Microsoft’s built-in disk management tool is limited. It allows you to allocate only unused disk space to a volume, and even then the unallocated space must be adjacent to the volume you want to extend.

What you want is something that allows you to change your hard drive configuration without data loss, basically the ability to merge and split volumes. Although you can find several options to manage your disk drives and volumes, not all of them provide the ability to merge or split volumes without losing data. Here are a few that do.

The great thing about NIUBI Partition Editor is that although there are paid versions, all hard disk management functions of the software are included in the free version, and it does not contain any adware or advertisements. It allows you to easily manage hard drive partitions and volumes.

The graphical interface is intuitive and uses a scroll bar to shrink or expand the drives on your computer. In addition to the standard functions of shrinking and extending partitions, changing labels and formatting volumes, you can also merge adjacent partitions without data loss, which not all free disk management tools offer. .

Advantages:

  • The free version has all the functions, including merging and cloning the operating system

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The inconvenients:

To download: NIUBI Score Editor (free and premium versions available)

Macrorit disk management software is another one that has all the features of the paid version in its free edition. It gives you the ability to clone your disks to back up your data, create bootable disks, and even migrate your operating system to another disk.

You can easily expand and shrink volumes, merge storage, change drive labels, and defragment your drives. All this is done through a visual interface and with a slider. You can also enter the amount of space you want to shrink or extend a partition.

Advantages:

  • All functions are present in the free version, including OS merging and cloning
  • Is wearable


The inconvenients:

  • The interface could be better aesthetically

To download: Macrorit Partition Expert (free and premium versions available)

AOMEI is a popular choice because although it has a paid version with extras, the basic free version has pretty much all the tools you’ll need to create, delete, resize, move, split and merge partitions and clone partitions and disks. You can even migrate your operating system between MBR disks.

The paid version gives you the added benefit of migrating your operating system from MBR to GPT, and from GPT to MBR/GPT. Read our guide on MBR and GPT partitions to find out which ones you should use for your SSD. If you are interested, there is also a server version.

Advantages:

  • Ability to merge partitions
  • Windows PE bootable disc option present in free version

The inconvenients:

  • Limited OS migration options in the free version

To download: AOMEI Partition Wizard (free and premium versions available)

Acronis Disk Director is paid software that starts at $50, but it comes with an array of useful disk management features. At the top of this list are partition management and disk cloning.

You can also create bootable media and merge it into a single logical volume of unallocated space spanning multiple physical disks. And then there’s Acronis’ Volume Recovery feature: the ability to recover lost or deleted partitions even if your operating system refuses to boot.

Advantages:

  • Use unallocated space from multiple physical disks
  • Volume Recovery

The inconvenients:

To download: Acronis Disk Director (from $49.99, free trial available)

The free version of MiniTool Partition Wizard has all the basic features you need to manage your disk drives. But if you want a few extra features, such as the ability to migrate your operating system to another hard drive and make the software bootable, you’ll need to choose one of the paid versions that start at $59 for an annual subscription.

However, the free version lacks some of the benefits of other disk management software on our list, such as the ability to defragment your disks and change drive labels. Think of MiniTool Partition Wizard Free as just a disk management tool.

Advantages:

  • Free version allows basic disk management

The inconvenients:

  • Migrate OS functionality only in paid version
  • Online installer tries to add additional program during installation

To download: MiniTool Partition Wizard (free tiered subscription available)

EaseUS was touted as a great solution for disk management, but the free version comes with basic features: you don’t have the option to migrate your OS or clone a disk. Many features available only to paying customers appear in the free version of the program (but won’t run), so it can be a bit confusing if you’re using the free edition.

EaseUS, however, has a simple slider interface to expand or shrink volumes. And you can make changes and save them to the queue to run so that all your changes can be applied at once.

Advantages:

  • Basic disk management in the free version

The inconvenients:

  • Some disk management features only in paid version

To download: EaseUS Partition Master (free and premium versions available)

Just like other disk management software on our list, IM-Magic Partition Resizer lets you extend, shrink, merge and move partitions without losing your data.

The interface is a bit different from similar software and you mainly use the right click to access disk management options. The program shows you which operations are pending and with the click of the Apply Changes button, you can make your changes permanent.


Advantages:

  • Access to all basic disk management options

The inconvenients:

  • Bootable media option only in the paid version
  • Interface could be more user-friendly

To download: IM-Magic Partition Resizer (free and premium versions available)

The free version of Paragon Partition Manager provides access to almost all the same features as other disk management software we have discussed except the ability to merge and split partitions. That, along with the ability to migrate your operating system, is reserved for the Professional Edition.

The free version, however, allows you to allocate adjacent free space, which the program does through a slider interface. The free edition also offers the ability to switch between MBR and GPT.

Advantages:

  • Has almost everything you will need in its free version
  • A command line option in the free version
  • Windows PE bootable disc option in free version

The inconvenients:

  • Merge/Split option only available in paid version

To download: Paragon Partition Manager (free and premium version available)

Although GParted does not allow you to merge volumes directly, you can achieve the effect of extending storage on a specific volume. You’ll need to do this by shrinking another volume and moving the freed up space to a location adjacent to the drive, before expanding it.

The GUI is a bit dated, but GParted has a slider to shrink or expand drives, and you can also enter the amount of disk space to shrink or expand.

Advantages:

  • Basic disk management functions

The inconvenients:

  • Increase the volume obtained indirectly
  • UI looks outdated

To download: GParted (free)

Preserve your data and expand storage

Most of us, at some time, have faced the problem of less free space on our hard drives, and these disk management software allow you to expand volume storage, if only- what temporarily, without losing your data. The best ones allow you to merge volumes directly, mostly for free; others require a workaround. Some are even portable, so you don’t have to install anything on your Windows PC.