What I'm doing
I have a dual boot setup with Ubuntu & Windows. I want to shrink the Ubuntu partition in order to expand the Windows partition. I'm using GParted from a USB (formatted with Rufus).

My problem
I can resize and move the Ubuntu partition (/dev/sda5), but I can't expand the Windows partition into the unallocated space (/dev/sda2). I can only make it smaller.

My question
Q. How can I expand the Windows partition into the unallocated space?

Further background
Note: the Ubuntu partition used to be shifted to the left, so that it took up what is currently the grey unallocated block, and the unallocated block was on the right side. Does this mean that I can't extent the Windows partition into the unallocated space because it is not yet unallocated? Should I perform the shrinking and moving of the Ubuntu partition first and then running GParted again?

GParted partitions

From what I understand, the key symbols shouldn't be an issue because I am running this operation from a USB.

The Ubuntu partition is Ubuntu 16.4.7
The Windows partition is Windows 10
The boot USB was made with Rufus 3.7

Thank you!

  • 2
    Your Ubuntu version is past its end of life and therefore off topic here. Feb 5, 2022 at 20:47
  • Hi @OrganicMarble thanks for the quick answer that you wrote (but now deleted). To answer your comment first: where should I post this question then? To answer your deleted answer: I set swapoff, and then tried to shrink /dev/sda3 as you suggested, but I was not able to change its size in the Resize/Move window.
    – yunque
    Feb 5, 2022 at 20:54
  • Sorry, this is not ubuntu-related question. Perhaps you can find some useful info here Feb 5, 2022 at 22:00
  • The unallocated space is inside the extended partition. You need to get it out and to the left (of the extended partition) in order to expand sda2. I think i would just find a way to backup sda5 and then delete sda3(which will also delete sda5 and sda6) and then restructure it as desired. But if you can make the backup, you could also experiment with this: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/124548/…. It is about 7 years old, so it may be a much more possible thing to do now... but that's the issue to research
    – WU-TANG
    Feb 6, 2022 at 0:37
  • Status please...
    – heynnema
    Feb 8, 2022 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


Note: Use gparted to manage Linux partitions, and use Windows Disk Management tool to resize NTFS partitions.

Make sure that you have a good backup of your important Ubuntu files, as this procedure can corrupt or lose data.

Keep these things in mind:

  • always start the entire procedure with issuing a swapoff on any mounted swap partitions, and end the entire procedure with issuing a swapon on that same swap partition

  • a move is done by pointing the mouse pointer at the center of a partition and dragging it left/right with the hand cursor

  • a resize is done by dragging the left/right side of a partition to the left/right with the directional arrow cursor

  • if any partition can't be moved/resized graphically, you may have to manually enter the specific required numeric data (don't do this unless I instruct you to)

  • you begin any move/resize by right-clicking on the partition in the lower pane of the main window, and selecting the desired action from the popup menu, then finishing that action in the new move/resize window

Do the following...

Note: if the procedure doesn't work exactly as I outline, STOP immediately and DO NOT continue.

  • boot to a Ubuntu Live DVD/USB, in “Try Ubuntu” mode
  • start gparted
  • swapoff /dev/sda6
  • unmount /dev/sda3
  • resize /dev/sda5, as it appears that you've already done
  • resize the left side of /dev/sda3 (extended partition) all the way to the right
  • click the Apply icon

Boot to Windows, and use the Disk Management tool to expand the NTFS partition.

  • Thank you! The step I was missing was resizing the extended partition after resizing the Ubuntu partition. Also, I was trying to resize the Windows partition in GParted (it wouldn't let me because I hadn't done the aforementioned step), whereas I should have been doing that from Windows.
    – yunque
    Feb 18, 2022 at 11:47

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