Disk management as the name suggests is used to manage the storage disks attached to the computer system. These disks can be internal as well as external and moreover, this utility is available on all the versions (current and legacy) of Windows operating system. This is a handy tool not only for computer engineers but you can also use it at home to perform a number of tasks. With the disk management tool, you can format the partition, change the drive letter of the disk, alter the size of the partition, delete the complete volume, create a new volume, make the partition active and check the health of the disk.
You will not find any shortcut or the link in the start menu to open disk management tool in Windows OS. But there are definitely some ways to open this utility.
How to Open Disk Management Tool
For reference, I have used Windows 10 but the methods mentioned below are more or less the same in other versions of Windows OS.
Method 1. Open Control panel and then navigate to administrative tools> computer management. On the next screen, from the left side menu, select disk management under the storage heading.
Method 2. Open RUN command window by pressing windows icon + R on the keyboard. Now type diskmgmt.msc.
Method 3. This is one of the easiest of all the methods. On the desktop, right-click on This PC (My-computer) and select Manage to open the disk management window.
Method 4 (Windows10 only). Right click on the start button and select disk management.
How to use Disk Management
Once you have opened the disk management utility, you can see the two sections on the right side. The top section displays the overall health and status of the attached drives. You can check the file system, total capacity and the free space available on the partition.
It is the lower section where you can actually manage the storage drive.
Shrink the Volume
Shrinking the volume means that you can reduce the size of the partition and then create the new partition of the shrunk volume.
So select the volume and right click on it. Next, click on shrink and it will start calculating the available space for shrinking. The next window will show the maximum shrinkable size offered to you. You can decrease this size, but cannot increase it.
After clicking “shrink”, you will see a new unallocated space created and the size of the volume is shrunk.
Create a New Volume
You can right click on the newly allocated space and select “new simple volume” from the list. In the next window, you need to format it before start using it.
Change Drive letter
Right click on the partition and select “change drive letter and paths”. Now click on the change button and select the desired drive letter from the drop-down button consisting of different letters.
The other features that you can use include directly format or delete the volume from the disk management interface.
The built-in Disk management tool from Microsoft is an effective and a handy tool to manage the drives and storage partitions. But you need to be cautious while using it as not following the instructions carefully can lead to deletion of your all-important data. Apart from Microsoft’s disk management tool, there are some third-party disk partitioning tools and apps that offer a lot of useful features to manage the storage devices.