begin -> Right click Computer -> Manage. Locate Disk Management under Store on the left, and click to select Disk Management. Right click the partition you want to cut, and choose Shrink Volume. Tune a size on the right of Enter the amount of space to shrink.

How do I split a drive into SSD Windows 11? ›

Note: After following Step-1 and opening the Disk Management if you find out that your SSD already has Unallocated space, you can follow the below-listed steps to perform SSD Partition. – Right-click on the unallocated space. – Here, Select New simple volume. – Enter the name, size, and file system for the new volume.


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