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Is there any way to shrink an exFAT partition?

The windows disk manager has the "Shrink" option greyed out.

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What is the context of the partition? Is it internal, external, HDD, SSD, system partition, USB drive? More information, please. – user3463 Feb 24 '12 at 0:16
@Randolph West - How is that relevant? I have a device. It looks like a standard disk to windows. Any other information detracts from the question. I'm aware of the alternatives to shrinking a partition (and am in the precess of backing up the partitions contents to reformat). However, if I can shrink the partition, it will make my life easier. – Fake Name Feb 24 '12 at 0:50

I'm not claiming to be an expert on this, and this is probably the first answer I've posted where I'm hoping I'm wrong... but I did find this:

Quora: How can I resize an exFat partition under Windows (or Mac), without losing data?

As far as I can tell this is not possible. Neither Mac or Windows' built-in disk partition utilities support this and I've not been able to find any external tools that do either.

(Quoted material is from 2012, so advances could have been made since then.)

To further respond to the comment made from SecurityMatt's answer, I don't think exFAT was really designed to be a very "modern" filesystem filled with modern design features. It was designed to be more modern than FAT32, by supporting larger partition sizes. It was basically Microsoft's answer to some limitation(s) that FAT had, and an opportunity for Microsoft to strengthen its claim on owning the intellectual property of a file format, by having a new file format created during a time when Microsoft has learned to be more clear about who owns the technology. I believe Microsoft intended to market exFAT for scenarios where low overhead is probably more desirable, such as little memory cards like SD cards (or, more applicably, either SDHC or SDXC cards). I don't believe exFAT was ever intended to be competing with NTFS by having lots of new/modern features.

Again, I haven't researched this as heavily as some other operating systems, and I could easily be out of date about some of the specifics. Hopefully some piece of this answer is somewhat helpful.

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Since it is not possible to resize it I solved it like this:

  1. Backed up the files
  2. Formatted to NFTS (on the Disk Manager)
  3. Resized NFTS
  4. Created new FAT32 Volume (since that was why I wanted to shrink it)
  5. Formatted to exFat (on the Disk Manager)
  6. Downloaded the files back into the HDD
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This is the gist of my solution too. – Gabriel Staples May 16 at 3:02
PS: for backing up/copying large chunks of data, and/or lots of files, FreeFileSync ( is hands-down the best free tool to use! – Gabriel Staples May 16 at 3:36

FAT does not support shrinking. NTFS is the first Microsoft filesystem which supports dynamically reducing the size of the partition on disk.

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Does the exFAT documentation explicitly state this? That's pretty lacking in foresight for what is supposed to be a modern file system. – Fake Name Feb 24 '12 at 0:51
FAT can definitely support resizing. The question didn't ask about only internal tools: the question was, "Is there any way"? Third party tools, like PartEd, would seem to be fair game. – TOOGAM Oct 8 '15 at 17:37
Are we talking FAT or exFAT here? – Christian Nov 27 '15 at 18:06

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