People who love to organize their electronics greatly enjoy partitioning their drives. Being able to split up your data in a convenient way is perfect for many different users, and can be a boon for those with a lot of files to keep in order. It’s also a good way to back up data and protect your information from viruses.
Unfortunately, a lot of partitioning software can cost a pretty penny. If you don’t feel like shelling out a ton of cash, or if you simply want to save some money, this guide will outline the best free options out there. Each one is different, but they all have a lot to offer.
Kicking off our list is MiniTool Partition Wizard. There are two versions of this, but for the purposes of this article, we’re looking at the free one. The program is great because, while it doesn’t help you deal with dynamic disks, it supports a lot of common disk partitioning tasks. In addition, you can also simulate any changes before you save them.
As with so many great programs, MiniTool is easy to use. If you’re new to partitioning or simply not too computer savvy, this is a good way to go. Being able to just jump into the software and start working is great.
The main reason this makes the list, however, is the number of things you can do with it. Many partitioning programs are quite limited, but you’ll get no such restrictions here. This supports a ton of regular functions, including splitting, merging, copying, deleting, and resizing.
In addition, it also allows you to check the file system for errors, run surface tests, and both wipe or align partitions. You can even move a partition to a different drive if you need to recover something. The company also packs in a file recovery program, benchmark tool, and disk space analyzer. While MiniTool doesn’t support manipulating dynamic disks, it should still let you do whatever you need.
As with MiniTool, EaseUS Partition Master has a free and paid version. However, don’t think that you’re getting less by going with the unpaid software. The free edition lets you do just about anything you need. You can explore, format, create, delete, and convert partitions as you need. You can even resize, hide, or unhide existing ones without compromising the data inside.
This is another program that’s quite easy to use and understand, making it a prime choice for new users, and you can protect your data with a password. Many of the included functions are also quite helpful and enable anyone to fully take advantage of the different features here. The slider, which lets you drag to expand or shrink partitions, is one such example.
Do note that many premium functions are clickable, which means you might find yourself trying to use something not available with the free version. Even so, that small bit of confusion is well worth everything you get here without spending a dime. There is also a regular stream of updates available, which means it will keep up as time goes on.
Paragon Partition Manager’s free edition is one of the best on the market. While you’re going to get a few restricted functions, this software still stands out from the pack due to the numerous features packed into the slick interface.
This program is a great way to create, copy, delete, or resize partitions. It allows you to create a new partition wherever you need on the hard disk and format the partitions to the NTFS file system. You can also assign a drive letter through the software wizard and then make it accessible in the system.
Another large bonus of Paragon is that it enables you to convert disk partition type from MBR to GPT and GPT to MBR. Yes, you will not be able to change cluster size or merge partitions on the free version, you’re still getting a lot of traits here. It’s also extremely intuitive and you can even make changes and then restore them from a backup if anything happens. It also works seamlessly with any recent Windows models.
Following the above options, GParted is another program that helps you work with partitions through adjusting, resizing, or hiding. However, it operates a little differently because, unlike other free options, it runs entirely from a USB or bootable disc. Even so, it still has a complete user-interface.
As this can be run through alternative means, it works with every operating system. In addition, it supports a wide range of file systems and enables you to hide partitions or change their size with ease. There are a few bumps, such as long download time (due to its large size) and no redo option, but the ability to work off the beaten path is quite nice for users searching for something different.
It’s also worth noting that this software gets high marks because of the way it operates. You can choose the size of your free space before and after the partition through the text box or sliding bar. It’s all about what you prefer. As this doesn’t depend on an operating system, you can work quickly because any pending changes don’t need a reboot.
5. Windows Disk Management
While nowhere near as in-depth as the above options, Windows does come with a handy disk management program built into their devices. The tool, known as “Disk Management,” can be accessed through the “diskmgmt.msc” command or by typing “Disk Management” into the Start Menu.
This option provides you with a few different ways to manage hard disks as well as the partitions on them. You can create volumes, format drives, assign drive letters, and initialize disks. It allows you to extend, merge, shrink, or delete partitions as well.
Of course, this won’t give you the same characteristics as the other free software options on this list, but if you’re looking for something that’s both free and easy, Windows may already have what you’re looking for.
Regardless of how you want to partition, the different programs outlined in this article will give you excellent results. Each one has a wide range of different functions, and they all work to protect or split up data as you need. And, most importantly, they won’t cost you a dime.
Do you use free partition software? Are there any free programs we missed? Let us know below!
Andreas is a freelance tech writer based in California. He works on a Mac in the office and lives with a PC and many old computer electronics at home. While he is not reading or writing, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends.