This quick tutorial will show you 6 easy steps to follow in order to create a hard drive partition within Windows. I’ll be using Windows 10 in this case, but the process is nearly identical in previous versions as well. If you prefer a video guide, I’ve embedded an embarrassingly old YouTube video of the process in Windows 7 (perhaps the cringe I felt watching the video back will motivate me to create an updated version, but until then, enjoy).
Open your Computer Management panel by searching for ‘computer management’ in your Start Menu or by right-clicking on ‘This PC’ or ‘My Computer’ from the File Explorer.
Within the Computer Management pane, select Storage > Disk Management.
Select the existing hard drive partition you’d like to ‘split’ into your new partition (NOTE: the currently selected drive will have diagonal grey lines through it)
Explanation: This is where you need to decide which of your current hard drives from which you’d like to create your partition(s). The bottom center section of this screen shows all of the disks starting with ‘Disk 0’ and ascending from there if you have others. Notice that I have two physical hard drives in my PC. My Disk 0 is my C: drive on which lives my operating system and other applications I’ve deemed important enough to benefit from SSD speeds (Samsung 860 EVO). While there is no harm in creating partitions from your operating system drive (typically your C: drive as well), you should not attempt to alter the accompanying System Reserved or recovery partitions that likely exist. In my case, I’ll be demonstrating on my secondary B: drive (Western Digital Black), but the process remains the same no matter which drive you choose to create your partition.
Choose the amount of space you’d like to shrink from your selected drive by right-clicking on the drive and selecting ‘Shrink Volume…’ then enter the space you’d like to shrink in Megabytes (MB).
Explanation: By default, the entire available disk space to shrink from your existing drive/partition will be populated into the text box. You obviously wouldn’t want to shrink the entire available space because that would leave no free space left on your existing partition. So, choose the amount you’d like to use for your new partition in megabytes (MB). If you don’t already know, there are 1,024 MB in 1 GB, so in my case, I wanted to create a 25 GB partition, therefore I’ve enter 25,600 MB (1024 * 25).
Create a ‘New Simple Volume’ by right-clicking on the newly created Unallocated partition and selecting ‘New Simple Volume…’ then progress through the wizard.
Explanation: The New Simple Volume Wizard is pretty self-explanatory, but just because I like to type, I’ll give a brief explanation. First, you’ll specify the size of the volume (by default this is the full size of the unallocated partition you just created, so chances are you want the full size). Second, you can assign a drive letter of your choosing (only those available are shown in the drop-down). Third, you will name your drive/partition. Finally, you’ll review your selections and click ‘Finish’ to format and create your new partition. (NOTE: as you may have noticed, I opted to not explain some of the selection options in the wizard, this is because 99% of you will not even need to worry about any of the other options. My deepest apologies to the 1% of you who may feel cheated).
Store all your junk on your brand new, ready-to-use partition.