How To Open Disk Management

Use the Disk Management Utility to Make Changes to Drives in Windows

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

You'll need to open the Disk Management tool if you want to partition a hard drive, format a hard drive, change a drive letter, or perform various other disk related tasks.

You won't find a shortcut to Disk Management in your Windows Start Menu or Apps screen because it's not a program in the same sense that most other software on your computer is.

Follow the easy steps below to access Disk Management in Windows:

Note: You can open Disk Management as outlined below in any version of Windows, including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

Time Required: It'll only take a few minutes, at most, to open Windows Disk Management, and much less time than that after you learn how to get there.

How To Open Disk Management in Windows

The most common, and operating system independent, way to open Disk Management is via the Computer Management utility, described below. See Other Ways to Open Disk Management after this tutorial for some other options, a few of which may be a bit faster for some of you.

  1. Open Control Panel.

    In most versions of Windows, Control Panel is most easily available from its shortcut on the Start Menu or Apps screen.
  2. Tap or click on the System and Security link.

    Note: System and Security is only found in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. In Windows Vista, the equivalent link is System and Maintenance and in Windows XP, it's called Performance and Maintenance. See What Version of Windows Do I Have? if you're not sure which one you have.

    Tip: If you're viewing the Large icons or Small icons view of Control Panel, you won't see this link. If you're on one of those views, touch or click on the Administrative Tools icon and then skip to Step 4.
  1. In the System and Security window, tap or click on the Administrative Tools heading located near the bottom of the window. You might need to scroll down to see it.

    Remember, in Vista, and XP, this window is called System and Maintenance or Performance and Maintenance, respectively.
  2. In the Administrative Tools window that's now open, double-tap or double-click on the Computer Management icon.
  1. When Computer Management opens, tap or click on Disk Management on the left side of the window, located under Storage.

    Tip: If you don't see Disk Management listed, you may need to tap or click on the |> or + icon to the left of the Storage icon.

    Disk Management may take several seconds or more to load, but will eventually appear on the right side of the Computer Management window.
  2. You can now partition a hard drive, format a hard drive, change a drive's letter, or do whatever else you need to do in Windows' disk manager tool.

Other Ways to Open Disk Management

You can also type a simple command in any version of Windows to open Disk Management. Just execute diskmgmt.msc from whatever Windows command line interface you like to use.

See my How To Open Disk Management From the Command Prompt if you need more detailed instructions.

If you're running Windows 10 or Windows 8, and you have a keyboard or a mouse, please know that Disk Management is one of many quick-access options on the super-useful Power User Menu. Just right-click on the Start button or try the WIN+X combination on your keyboard.

More From Us