Managing your hard-drive partitions effectively is an important aspect of owning a PC, as that allows people to segregate data based on categories. For instance, you can keep your multimedia files (movies, music etc.) in one partition, your work folders in another, while your programs etc. can be installed on your system drive. Also, if you’re a power-user and use your PC to double or triple-boot into various operating systems, you already know that it’s impossible without dividing your SSD or HDD into smaller partitions. That being the case, we’ve compiled a list of the best free partition software for Windows and Linux to help you manage your hard disk partitions effectively in 2020.
Best Free Partition Management Software in 2020
1. EaseUS Partition Master
EaseUS is one of the very best free partition software in the market today. It gives a host of options to the user, including, create, format, resize, move, split, merge, copy, wipe, check and explore. The reason it is at number one is because it not only works exactly as advertised, but also includes a number of extra features, like a partition recovery option that can recover lost or deleted partitions. It also allows users to convert from FAT to NTFS, primary to logical and vice-versa. The best part? It’s all included in the free version.
I’ve personally used EaseUS Partition Manager myself to partition my hard drives and SSDs for several years, and have found the GUI to be extremely intuitive, and the program itself is also extremely easy to use for anybody with the slightest idea of what they want to do. While the free version offers a comprehensive set of features, you’ll need to upgrade to the ‘Pro’ version if you want to migrate your operating system to a new HDD or SSD. The program is available only on Windows, and is compatible with every version from XP to Windows 10.
2. AOMEI Partition Assistant
AOMEI Partition Assistant is available as a free download without much restrictions, which means you can use it for both personal and commercial use. It offers a wide gamut of features and options for its users, including resize, merge, create, format, split, copy and recover partitions. You can also convert the file system from FAT to NTFS and vice-versa without losing any data in the drive volume(s) in question. The program also allows the MBR to be rebuilt from scratch.
As is to be expected with most of these so-called ‘freemium’ software, some of its most important features of AOMEI Partition Assistant are hidden behind a paywall, including the ability to migrate the operating system to a different HDD or SSD and, convert between primary and logical partitions. The software can also be used to create a bootable Windows disc or flash drive. Called Windows PE Builder, it allows you to setup partitions even without having an operating system installed.
3. MiniTool Partion Wizard 12
MiniTool Partition Wizard is yet another free partition manager program that is available for free but packs quite a punch in terms of its features. As you’d expect from most partition management programs, the free version of MiniTool can create, resize, move, delete, format, hide, unhide, split, merge, copy, clone and even recover deleted partitions. What’s more, the program also allows users to rebuild the MBR table and convert file system from FAT to NTFS and vice-versa.
MiniTool is one of the fastest programs in its category and, supports RAID drives, external USB drives and even FireWire disks. The latest version of MinitTool, the V11.5 comes with the excellent new features including Data Recovery, Disk Benchmark, Space Analyzer, along with some bug fixes which makes it even better. The Disk Benchmark feature allows users to measure the read and write speeds under various disk access scenarios like sequential and random. The Space Analyzer feature is great for finding out what is taking up space on your system so you can delete unnecessary files to release some storage. Finally, the new V11.5 also adds support for two new languages; Korean and Italian.
The program is also compatible with Linux ext2/ext3 file types. There’s also an optional “enhanced data protection mode” that you can turn on while modifying your disk partitions so as to protect the data in those partitions in case of a power failure during an operation. Like EaseUS, MiniTool also offers the OS migration feature, but only in its Pro version (and above) that starts at $39.
4. Paragon Partition Manager
Like most of the other programs on the list, Paragon Partition Manager also allows users users to create, format, resize, delete, hide and copy partitions. It also allows users to convert disk partition type from MBR to GPT and vice-versa. While the free version of Paragon Partition Master offers a comprehensive list of features, you’ll need to buy the Pro version if you want additional features, like merge partitions, convert NTFS to FAT32, change cluster size and convert dynamic disk to basic.
Paragon Partition Magic also supports GPT/UEFI configurations, and works with Apple’s HFS+ file system. While we haven’t checked out the paid version of the software, the free version isn’t really as feature-rich as some of the aforementioned options. Sure, it gets the job done swiftly and effectively, but unless you’re willing to pay for the premium versions, you’ll miss out on a few features that you will otherwise get in some of the other free programs on the list.
GParted is a powerful, free and open-source (FOSS) partition editor for Linux-based systems, but can also be used on Macs or Windows PCs by booting from GParted Live. The software not only allows users to create, resize, delete, move and copy partitions on a hard disk, but also to create a partition table and enable or disable partition flags. As expected from a program meant to be run on Linux, GParted supports ext2, ext3 and ext4 alongside NTFS, FAT16, FAT32 and many other file systems.
In case you’re apprehensive about using an app meant for Linux-based systems to manage your NTFS partitions, don’t be. The program works very well with NTFS because of the Linux NTFS-3G NTFS filesystem driver that allows programs like GParted to work with Windows volumes without any data loss. Being a FOSS software, it is also completely free irrespective of your use case. However, if you’re a total novice to disk management, you may find the UI not as intuitive as the commercial solutions mentioned in this list.
6. Macrorit Disk Partition Expert
Macrorit Disk Partition Expert is by far the easiest to use when compared to the rest of the programs on this list. While it offers users the usual features that are expected from standard disk management programs, it also comes with a few features that are a little less common. First off, it offers a portable version, so you can actually use it without having to install it on your PC. Secondly, the program first applies the changes virtually to let you see their effects before actually going through with the changes for real. You’ll have to hit the ‘Commit’ button to actually go through with the action once you’re happy with what you see. Also, like MiniTool Partition Wizard, Macrorit also has “power-off protection and data disaster recovery”, which prevents loss of data in case of power outage during the partitioning/merging/deleting or any other process.
For all its innovative features, Macrorit lacks a few important features that can be found on some of the other software mentioned on this list. One of the most important features missing from the software is the ability to migrate the operating system. While it’s not really a big deal if you’re looking to use the free version of the program (because none of the others offer it in their free editions either), if you want a full-featured suite and are ready to pay for it, there are other, more feature-rich options available in the market, although, they do cost a bit more than this one.
7. Acronis Disk Director
Acronis Disk Director is among the most advanced partition management software for Windows, yet it features a simple and easy-to-use interface. It offers a range of features as you would expect from a feature-packed disk management software. To name a few, you can create, merge, split, resize, format, and activate the hard disk partitions without losing the data. The best part about Acronis Disk Director is that you can migrate your data from HDD to SSD by cloning the disk in the same format and partition scheme. Not to mention, it also moves your old MBR table seamlessly.
And just like other partition managers, you can recover lost or deleted data partitions, in case your computer fails to boot. Having said that, keep in mind, Acronis Disk Director is a paid-only partition manager and there is no free edition available. But Acronis does offer a 30-day trial period which seems enough to organize the disk partitions and manage the hard drive overall. In case, you wish to go for the premium version with no restrictions then you can get the premium version at a one-time fee of $49.99. As for the compatibility, Acronis Disk Director has support for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.
8. Cute Partition Manager
Similar to GParted, Cute Partition Manager is a small yet powerful utility for managing disk partitions. However, the partition software is not for everyone despite the software being available for free. It has an ancient interface which can be live booted through a USB drive to manage the partitions. You can alter the file system, create a disk partition, delete drives, and a lot more. But you will have to work on a shell interface using just the keyboard as it does not have support for mouse. Having said that, you can manage and convert Windows file systems like NTFS and FAT without any data loss.
Apart from that, as it’s a partition manager meant for advanced users, you can also manually change the boot flag within the master boot record (MBR) table. It will help you indicate the operating system as to which partition to boot from. All in all, Cute Partition Manager is a free and powerful partition software for Windows computers and you can use it if you have the expertise to deal with a bootable program.
9. Active@ Partition Manager
If you are looking for a completely free partition management software in a usable, GUI interface then Active@ Partition Manager can be of great help. It allows you to manage hard disk drives and logical partitions without any feature restrictions. You can create, delete, format, resize, give a name to the partition, etc. quickly and without requiring to restart the computer. Further, you can organize and manage a long list of file systems including FAT, NTFS, exFAT, Ext2/Ext3/Ext4, and more.
The best part about Active@ Partition Manager is that you can edit the MBR table and change the boot volume. Not to mention, if you are moving to Windows 10, you can convert the MBR partitioning scheme to GPT, the new partition style on UEFI firmware. What’s more, if there is any damage to the logical drives or the partition layout then Active@ Partition Manager can rollback the changes immediately and restore your computer to the earlier working state. So keeping all the points in mind, Active@ Partition Manager seems a capable partition software and you should definitely give it a try.
10. Windows Disk Management
A lot of people don’t realize this, but Windows already comes with a built-in disk management program called, well, “Disk Management”. The tool can be accessed by using the ‘diskmgmt.msc’ command or by searching for ‘Disk Management’ on the Start Menu search panel, and, gives users quite a few options to manage hard disks and the volumes or partitions that they contain. Users can initialize disks, create volumes, assign drive letters, and format drives with the utility. As is to be expected, it supports both FAT and NTFS file systems, and can extend, shrink, merge or even delete partitions.
Microsoft first introduced the disk management utility in Windows 2000, and it can be found in all subsequent Windows editions right up to Windows 10. While the initial versions of the program were quite limited in what they could do, Microsoft has added a few new features to the utility over the course of time, and it is now a quite capable disk management tool. However, it still lacks many of the essential features that most of the free third-party programs come with, but if you’re looking for something really basic, chances are, the built-in Windows utility will be enough for your needs.
Best Partition Management Software for Your Computer
As you can see from our list above, there’s a whole host of programs to manage hard disk partitions, and most of them offer a very similar set of features. While the paid versions come with extra bells and whistles, the free editions should do just fine for most users. All these partition managers ensure that you don’t lose any files. However, creating a backup is always preferable before doing anything.
So, do you use any of the above software to manage your HDD or SSD partitions, or do you want to recommend something else that offers more features in its free version? Do let us know by leaving your thoughts in the comment section below because we love hearing from you.