You can create partitions on a storage device mounted on your computer to categorize and store your data.
For instance, you can create a partition different from your system partition to manage all your games. It would be super helpful in preserving your system partition in case any game files corrupt the situated partition.
But, if you ever delete all your games, you would definitely want to eliminate the unnecessary empty partition. In such a scenario, you can again merge those partitions to make a single large volume.
Can We Merge Any Two or More Partitions?
Partitions are the divided and letter-assigned spaces on disk drives. An empty GPT-based disk drive can have as many partitions as you want though Windows built-in tools limit the number to 128.
Primarily, a computer may have a single partition assigned with the letter C(usually), which contains all operating system files, and is thus called a system drive. Then, it can be parted into various other partitions/drives.
Let me first make you clear about the terminologies used in this article. The root partition that’s divided into other smaller parts will be called as parent partition/drive. And the smaller sections derived by disintegrating the parent partition will be called child partitions.
Also, the partitions placed next to each other are called adjacent partitions. By default, if a partition is split into two, the formed two parent/child partitions will be adjoining/adjacent partitions.
A significant thing to consider here is that Windows limits its modification settings regarding disk partition management. And if particularly talked about merging partitions, it’s even limited. A child partition in a drive can only be merged into its parent partition when it is empty (also unallocated). And they must be adjoining partitions as well.
The visual information about the partitions can be seen in Disk Management(
Here, volume E: was split from D:, so E: is the child partition of parent D: volume. Moreover, they are adjacent as well; thus, they can be merged if the content in E: is deleted and the volume’s made unallocated. But, F: being the child of E: and non-adjacent to D: cannot be integrated into D: directly. To merge F: with D:, you will have first to merge it with E:
Note: Non-adjacent Simple volumes can be merged, but primary partitions can’t be. And furthermore, only volumes with the NTFS file system can be extended.
How to Merge Partitions?
The Windows Disk Management tool can easily merge partitions on your disk if the above circumstances are met. But, if two partitions you want to integrate have data in them, you can copy the whole directory and paste it to any other drive because you will have to empty one drive before merging, as discussed above.
Other various third-party merger software can provide you with tools to merge non-adjacent partitions without emptying them. But, blindly believing them can result in data theft or even permanent loss. Thus, you can research a bit online and use a reliable tool if you ever consider doing so.
Always consider backing up all your data on an external drive, whatever tool you use, before moving to the merging part.
Merge Partitions of a Single Drive
To merge the partitions within the same drive, you can use the disk management utility in Windows. You can follow the steps given below in order to merge the partitions:
- Open the run command by pressing Windows + R keys.
diskmgmt.mscand hit Enter.
- Right-click on the child Partition.
- Click on Delete Volume.. to empty that partition
- And then click on the Yes button.
- This will remove the drive letter and create an unallocated portion in the disk.
- Now click on the Parent partition and choose Extend Volume..
- Click on the Next button.
- Select and Add> whichever unallocated portion you want to merge. You can also choose multiple unoccupied adjacent spaces.
- Click on the Next Button and then Finish.
Merge Partitions From Two or More Disk Drives
You can also merge partitions from different dynamic disk drives on Windows if they are adjacent disks within your computer. That can be seen from the disk numbering in the lower section of the Disk Management utility.
Disk 0 and Disk 1 are adjacent drives.
Now, follow the mentioned steps to merge empty partitions of two or more disk drives:
- Delete and empty the Volumes on the adjacent disk as above.
- Right-click on one of them and choose either New Spanned Volume.. or New Striped Volume..
- Click on the Next button. Then, Add> desired spaces, and hit the Next button again.
- Assign a drive letter or let it be as default and click Next.
- Click on the Next button after ensuring the NTFS file system and allocation unit size as default.
- Go with the Finish and then the Yes button.
Note: Spanned Volume will create a large stack-based partition combining the empty spaces of disks where data is stored, filling the disks one by one. Whereas in Striped Volume, data is correspondingly stored on different disks.
Alternatively, you can use the command-line utility, Diskpart.exe, to merge partitions on Windows. Follow the steps mentioned below to do so:
- Press Windows + R, type
diskpart.exe, and hit Enter.
- Click on the Yes button to give admin rights.
- Now, run the command,
select volume <number>for the volume you want to merge. This command, as it sounds, selects a volume.
delete volumeto empty it.
- Then, select the adjacent parent partition you desire to enlarge.
- And type
extendto merge it to the previously emptied volume.
You can also use the
list disk to check the disk numbers. Then extend the volume to another unallocated disk on the 7th step by executing the command: