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Why Windows 7 Can’t Reduce Partition Size and How to Solve It

  • Question: I have a WD 500GB hard disk which has more than 200GB free. I wanted to shrink drive C which has a capacity of 150GB and 85GB free to create a new partition. Nevertheless, Windows 7 Disk Management only allowed me to reduce a few GBs while I want to shrink 40GB. It just says there is no enough space available on the disk(s) to complete this operation. Why Windows 7 Disk Management can’t reduce partition size even if the very drive has a lot of free space? How could I get this to work?

    Answer: the reason may be that there are immovable files contained in the space you want to shrink. Immovable files can be pagefile, hibernation file, MFT backup, or other types of files. To reduce partition size in Windows 7 Disk Management when these files exist, users need to delete or move them to another drive in advance. Nevertheless, it is not easy for common users to find these files, let alone delete/remove them. Aiming at this situation, we recommend a very simple solution, namely using the free partition manager MiniTool Partition Wizard. It can solve the problem that Windows 7 can’t reduce partition size in most situations, including the one mentioned here.

    How to Reduce Windows 7 Partition Size with MiniTool Partition Wizard

    Firstly, download and install the suggested free partition manager to Windows 7. Note: do not install it to the drive which is being or will be used during the process, or users need to restart operating system. Then, launch the program to get the following main interface:

    Next, select the partition we want to shrink and choose "Move/Resize Partition" to get the image below:

    In the interface above, drag one of 2 handles boxed by red line towards the middle to shrink the selected partition or input exact value to corresponding textbox to get the same effect. After that, click "OK" to go back to the main interface:

    Now, we can see an unallocated space. At this time, users can click "Apply" button to perform the very change.

    After application, the problem Windows 7 can’t reduce partition size will be solved. Now that unallocated space has been created, users can create a new partition with it both in Windows 7 Disk Management and MiniTool Partition Wizard.

    Furthermore, if users need to shrink a FAT32 partition, Windows 7 Disk Management will also fail to complete this work for "Shrink Volume" only works to NTFS partition and RAW partition. Partition Wizard can also solve this problem with ease.