How To Shrink A Volume In Windows Server 2016

In this example we shrink the file system of a volume in Windows Server 2016, freeing up space which can be used to create a new partition, or otherwise further decrease the size of the virtual disk to reclaim the space assuming the hypervisor supports this action.

Shrink A Volume

We’ll begin by opening Server Manager, selecting the Tools menu, followed by Computer Management as shown below.

Server Manager Computer Management

When the Computer Management window opens, select Disk Management which can be found underneath Storage. From here simply right click the disk that you want to shrink, followed by “Shrink Volume…”.

Disk Management Shrink Volume

A new window will appear allowing you to adjust how much space you want to free up. In this case, I shrink enough space so that the total size after the shrink is 20GB. The amount available to shrink depends on how much data is detected on the disk, if you’re not able to shrink as much as you like be sure that you have deleted enough data first.

Shrink Disk

After the shrinking process has completed we’ll be able to see that our disk now has unallocated space available.

Unallocated Disk Space

The unallocated space can now either be used as a new partition, or depending on your virtualization software can even be reclaimed allowing you to decrease the size of the virtual disk if this action is supported.


We have shown you how to shrink the disk space of a volume in Windows Server 2016 with the Disk Management tool. This allows us to reclaim unused disk space and either use it for a new partition, or we can delete it and shrink the virtual disk itself if our hypervisor supports this action.

  1. It seems Disk Management tool is not the only way to shrink volume. You can also use Diskpart or third-party software.

    • Yeah diskpart is a useful tool for doing this via command line, personally I have trouble recommending any good third party tools as the first party options have always done the job for me.

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