Slideshow: Shrink a hard drive volume in Windows 7

Open the Disk Management Tool with administrative rights

Microsoft Windows 7 provides several tools for managing the configuration of your computer and the various parts of your operating system. There are times where you will want to shrink the amount of allocated space on your hard drive, referred to as a volume, to make room for another partition. In the not so distant past you would have used a third-party tool for this task, but with the Windows 7 Disk Management Tool the utility you require is part of the operating system.

Shrink a volume
The first step is to start the Disk Management tool with elevated administrative rights. Click the Start Menu Button and type diskmgmt.msc into the search box and then right-click the diskmgmt.msc entry to get to the Run as administrator item in the context menu as shown.

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By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.