How to add/merge Unallocated space to C drive in Windows Server 2016?

In Windows Server 2016 Disk Management console, you can do basic management to create partitions, format and delete partitions. Advanced operation to shrink and extend a partition. As its name, Unallocated space is the disk space that has not be used by any disk partitions. Besides creating new drives, you can add Unallocated space to C drive or other data drives to increase the partition size.

To add or merge Unallocated space, there are 2 choices: Windows built-in Disk Management or 3rd party partition software. The ability of Disk Management is weak and the adding/merging operation only work in special condition. Comparing with Windows DM, 3rd-party software is much powerful. In this article I’ll show you detailed steps how to add/merge Unallocated space to C drive in Windows Server 2016 with both tools.

Merge Unallocated space to C drive in Disk Management

Step 1: Right-click Windows on bottom left and click Disk Management.

Step 2: Right-click C: drive and select “Extend Volume…

Extend volume

Step 3: In the pop-up window, type the amount of Unallocated space and click Next.

Type value

Step 4: Confirm the operation and click “Finish” to proceed.

Confirm

The Unallocated space added to C drive in a short time.

Unallocated merged

However, if there is another drive between C drive and the Unallocated space, Extend Volume is grayed out when you right click C drive.

Extend grayed out

Note: In Server 2016 Disk Management, Unallocated space can only be merged into the left adjacent partition.

Some people want to shrink D to expand C, but after shrinking D, they found it is impossible to merge Unallocated space to C drive, because Extend Volume is disabled. Actually, if any tool can move the Unallocated space behind C drive, this problem can be solved easily.

Move Unallocated space to behind C drive

Download and install NIUBI Partition Editor, there is 10GB Unallocated space that is shrank from D.

Unallocated behind D

Step 1: Right click D: and select “Resize/Move Volume“.

Move volume

Step 2: In the pop-up window, drag middle position rightwards to move D.

Move D drive

Move D

Click OK and back to the main window, the 10GB Unallocated space moved to behind C: drive.

Unallocated moved

Add Unallocated space to C drive

Step 1: Right click C: drive and select “Resize/Move Volume” again. In the pop-up window, drag right border rightwards to hold the Unallocated space.

Extend C drive

Extend volume

Click OK and back to the main window, the Unallocated space added into C drive.

Volume extended

Remember to click Apply on top left to execute, done.

In Summary

To add or merge Unallocated space to C drive in Windows Server 2016, Disk Management is workable only when the Unallocated space is behind C drive. With partition software, you can move Unallocated space to behind C drive from any position. It is also able to add/merge the Unallocated space to C drive easily.

Note: Server 2016 Disk Management can only create Unallocate space at the right side after shrinking volume, the limitation cause more steps are required to solve this problem. With NIUBI Partition Editor, you can create Unallocated space at left side, so C drive can be extended easily without moving the Unallocated space.

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