There are many reasons why you might want to create a partition out of free space on a Windows drive. The most common reason is to install a different operating system (such as Linux) so that you can dual boot your PC.
Other reasons might include creating a new hard drive separate from your C: drive that is only for data. Or you can create an encrypted partition that no one can access without the correct security keys.
Whatever the reason, you shouldn’t get involved right away. There are a few things you must do to make sure you size the new partition correctly and that you have a backup plan if something goes wrong.
Create a backup copy of Windows 10
If you are going to create a partition with the same hard drive as your main Windows 10 operating system, you need to do so safely.
The first step should always be to back up your hard drive. Fortunately, this is a very simple process, but it takes time to complete. Set aside about an hour to complete this process.
1. To start a Windows backup, open the Control Panel and select â€œBackup and Restoreâ€ (Windows 7). From the menu on the left, select Create System Image.
2. A new window will open where you can choose where you want to save the backup. Keep in mind that your backup storage should have available space equal to the amount of space you are currently using on your Windows 10 PC. Click Next to continue.
3. The backup process will take from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how large your disk is. When this is done, a new disk will appear called WindowsImageBackup where you chose to store the backup.
You may notice that you cannot view the contents of this directory. If this is the case, select Start, type Explorer.exe, right-click Run Explorer.exe, and select Run as Administrator.
Now you can go to your backup folder and make sure your Windows 10 backup was successful. Now you are ready to allocate free space on your PC from the main partition to another.
Note. If something goes wrong and you really need to restore Windows 10, you can do so by opening Control Panel and selecting Backup and Restore (Windows 7). Select “Choose another backup for file recovery” to select a backup and restore the system.
Read our in-depth guide on how to back up your Windows 10 system image.
Allocate free space to create a partition
To create a partition from free disk space, you need to know how much free space you can save. If you are running Windows 10 on a single hard drive where there is only one primary partition for Windows 10 and all data files, you need to ensure that you still have enough space after compressing that partition.
To check this, open Explorer, right-click on the main system drive (in this example, C 🙂 and select Properties.
Here you will see both “Used Space” and “Free Space”.
If you’re hoping to dual boot a PC with a new OS like Ubuntu Linux, make sure the free space meets the minimum requirements of the new OS.
For example, Ubuntu requires at least 25 GB. To leave room for data, allocate about 100 GB for your Ubuntu OS partition.
Once you’ve calculated how much you want to shrink the main partition to make room for a new one, you’re ready to create a new partition.
1. Select the “Start” menu and type “Administrative”. Select the Windows Administration Tools application. When the Administrative Tools window opens, select Computer Management. In the Computer Management window, select Disk Management from the left menu. Here you will see the C: drive partition and its total size.
2. Right-click on the C: partition and select Shrink Volume from the drop-down list.
3. A pop-up window will appear where you can enter the amount of space to compress the selected partition. In the Enter the amount of space to compress in MB field, you will need to specify the size of the new partition that you want. For example, if you want the new partition to be 200 GB, enter 200000. When finished, select Shrink.
4. After the shrink operation completes, you will see a new section marked as “Unassigned”.
Now that you have allocated free space from one partition to the next, you are ready to use it for any purpose.
Use the newly designated section
You will handle this Unallocated Space in different ways, depending on what you want to use it for. If you only want to use it as a new storage location, simply right-click on the partition and select New Simple Volume.
You can make this section extended for data storage.
If you would like to use it to dual boot your Windows 10 PC and Linux OS like Ubuntu, you can check out our guide on dual booting Windows 10 with Ubuntu Or follow our guide to dual-boot Windows 10 with Mint.
You can also do both. If you are creating a dual-boot system by installing Linux on a newly allocated partition, you can repeat the process above to create a third partition that can serve as a shared storage for both systems.
How you decide to use the newly allocated section is entirely up to you.