Overview of Disk Management

Applies To: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Server (Semi-Annual Channel), Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012

Disk Management is a system utility in Windows that enables you to perform advanced storage tasks. Here are some of the things Disk Management is good for:

Disk management showing a typical drive with three partitions - a 499 MB system partition, a larger C drive for Windows, and another 499 MB partition for recovery

Tip

If you get an error or something doesn't work when following these procedures, take a peek at the Troubleshooting Disk Management topic. If that doesn't help - don't panic! There's a ton of info on the Microsoft community site - try searching the Files, folders, and storage section, and if you still need help, post a question there and Microsoft or other members of the community will try to help. If you have feedback on how to improve these topics, we'd love to hear from you! Just answer the Is this page helpful? prompt, and leave any comments there or in the public comments thread at the bottom of this topic.

Here are some common tasks you might want to do but that use other tools in Windows:

About those extra recovery partitions

In case you're curious (we've read your comments!), Windows typically includes three partitions on your main drive (usually the C:\ drive):

Disk 0 showing three partitions - an EFI system partition, the Windows partition, and a recovery partition

  • EFI system partition - This is used by modern PCs to start (boot) your PC and your operating system.
  • Windows operating system drive (C:) - This is where Windows is installed, and usually where you put the rest of your apps and files.
  • Recovery partition - This is where special tools are stored to help you recover Windows in case it has trouble starting or runs into other serious issues.

Although Disk Management might show the EFI system partition and the recovery partition as 100% free, it's lying. These partitions are generally pretty full with really important files your PC needs to operate properly. It's best to just leave them alone to do their jobs starting your PC and helping you recover from problems.

See also