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How To Create Partitions on Windows 10

Partitioning your drive allows you to create different volumes on your hard drive, making organizing your files much easier. Creating an additional volume splits your available disk space based on the values you input. Learn how to efficiently and quickly partition your hard disk from this step-by-step guide.
Create Partitions on Windows 10

What’s disk partitioning in Windows 10?

Every hard drive has at least one partition called the "C:" drive. However, all users are able to create more partitions on a single drive and even customize them fully. This should be done for a number of different reasons:

  • Storing your personal files separate from Windows 10’s system files is much safer. Even if something happens to your system, your personal files may be unaffected.
  • Creating different partitions allows you to stay more organized. For example, users tend to assign separate partitions for applications and files.
  • Disk partitioning allows you to run more than 1 operating system on your device.

You can partition the space on your hard drive using Windows 10's default disk manager, or by using a third-party software. Our tutorial focuses on using the built-in disk manager to create a partition or format existing partitions on your drive.

Make sure to back up the data on your drive before you partition it. If something unexpectedly goes wrong, you might experience data corruption or loss.

Recommended: How to Restore Your Previous Version of Windows

How to partition your hard drive on Windows 10

The Disk Management tool comes with every instance of Windows 10 by default. It can be used to easily manage partitions. Create a new partition, merge two partitions into one, assign drive letters, or format them using one tool.

  1. Open the Disk Management tool using one of these methods:
    partition your hard drive
    1. Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard and type “diskmgmt.msc” into the Run window. Click the OK button to launch the Disk Management tool.
      Windows start
    2. Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard and choose the “Disk Management” option from the context menu.
      Disk Management
    3. Open the File Explorer and right-click on “This PC,” then navigate to ManageComputer ManagementStorageDisk Management.
      Disk Management
  2. A new window will appear, displaying a list of your hard drives and current partitions. Right-click on the drive you want to partition, and then select “Shrink Volume” from the context menu.
    Shrink Disk Volume
  3. Decide how you want to split up the space for your partitions. The "total size after shrink" will become the space left in the original partition itself. Windows 10 will let you know what the maximum amount of space you can split off is as you type.
    disk partitioning
  4. Right-click the new box that appears at the bottom of the window displaying your Unallocated space. Select “New Simple Volume” from the context menu.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions in the New Simple Volume wizard and create the new partition. You’ll need to set the partition's size, and select the letter assigned to the new volume.
  6. If prompted, select the format you want the partition to be in. In nearly all cases, you should select the NTFS format. However, if you're partitioning a USB flash drive, you'll want to pick FAT32.

After completing the steps above, you should have a new partition on your hard drive. You’ll be able to put files and applications on the drive and store them separately from one another.

How to format an existing partition on Windows 10

You’re also able to format already existing partitions on Windows 10 using the Disk Management tool.

  1. Open the Disk Management tool using one of these methods:
    1. Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard and type “diskmgmt.msc” into the Run window. Click the OK button to launch the Disk Management tool.
      Windows dialog box
    2. Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard and choose the “Disk Management” option from the context menu.
      Windows settings
    3. Open the File Explorer and right-click on “This PC,” then navigate to ManageComputer ManagementStorageDisk Management.

  2. A new window will appear, displaying a list of your hard drives and current partitions. Right-click on the volume you want to format, and then select Format from the context menu.
    format disk
  3. Name the volume and select the file system you want to format into. In most cases, you should select the default NTFS format. However, if you're partitioning a USB flash drive, you'll want to pick FAT32.
  4. Click OK to format the partition.

Final thoughts

If you need any further help with Windows 10, don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service team, available 24/7 to assist you. Return to us for more informative articles all related to productivity and modern day technology!

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