How to merge partitions in Windows Server 2016

When system C: drive is getting full in Windows 2016 server, many people find that there’s plenty of free space in other volumes. Therefore, they want to know if it’s possible to merge C drive with another partition. If it works, there will be more free space in C drive again. The answer is yes, no matter you want to merge C and D drive, or combine other partitions. In this article, I’ll introduce how to merge partitions in Windows Server 2016 with native Disk Management tool and third party safe partition software.

Method 1 – merge partitions with Windows Disk Management

Besides basic ability to create, delete and format partition, Windows Server 2016 Disk Management can change partition size. There’s no “Merge Volumes” function, but you can combine Server 2016 partition indirectly with another Extend Volume function.

Note: although there’s a way to combine partitions in Windows Server 2016 without software, it is not recommended. Because Disk Management has many restrictions. You must delete a partition and merge disk space to the contiguous volume on the left.

How to merge partitions in Windows Server 2016 without software:

  1. Back up or transfer all files in D drive to other place.
  2. Press Windows and X keys together, click Disk Management in the list.
  3. Right click D: drive and select Delete Volume.
  4. Right click C: drive and click “Extend Volume”.
  5. Follow up the Extend Volume Wizard

Shortages to merge Server 2016 partitions with Disk Management:

  1. You must manually delete partition to convert disk space to Unallocated.
  2. It cannot combine Unallocated space to contiguous partition on the right or to any non adjacent volume.
  3. The target partition must be formatted with NTFS file system.

The cases cannot merge Windows 2016 partitions

There’s still an issue when merging 2 partitions in Windows Server 2016, even if you can delete volume. For example, when merging D to C drive, Extend Volume is still grayed out to C drive after deleting D. Because D: drive here is a Logical partition.

Cannot extend C

In Windows Disk Management, Free space deleted or shrunk from a Logical drive can’t be extended to any Primary partition. Unallocated space got from a Primary partition can’t be combined to any Logical drive.

Method 2 – combine volumes with safe partition software

To merge partitions in Windows Server 2016, third party software is better choice. Because comparing with Windows Disk Management tool, third party software is much more powerful. There are no such restrictions, the benefits include:

  1. Both NTFS and FAT32 partitions can be combined together.
  2. You can merge a partition to another contiguous or nonadjacent volume on the same disk.
  3. Except system partition C, either partition could be selected as target.
  4. Much easier, only several clicks are needed.
  5. When merge 2 contiguous partitions, all files in a partition will be moved to the other one automatically.

How to merge 2 partitions in Windows 2016 server without deleting:

  1. Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click either partition that you want to combine and select Merge Volume.
  2. Select both partitions in the pop-up window, and then select the target partition in the drop-down box.
    Select partitions
  3. Click Apply on top left to execute, done.

Resize volume instead of combining partitions

If there are too many partitions in your server, of course you can merge 2 volumes to a larger one. But if you want to extend a partition by merging another one, it is not suggested. Because one of the partitions will be removed. You’d better resize Server 2016 partition. That means, shrink a large volume to release free space, and then add this space to the drive that you want to increase.

After shrinking and extending partition, everything (except partition size) keeps the same with before. Follow the steps in the video to resize partitions.

Video guide

Besides shrinking, extending and merging partitions in Windows Server 2016, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk partition management operations. Better than other tools, it has unique 1-Second Rollback, Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies to protect your system and data.

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