You have divided your computer hard disk into multiple partitions, but now you regret it and would like to go back without losing your data? I'm sorry, but merging partitions on a disk and not losing data in any of them is almost impossible.
Using the partitioning utilities included in Windows or macOS you can be able to keep intact all the data stored in the primary partition of your disk but, alas, the other partitions must be deleted along with all the files they contain. This means that you have to transfer all data from the secondary partitions to the primary one (or better yet, to an external drive), then you have to delete the secondary partitions and finally you have to expand the primary partition using the space freed up on the disk.
Actually there are also applications that allow you to merge two adjacent partitions without deleting the data, but these are not "magic" solutions. These programs do nothing more than create a folder containing the files hosted on the secondary partition, copy the folder to the primary partition and then merge the two parts of the disk: more or less what you can do using the utilities included by default in Windows and macOS . But now let's not get lost in chat further. Let's take a few minutes of free time and see together how to rejoin a partitioned hard driveusing both the utilities included "standard" in Windows and macOS as well as third party applications. I assure you that it is not as complex as it may appear at first glance.
As just mentioned, the unification of two or more hard disk partitions involves the deletion of all the data present in the secondary partitions. This means that you absolutely must create a backup of all data on secondary partitions. For the backup I suggest you use USB hard drives or, in any case, external drives to the PC.
Subsequently, since the partitioning of a hard disk is an activity that always involves a small percentage of risk, I recommend that you perform a also backup the data on the primary partition (which, in any case, should remain intact at the end of the procedure).
Rejoin a Partitioned Hard Drive on Windows
Be vuoi scoprire how to rejoin a partitioned hard drive using Windows (Vista onwards), go to Start, type partitions in the quick search bar and launch the utility for Create and format hard drive partitions.
In the window that opens, select with the right mouse button one of the "minor" partitions that you want to join the main one of the system and click on the item Delete volume menu that appears. Then answer by Yes to the Windows warning that you are about to delete the partition and wait a few seconds for your partition to turn into Free space.
At this point, repeat the same operation for all the partitions you want to merge with the main one and transform the "free space" into "unallocated space" to merge with the main disk partition. To do this, right click on the volumes you previously deleted (one at a time), select the item Delete partition from the menu that appears and answer by Yes startup that appears on the screen. This way, all deleted partitions will turn black and take on the definition of unallocated space.
Once you have deleted all the "secondary" partitions, right click on the blue box of the primary partition to which you want to add the newly freed space (eg. C:) and select the item Extend Volume from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, click on forward twice in a row and then on end to complete the procedure (make sure that on the second screen of the procedure, in the field Select the amount of space in MB, all free space available on the disk is selected).
The reunification process of the partitions could take a few seconds. In case one of the partitions to be deleted has not been deleted by clicking on Delete volume, try to format it (by right clicking on it and clicking on Format and then OK) and then delete it following the procedure described above.
Rejoin a Partitioned Disk Without Erasing Data
As mentioned in the opening of the post, there are programs that simplify saving the data of the secondary partitions in a folder, automatically copying them to the primary one and then unifying the disk. Among the most effective and easy to use ones I recommend EaseUS Partition Master, which is compatible with all the most popular versions of Windows and is completely free (in its basic version, then there are also some paid ones that offer a greater number of works, but for now we don't care).
To download EaseUS Partition Master on your PC, connect to the official website of the program and click on the button Download which is found under the item relating to EaseUS Partition Master Free. When the download is complete, open the software installation package (epm.exe) and first click on Yes and then OK, Next, Accept and again Next.
Then remove the check mark from the entry for the installation of EaseUS Todo Backup Free or other additional software (they are not harmful, just superfluous) and complete the setup by pressing on first Next twice in a row and then on Finish. Leave the form asking for your email address blank.
Once the installation is complete, launch EASEUS Partition Master and click on the button Launch application. Then select the unit for the primary partition of the disk (es. C:) and click on the item Merge score located in the left sidebar.
In the window that opens, put the check mark next to the entry for secondary partition you want to merge with the primary one (the partitions must be adjacent), make sure that in the drop down menu Merge selected partitions to the primary partition is selected (ex. C:) and click on your button OK to move forward.
At this point, click on your button Apply which is at the top left, answer Yes the alerts that appear on the screen and wait for the computer to restart automatically. When the PC is switched on again, before Windows starts, a Command Prompt screen will appear through which EaseUS Partition Master will complete its work: do not press any key and wait a few seconds for the operation to be completed.
Upon new login to Windows, open theFile Explorer (the yellow folder icon located at the bottom left of the taskbar), select the item computer o What PC from the sidebar and double-click the icon of the primary partition of the hard disk (eg. C:). Inside the disk you will find a folder named Local Disk xx containing all the files that were hosted on the now deleted secondary partition.
Rejoin a Partitioned Hard Drive on Mac
If you are using a Mac, you can merge a disk using theDisk Utility present in the folder Other of the Launchpad. Its operation is very intuitive.
All you have to do is select the hard disk icon to be treated from the left sidebar and click on the button Partition which is located at the top.
In the window that opens, use the pie chart to select the secondary partitions to be deleted and presses the button (-) which is at the bottom left to delete them. Then make sure that the primary partition occupies all the space of the graph (otherwise you resize it "manually") and complete the operation by pressing on Apply.
Within a few minutes, the selected partitions will be deleted from the disk (along with all the data they contained) and the freed space will be added to the primary partition. It wasn't difficult, was it?
If you are using a version of macOS earlier than 10.11 (El Capitan), the procedure you need to follow is slightly different. Once theUtility disco you have to select the icon of your hard disk from the left sidebar, then you have to go to the tab Partition and click on the box for the secondary partition you want to remove.
So press on the button (-) located at the bottom left and confirm the deletion of the partition by clicking on Remove. Repeat the operation for all secondary partitions, then expand the primary partition by clicking on the three lines located at the bottom right and dragging the partition box to the bottom and first click on Apply and then Partition to unify the disk.
The procedure for merging disk partitions can take several minutes. Its actual duration depends on the amount of data to be processed and the performance of the disk.
Please note: all the above indications - both those for Windows and those for macOS - do not apply only to hard disks or internal SSDs of computers, but also to external disks and removable USB drives. Make good use of it.