How to use Windows 11 “Disks and Volumes” Settings options to shrink a volume

Microsoft has introduced new tools in Windows 11 Settings to manage the disks and volumes. They offer many possibilities and we are going to see how to shrink a volume size in this tutorial.

Shrink Volume
These new tools are an alternative to the “Disk Management” system utility that was introduced with Windows XP. It is still available with the current release of Windows 11 (version 22H2) and some users will prefer to continue using it. Personally, I like having the ability to manage disks and volumes from Windows 11 settings.

I had recently replaced the hard drive of an Acer ES2730G PC with an SSD. I later did a clean installation of Windows 10 on the SSD and I upgraded it to Windows 11. The Windows 11 installation was on the C: volume that used  most of the disk space (the remaining space was used by the EFI and Microsoft recovery partitions). I wanted to create an additional volume on that disk and therefore I needed first to shrink the existing C: volume to make some space.

The steps described in this tutorial shouldn’t damage your computer and its data as long as you do not reformat or delete an existing volume. Anyway be careful, be sure to understand what you are doing and do it at your own risks. If you are not familiar with the concepts of disks, partitions and volumes or feel unsure about reproducing these steps, ask someone with good computer skills to help you. As always, the author and the website decline any responsibilities about the consequences of trying to reproduce these steps.

First I clicked the “Settings” button from Windows 11 Start menu (you can see how to move it to the bottom left of the screen in this tutorial) to access the Settings:

Access Windows 11 Settings
Access Windows 11 Settings

Later I scrolled down in the Settings – System window until I found the “Storage“entry:

Storage in System Settings
Storage in System Settings

I clicked the “Storage” button to see the disks available on my system.

System > Storage
System > Storage

I scrolled down and I clicked the “Advanced storage settings” button:

Storage > Advanced storage settings
Storage > Advanced storage settings

It opened a list of options and I clicked the “Disks & volumes” button:

Storage > Advanced storage settings > Disks & volumes
Storage > Advanced storage settings > Disks & volumes

This computer had a single disk (a SSD) with three volumes. The main one was associated with letter C: and it had a size of 465 GB.

465 GB volume associated with letter C:
465 GB volume associated with letter C:

I selected it and I clicked the “Properties” button.

Properties button
Properties button

As you can see in the next screenshot only 48.9 GB were used right now on that volume. I clicked the “Change size” button to shrink its size.

C: Volume Data
C: Volume Data

The “Change Size” window displayed the current, maximum and minimum size for the volume. I decided to reduce the size to 200000 MB and I clicked the “OK” button.

Change Size window
Change Size window

As you can see in the next screenshot, the volume size was now 195 GB. Windows uses prefixes based on powers of 2 and not those defined by the International System of Units (SI) for the volumes sizes. As a consequence 1 GB of storage correspond to 1024 MB for Windows. Therefore a volume with a size of 200000 MB correspond more or less to 195 GB (195.31 GB). You can see in this page how the powers of two are used to describe the capacity of hard disks or memories .

Volume C: with 195 GB
Volume C: with 195 GB

I opened a “File Explorer” and I could see that the C: drive now had a size of 195 GB:

C: drive in File Explorer
C: drive in File Explorer

As you can see, the new Windows 11 Settings options allow to easily change a disk volume size. You can see how to create a new volume in the next tutorial.

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