If you’re planning to delete, shrink, split, expand, merge or create partitions on your drive or other devices, you’ve landed in the right place, as today’s article is about the best partition software available on the “interwebz” in the current year. Obviously, if you’re a Windows user, you already know that you can partition an SSD or an HDD with the OS’s native tool, but you’ll require some extra-help (as in extra-software) if you want to resize a partition or to combine 2 partitions.
Basically, it’s the exact same deal as with defrag software: even if there’s a native tool in Windows that allows you to perform the respective job, if you want to get it done properly, you’ll have to look somewhere else, i.e. for 3rd party software.
Why Use Partition Software
High-quality partition software is an essential tool for any computer geek, as it allows you to organize data on your PC or laptop based on categories. For example, you can keep your work on one partition, your photos/music/multimedia files on another, while your essential programs (like cloning software) can be safely installed on your C (system) drive.
Moreover, if you’re looking to boot from 2 or 3 operating systems (Linux, Windows and Mac for example) on the same machine, you’ll have to divide your drive into smaller partitions, whether we’re talking about an old school HDD or a SSD. So, to make a long story short, if you’re looking to expand or shrink the Windows/System partition, or to combine 2 partitions to get more space for the latest season from True Detective in 4K, free disk partition software will definitely come handy.
Besides dual-triple boot options, partitioning your drive would be a great idea, especially if we’re talking about a classic/mechanical HDD, for two main reasons: first, you’ll benefit from improved performance (access times and all that), and second, you’ll minimize the risk of losing important files (read corrupted files).
Before getting into the “meat” of the article, here’s a little word of advice for our regular readers, if we have one: if you’re a total “noob” with regard to using partition software, if you’re going to tinker with your Windows partition, it would be a smart idea to use backup software for your essential files/data or whatever you think it’s important; you’ve been warned. Joke aside, with no further ado, let’s see about the best partition software in the universe, in no particular order, right after a short word from our sponsors.
Best Partition Software
AOMEI Partition Assistant
The Best Hard Drive Partition Software
AOMEI is a well-known name among “freebie” aficionados, as their famous Partition Assistant Standard Edition can be downloaded for free. Yet, on top of that, there are other versions available, including a Professional, Technician, Server and Unlimited Edition, which means there are a lot of options for both home and enterprise/business users when it comes to AOMEI software.
The interesting thing about AOMEI Partition Assistant is that it offers a lot of hidden features (in the menus), as well as “out in the open” ones, and speaking of feature-rich environments, the Standard Edition comes with more partition tools than almost any of its competitors. For example, you can merge, resize, format, split, align and recover partitions with this software bundle, as well as copy partitions or whole disks.
However, some of the cool features we’ve just told you about are only available in the paid versions, or their functionality is, let’s say “limited” in the free edition, such as the capability to convert between primary/logical partitions.
- comes with both free and paid versions
- works with virtually every Windows version from XP to 10
- allows creation of bootable flash drive
- you can move an OS to a different HDD/SSD
- intuitive interface
- includes a comprehensive step by step wizard
- tons of features
- the free version can also be downloaded for commercial use
- allows FAT to NTFS file system conversions without data loss
- can rebuild MBR from scratch
- allows splitting/merging/hiding partition without data loss
- can restore deleted/lost partitions with ease
- some advanced features are only available in paid versions
- unable to convert dynamic disks to basis disks
Acronis Disk Director
The Best Partition Software Money can Buy
If you’re looking for an easy and safe way to manage your hard drives as well as your precious data, the Acronis Disk Director partition software offers a number of powerful tools to protect and to optimize your disk usage. Using this comprehensive software bundle, you’ll be able to do basically anything, ranging from volume recovery and disk cloning to partition management.
And since today’s topic is partition management, this one-stop partition software wizard allows you to copy, create, move, resize, merge and recover partitions at the flick of a switch, i.e. when it comes to functionality and ease of use, Acronis really kicks ass. The Disk Director offers lots of options for handling both volumes and disks, and it’s able to create/work with dynamic, basic, striped, spanned and mirrored volumes; on top of that, you’ll benefit from various conversion options, such as to convert between primary and logical volumes, basic and dynamic disks, GPT and MBR disks and so on and so forth, and obviously to move/resize/split/merge volumes sans data-loss.
- intuitive and easy to use user interface
- incredibly feature-rich
- allows cloning your HDD to a replacement drive
- offers support for native 4K disks
- works on Windows Server 2016
- can run from a bootable DVD/CD/USB
- comes with comprehensive Demo (read free) version
- well designed
- none really except there’s no free version
EaseUS Partition Master
The Best Free Partition Software
EaseUS Partition Master is a very interesting piece of partition software due to two main reasons: first, it offers a fully functional (free) version, which allows you to do basically everything with your drive (s), including resizing, creating, cloning, merging, moving and format partitions; second, EaseUS Partition Master works on almost all Windows versions, from XP and above, and it requires boomer-level tech expertise, i.e. you can do all the things listed above with just a few clicks and zero special training.
Another cool feature of the Partition Master is its graphic interface, which allows you to shrink or expand a partition by using a slider and dragging it left or right. Moreover, all changes applied to a given partition are not applied in real time, but only virtually, so you can see what would happen before saving the changes. There are also some nice extra goodies available in the EaseUS Partition Master Free Edition, such as defragmenting/optimizing a drive, hiding partitions, upgrading the system drive to a bigger bootable drive, or copy the OS to a different HDD.
- free version available
- excellently designed and intuitive user interface
- easy to use
- all important features available in the free version
- regular software-updates
- you can preview changes before applying them
- allows password protection/hiding partitions
- lacks support for managing dynamic volumes
- the free version cannot be used for commercial purposes
- doesn’t convert between MBR and GPT
- Windows only deal
PARAGON Partition Manager Free
Great Windows Tool
Here comes another comprehensive and completely free of charge partition-manager, this time from Paragon. The free edition of Partition Manager is a software tool designed specifically for Windows users which allows you to delete/format/hide/resize partitions, i.e. to perform basic partition tasks hassle free. Unlike the previous partition software from EaseUS, Paragon’s brain-child can convert from GPT to MBR and vice-versa, which is pretty cool for freeware, but if you’re looking to do more complicated stuff, like converting NTFS to FAT32, convert dynamic to basic, merge partitions or change cluster size, you’ll have to go for the Pro version.
Even if Paragon’s free version of Partition Manager is not as feature-rich as others, it will definitely get the job done effectively and swiftly.
- supports basic partitioning features
- nicely designed and intuitive UI
- easy to use
- comes with walkthrough wizard
- GPT/UEFI configurations supported
- allows you to undo/redo changes before applying them
- works on all Windows platforms from XP and above
- converts volumes to NTFS, FAT32 or HFS
- the free version is not as feature-rich as others
- pay attention to bloatware upon install
- no free version available for commercial use
MiniTool Partion Wizard
The Best Partition Software for Windows 10
Next in line, we have the free version of MiniTool’s Partition Wizard, which, as freeware goes, makes for arguably the best partition software for Windows 10 users, especially “newbie” ones. Also, despite its “minimalist” name, MiniTool’s Partition Wizard is packed to the brim with partition management tools, and we’re talking about the free version here.
To begin with the obvious, this baby supports basic stuff like deleting, formatting, resizing, moving, merging, splitting and copying partitions, as well as running a surface test/checking file system for errors, align partitions and even wipe partitions via specific data-sanitization methods. But then again, these are only the basics, as the free version also allows you to move the OS to a different HDD/SSD, and even to recover deleted or lost partitions. But wait, there’s more, and again, we’re talking about freeware here (other companies charge money for all these features): you’ll also get a disk space analyzer, a file recovery program and a benchmark tool.
The only downside of the free version of MiniTool’s Partition Wizard is that it doesn’t offer support for dynamic disks.
- tons of features in the free version
- easy to use
- allows you to simulate changes before executing them
- capable of extending the system partition sans requiring a restart
- works on all Windows version XP and above
- French language version available
- very fast
- supports external USB drives, FireWire disks, RAID drives
- includes Disk Benchmark, Space Analyzer, Data Recovery tools
- compatible with Linux ext2/ext3 file types
- lacks dynamic disks support
Tenorshare Partition Manager
No-nonsense Partition Software Tool
The Free Partition Manager from Tenorshare is built with simplicity in mind, i.e. if you’re looking for no-nonsense free of charge partition software, this one may have your name on it. Being a partitioning tool for Windows, Tenorshare allows you to format, delete, resize and create partitions in a very simple and hassle-free manner, but with a caveat: you are not allowed to make changes to the system partition, i.e. you can’t resize the Windows partition, which may be a deal breaker for many of our readers.
- very easy to use
- supports MBR to GPT disk conversion
- allows to apply changes virtually before executing them
- FAT, EXT, NTFS, HFS conversion supported
- compatible with Windows XP and above
- supports USB drive, external HDD etc.
- good tool for basic needs
- doesn’t allow changes (resizing) to the OS partition
- outdated user interface
Macrorit Partition Expert
Easy-to-use Disk Partition Software
Next in line we have the Partition Expert from Macrorit, a free partition manager (and more) tool designed for Windows users. One of the most important features of the Partition Expert is its simplicity and ease of use, which makes it ideal for our novice readers, especially if you’re trying to execute complex with your HDD’s partitions.
Macrorit’s Partition Expert allows you to create, extend and format partitions, as well as to manage disk space on both GPT and MBR disks, plus to fix low space issues. On top of that, the software bundle comes with a data disaster recovery tool and power-off protection.
- extremely easy to work with
- intuitive user interface
- all basic features covered (and more) in the free version
- portable version available
- can migrate OS on a different drive
- works with Windows XP and above up to Windows 10
- automatically shuts down PC after applying changes
- can apply changes virtually to the disks/partitions before executing them
- lacks dynamic disks support
Powered by Gnome
Finally, we have a piece of software from the “dark side of the force”, i.e. the Gnome Partition Editor also known as GParted. Obviously, what we’re dealing with here is an open source and completely free partition software editor which allows you to resize the System-drive (C drive) in order to create space for new OS-es, and also to recover data from lost partitions.
What’s different about Gparted is that it offers multi-platform support, which means it not only works on Windows like its predecessors but also on Mac OS X and Linux. Truth be told, Gparted is for advanced users, and if you want to take a shot at it, you better read the manual.
- free of charge
- cross-platform support (works on any OS)
- open source
- allows you to resize/delete/create/move/check/label partitions
- can manipulate basically all file systems
- fast and easy on hardware resources
- doesn’t require a reboot for changes
- runs from a bootable USB stick
- for advanced users only