In the Disk Management utility native to Windows 11/10, you can create new, resize, and extend partitions. In this post, we take a look at why all the options are greyed out or not available and as well outline steps you can take to resolve the issue.
A typical case scenario for this issue is whereby you have an external storage drive in an enclosure connected to your PC via USB and the enclosure power light is on and the disk is running but doesn’t show up in File Explorer > This PC > Devices and drives. The drive does show up in Disk Management and the Device Manager, but none of the options to manage the drive is available or clickable. In addition, as reported by some affected PC users, the drive is also not showing up in DISKPART via Command Prompt or in the BIOS.
You may encounter this issue on your computer due to the following known reasons:
- Corruption in the system files or disk drive.
- The disk drive hasn’t been properly formatted.
- Faulty or damaged drive.
- Malware infection.
All options greyed out in Disk Management
,If all options like Mark Partition as Active, Change Drive Letter, Format, Extend, Shrink, Delete Volume, etc. are greyed out in Disk Management and you’re unable to perform certain tasks using the tool — for example, use up the unallocated space on the hard drive or create mirrored volume, or delete a virtual drive — then the suggestions we have presented below can help you easily resolve or restore these options on your computer.
- Initial checklist
- Select the appropriate partition
- Use DISKPART and FSUTIL command line tools for disk management
- Check the drive
- Reset or Repair Windows 11/10
Let’s see these suggestions in detail.
1] Initial checklist
Before you proceed, we suggest you make sure Windows is updated, then restart your PC if you haven’t already and see if that resolves your problem. If, on boot, all options are greyed out in Disk Management, then you can run a full system AV scan with Windows Defender or any reputable third-party AV product to rule out the possibility of a malware/virus infection.
Another basic troubleshooting step you can take is to run SFC/DISM scan to resolve any potential system file corruption that might be the culprit.
2] Select the appropriate partition
Apart from the standard options (that are not available) for a selected drive that includes the following:
- Mark Partition as Active
- Change Drive Letters and Paths
- Extend Volume
- Shrink Volume
- Delete Volume
You may see the following options depending on the drive you have selected:
- Rescan Disks
- Create VHD
- Attach VHD
In this case, to resolve the issue, because those greyed-out options are available for a partition, you can select the C: partition or another partition for the options to be available. On the other hand, if you have only the C: partition and it’s selected, it might be the reason why those options are not available because Windows doesn’t want you messing with them – in this case, you may want to create a new partition on your disk. If however, this isn’t the case, then you can continue with the next fix.
3] Use DISKPART and FSUTIL command line tools for disk management
If Disk Management fails or, in this case all options are greyed out in the tool, you can use the DISKPART and FSUTIL command-line tools for your disk management tasks – for example, you can mirror Boot Hard Drive for UEFI in Windows 11/10.
4] Check the drive
This solution requires you to check the drive for a proper connection to the computer. You can also run CHKDSK and S.M.A.R.T tests to determine the health of the drive — replace the drive if need be. In addition, you can run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter.
5] Reset or Repair Windows 11/10
Every other thing being equal, but the issue persists, then it’s likely this is a case of severe system corruption which you can fix by performing a reset of the PC or in the unlikely event the reset operation didn’t resolve the issue, then you may have to repair your Windows using Installation Media.
Hopefully, this helps!
Why are options greyed out in Disk Management?
If all options are greyed out in Disk Management, it could be due to several reasons including system corruption. In other cases, whereby one option, for example, the Format option is greyed out or isn’t available, it could be either that you choose the C:\ drive (system partition) to format or the selected volume is corrupted.
Why is my C drive extend option greyed out?
If the Extend Volume option is greyed out or not available for a selected disk in Disk Management on your Windows 11/10 computer, then it could be because there is no contiguous unallocated space or free space behind the partition you want to extend on your hard drive or the file system of the partition you want to extend is FAT. To resolve this issue, you can refer to the linked guide above in this post.
Also read: Fix Disk Management errors.