How To Open And Use Disk Management In Windows 11

Disk Management is a utility tool used to manage and initialize disk and disk partitions in Windows OS. It makes the process of extending and shrinking the volume of a particular disc relatively straightforward.

The disk management tool comes built-in on your system. The advanced customization of your internal and external storage can only be done through Disk Management. Hence it is an indispensable tool for managing your local disks.

This guide is dedicated to making you understand the basics of Disk Management in Windows 11. Here, we mainly talk about how you can access this tool on your computer and how to use it to perform certain tasks. So, here we go! 

When to Use Disk Management?

    Disk Management can be easily accessed and is used to:

  • Initialize a disk
  • Manage disk partitions
  • Shrink disk volume
  • Extend disk volume
  • Change drive letter

How to Open the Disk Management Tool?

There are a plethora of methods you can follow to access Disk Management in your system. Listed below are all the procedures you can apply to do so.

All of these methods are pretty straightforward and simple. You can follow any method you fancy. 

Through the Command Prompt

The Disk Management tool can be accessed directly via the command prompt. A correct command shall bring up the Disk Management windows in a second. Here’s how to do it:

  1. From the start menu, search for and go to the command prompt
  2. Type and diskmgmt.msc and hit enter. 

From the Start Menu

If and when you want to open an application but you don’t know where to look for it on your computer, the start menu search feature will do the job for you. So, you can open Disk Management through the start menu as well. 

  1. Click on the Start menu. 
  2. Search for disk management
  3. From the search results, select Create and format hard disk partitionscreate-and-format-startmenu

Use the Run Command Box

Typing and entering the name of any application in the run command box will allow you to directly access this application with a tap of a button. Here’s how you can access Disk Management via the run command box:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open the run command box
  2. Type diskmgmt.msc and hit enter. run-command-box

Using the Quick Access Menu

Windows 11 has a quick access menu that allows users to access certain settings ‘quickly.’ Hence, the Disk Management can be accessed via the quick access menu, and it can be done by:

  1. Right-click on the Windows icon. 
  2. Select Disk Management
    quick access menu

Via Settings App

You can also access Disk Management through the Settings app, and this can be done by following the steps below.

  1. Press Windows key + I to open settings. 
  2. On the search field, search for disk management.
  3. Click on Create and format hard disk partitions.  

Through the Control Panel

You can use the Control Panel to alter your hardware and software settings. Almost all of your PC configuration settings can be accessed via the control panel. So, follow the below steps to access Disk Management using the Control Panel.

  1. On the Search bar, type and enter Control Panel
  2. Click on System and Security
  3. Under Windows Tools, click on Create and format hard disk partitions

Via Computer Management

Computer Management is an administrative console you can use to control your computer. Here, you can easily change your PC settings and hence, access the Disk Management tool as well. Follow the steps below to do so:

  1. On the Search bar, type and enter Computer Management
  2. From the left panel, go to Disk Management under Storage

Via Task Manager

Task manager is software the Windows OS provides to view all the processes running concurrently. Through task manager, you can create a new task and open the Disk Management using this task. The steps below show how to do so:

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Task Manager.  
  2. Click on File and select Run New Task
  3. Type diskmgmt.msc and hit OK

Using Disk Management

Once you open Disk Management, there are some disk customization options for you, namely, initializing a new disk, extending and shrinking the disk volume, and changing the disk letter. All of these services are explained below in brief. 

To Initialize a New Disk

You should initialize a new disk when you add it to your system for the first time. This is done because your drive might not appear in the file explorer beforehand.

However, keep in mind that initializing a new disk formats everything inside that disk. So, considering this, follow the steps shown below to do so.

  1. Open Disk Management as an administrator.
  2. Right-click on the disk that’s labeled Not Initialized and select Online.
    If your disk was already listed as Online, you will not see this option. 
  3. Now, right-click this disk again and select Initialize.
  4. Select the disk partition style you prefer.
    You can later change your partition style as well. 
  5. Right-click on the unallocated space and select New Simple Volume.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Select the desired size of the volume you want to allocate and hit Next
  8. Set a drive letter/name and select Next
  9. Select the file system you want to use. 
  10. Finally, click Next followed by Finish

To Shrink the Volume of a Drive

In case you need to allocate extra space to use it for a new partition, you can do so by shrinking the volume of a disk drive. Doing so creates an unallocated space that you can use as a contiguous partition of the same drive.

Keep in mind that you can only shrink the volume of a drive that has an NTFS file system. 

Follow the steps shown below to shrink the volume of your drive.

  1. Open Disk Management as an administrator
  2. Right-click on the drive you want to shrink the volume of.  
  3. Select Shrink Volume
  4. Enter the amount of space you want to shrink. 
  5. Finally, click Shrink

To Extend the Volume of a Drive

As a pretty unknown feature, you can extend the volume of your disk if there’s some unallocated space within it. Extending the volume of your disk is a boon as it increases the storage space within that disk. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Disk Management as an administrator. 
  2. First, check if there is an unallocated space that you can use. 
  3. Right-click on the drive you want to extend the volume of.
  4. Select Extend Volumeextend
  5. Now, select the amount of space you want to extend. 
  6. Click Next followed by Finish to save your changes. 

To Change Your Drive Name

The Disk Management tool is useful if you want to rename your drive or if your drive has not been assigned a name yet (E.g., C, D, etc.).

However, changing the name of a drive with your software and your operating system installed is not recommended. Anyways, the steps below show how you can change your drive name.

  1. Open Disk Management as an administrator. 
  2. Right-click on the drive you want to rename. 
  3. Select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  4. Now, if you want to rename your drive, select Change.
    But if your drive does not have a name, select Add.change-driver-letter  
  5. Select a new name and click OK
  6. Click Yes when prompted. 

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