Disk Management

All About Disk Management: What It's For and How to Get There

Screenshot of the Disk Management utility in Windows 10
Disk Management (Windows 10).

Disk Management is an extension of the Microsoft Management Console that allows full management of the disk-based hardware recognized by Windows.

Disk Management is used to manage the drives installed in a computer - like hard disk drives (internal and external), optical disk drives, and flash drives.

Disk Management can be used to partition drives, format drives, assign drive letters, and much more.

How To Access Disk Management

The most common way to access Disk Management is via the Computer Management utility. See How To Access Disk Management in Windows if you're not sure how to get there.

Disk Management can also be started by executing diskmgmt.msc via the Command Prompt or other command line interface in Windows. See How To Open Disk Management From the Command Prompt if you need help doing that.

How To Use Disk Management

Disk Management has two main sections - a top and a bottom:

  • The top section of Disk Management contains a list of all the partitions, formatted or not, that Windows recognizes.
  • The bottom section of Disk Management contains a graphical representation of the physical drives installed in the computer.

Performing certain actions on the drives or partitions make them available or unavailable to Windows and configures them to be used by Windows in certain ways.

Here are some common things that you can do in Disk Management:

Disk Management Availability

Disk Management is available in most versions of Microsoft Windows including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.

Note: Even though Disk Management is available in multiple Windows operating systems, some small differences in the utility do exist from one Windows version to the next.