How to Shrink Volume in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to shrink volume in windows 11

If you’re looking to shrink a volume in Windows 11, it’s pretty straightforward. You can manage your disk space by using the built-in Disk Management tool. This tool lets you reduce the size of a volume to create unallocated space, which can then be used for other purposes, like creating a new partition. Follow these steps, and you’ll be done in no time.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Shrink Volume in Windows 11

In this section, we’ll walk you through the process of shrinking a volume in Windows 11. By the end, you should have a smaller volume and some unallocated space.

Step 1: Open Disk Management

First, right-click the Start button and select "Disk Management".

Disk Management is where you’ll find all your drives listed. It’s the go-to place for managing your disk partitions.

Step 2: Select the Volume to Shrink

Next, right-click on the volume you want to shrink and choose "Shrink Volume".

Make sure you pick the correct volume. You don’t want to shrink the wrong partition by mistake.

Step 3: Enter the Amount to Shrink

A dialog box will appear. Enter the amount of space you want to shrink in megabytes (MB) and click "Shrink".

Be mindful of the space you’re leaving behind. You don’t want to hinder the performance of your system by shrinking too much.

Step 4: Wait for the Process to Complete

The system will process your request. Wait until it finishes.

This process should not take very long. Just be patient, and let Windows do its thing.

Step 5: Verify the Unallocated Space

Look at the Disk Management window again. You should see unallocated space next to the shrunk volume.

This unallocated space can be used for creating a new partition or for extending another volume.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have successfully shrunk your volume. The unallocated space can now be used for other purposes, like creating new partitions or extending existing ones.

Tips for How to Shrink Volume in Windows 11

  • Back Up Your Data: Always back up your data before making changes to your disk partitions.
  • Check Disk Health: Make sure your disk is healthy before shrinking a volume. Use tools like CHKDSK to verify.
  • Defragment Your Drive: Defragmentation can sometimes help if you’re unable to shrink as much as you’d like.
  • Understand MB and GB: Know that 1 GB = 1024 MB. This will help you enter the correct amount of space to shrink.
  • Leave Some Free Space: Don’t shrink your volume down to the bare minimum. Leave some free space for system operations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I shrink my volume by the amount I want?

There might be unmovable files like system files at the end of the volume. Try defragmenting your drive or using a third-party tool.

Will shrinking a volume delete my data?

No, shrinking a volume simply changes the size of the partition. Your data should remain intact, but always back up just in case.

Can I undo a shrink operation?

No, you cannot directly undo a shrink operation. However, you can extend the volume back to its original size if you haven’t allocated the space elsewhere.

What types of files could prevent me from shrinking a volume?

System files, page files, or hibernation files can prevent you from shrinking a volume. These files are often located at the end of the partition.

Is it safe to shrink the volume where Windows is installed?

Yes, it’s safe, but be careful. Ensure you leave enough space for Windows and your applications to run smoothly.


  1. Open Disk Management.
  2. Select the volume to shrink.
  3. Enter the amount to shrink.
  4. Wait for the process to complete.
  5. Verify the unallocated space.


Shrinking a volume in Windows 11 is a handy way to manage your disk space. It’s simple and can be done in just a few steps using Disk Management. Whether you need to create a new partition or free up some space, knowing how to shrink a volume gives you more control over your system.

Remember to back up your data and check your disk’s health before making any changes. And don’t hesitate to use the unallocated space creatively. You’re not just freeing up space; you’re opening up new possibilities for your computer’s storage use. So go ahead, give it a try, and feel empowered by the newfound organization on your drive.

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