Partitioning a hard disk means having the ability to split the disk into multiple units so you can, for example, install multiple operating systems on the same computer, store sensitive data in an independent disk area and so on. In this new guide of today, we will explain in detail how to partition hard disk on Windows and Mac in a very simple and without too many concussions.

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How to partition hard drives on Windows

The latest versions of the Microsoft operating system have an integrated tool that allows you to manage the partitions of an HDD in an easy way. It is a tool that contains only the main functionalities to better manage the unit compared to specific software available online. The tool in question is called Disk Management.

Let’s see how to use it:

  • To access the Windows utility simply right-click the Start button at the bottom left and choose Disk Management from the menu that appears. The new window will show you a complete list of the units installed or connected to the computer via USB and a graph representing the various partitions.
  • At this point, to create a new partition it is necessary to reduce the size of the already existing ones and then exploit the free space that is obtained.
  • First, zoom out a partition by right-clicking on the graph of the one you want to reduce and choosing the Reduce Volume item from the menu that appears.
  • After this, indicate the amount of space you want to reduce in MB in the appropriate field and click on Minimize to make the change. Please note that the resizing of a partition does not absolutely lead to the loss of the files saved on it but in any case we always recommend that you make a backup to be more secure. If you do not know which procedure to follow, we suggest that you read our dedicated guide for backing up and restoring files in Windows 10.
  • In the next step, proceed with creating a new partition by right-clicking on the unallocated space graph and choosing New Simple Volume from the menu that is shown.
  • Now, click on Next, indicate the dimensions always in MB and the letter to assign to the unit (eg A :), choose the file system (eg NTFS or FAT32) and assign a name to the volume (ie the one that appears in This PC).
  • Complete the operation by pressing first on Next and then on End.

If your intent was to extend an existing partition because you have unallocated space, then follow the steps listed below:

  • Right-click on the partition chart you want to extend and choose the Extend Volume option from the menu that opens.
  • At this point, click on Next and specify the amount of MB you want to add to the partition in the appropriate field.
  • Complete change before pressing on Next and then Finish.

In case of errors, do not despair because you can delete a newly created partition or an existing one in a very simple way. Just right-click on the volume graph you want to delete, choose Delete Volume from the menu that opens and click Yes to confirm the operation. To delete a real partition and turn it into an unallocated space, instead, you must right click on the available space box, choose Delete partition from the menu that appears and confirm by clicking on Yes.

How to partition hard drives on Mac

As seen on Windows, macOS also integrates a utility that allows hard disk partition and other units in a very simple way. The instrument included as standard by Apple can be found in the Other folder of the Launchpad.

Let’s see how to use it to create a partition:

  • After opening the Disk Utility tool, select the disk name from the sidebar and then press on Partition you find at the top.
  • At this point, click on the + at the bottom left and move the two levers of the partition chart you want to create.
  • In the next step, assign a name to the new partition, choose the file system you want to use from the Format drop-down menu and save the changes by clicking Apply.

If the + button can not be clicked, it means that macOS can not create a new partition on the drive without proceeding with formatting. So, in this case, if you want to continue, we recommend that you first back up all the data as these will be completely erased. If you do not know how, refer to our guide on how to backup to iCloud.

If your intent is to resize a partition, then you simply need to move the levers through the mouse of the existing partitions and press the Apply button at the bottom right to confirm the changes.

To delete a partition, instead, select the chart of the one you prefer with the mouse, click on the  place on the bottom left and confirm by pressing on Remove.

How to partition hard drives: other solutions

As reported a few lines ago, in addition to the standard tool Disk Management and Disk Utility for Windows and MacOS, there are programs specifically created for this purpose that offer, however, the additional features. Find a list below.


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