Windows – Cannot shrink C: partition: Not enough space

disk-spacepartitioningwindows 10

I am trying to create a new partition on my laptop (XPS 12 9Q33, 128GB SSD) by shrinking the C:\ partition. However, despite the fact that it indicates there is enough space, it displays an error message. I have successfully done this on my desktop, but for some reason it fails on my laptop.

There is not enough space available on the disk(s) to complete this operation.

I am trying to shrink C:\ (which has ~25GB free) by 10GB.

I have:

  • ensured there are no files at the end of the sector (disabling pagefile, etc.). See How can I shrink a Windows 10 partition? for how to do that (and you do need to do that).
  • turned off my antivirus temporarily.
  • disabled BitLocker encryption.

And it still fails. I've even tried Paragon's Partition Manager, which claims there is not enough space on the disk, which is not true.

I have even tried shrinking different sizes (down to 256MB), but to no avail (it still displays the same error).

Screenshots:

It allows me to shrink 10GB (unlike similar issues)

but fails on this message:

Any help would be appreciated.

Best Answer

Try launching the Event Viewer to see which individual files are blocking the partition shrink.

  1. Once again, attempt to shrink the partition. You should get the "There is not enough space" error.
  2. Launch Windows' Event Viewer application.
  3. In Event Viewer, go to Windows Logs > Application.
  4. Find and Click a recent log of type Warning. It should have the message, "Error: during volume shrink initiated on volume Windows (C:) we failed to move a movable file extent." screenshot
  5. The Diagnostic details will give you the name of the "last unmovable file"
  6. Delete this file (Simply send to recycle bin. I did not need a hard delete).
  7. Try shrinking your volume again.
  8. Repeat steps 2-7 until you successfully shrink your partition. (In my case, I had to do this 3 times, as I had 3 pdf files in my local Google Drive that were for some reason stuck as 'unmovable'.).
  9. Restore your deleted files.

CAUTION: Make sure you know what you are deleting! In my case, I knew that these pdf files were:

  1. Not system files
  2. Easy to download again if they become lost
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