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Ubuntu: resize partition [Guide]

Do you use Ubuntu and want to resize a partition on your computer and make it larger or smaller? Can’t quite figure out the right way to do it? If so, this guide is for you! Follow along as we go over how to resize a partition in Ubuntu!

Ubuntu: resize partition – system partition 

If you’d like to resize a system partition on Ubuntu, such as the home partition or the root partition, you will not be able to do it from the Ubuntu desktop. Instead, you will need the Ubuntu live disk you used to install Ubuntu onto your PC.

The Ubuntu live disk comes with the Gparted partitioning tool, which can create, delete, and resize hard drive partitions, including system ones. To start the resizing process, you will need to plug in your Ubuntu installer USB.

Note: don’t have a bootable Ubuntu installer USB? If so, you will need to create one. To create an Ubuntu bootable USB, please follow our in-depth guide on the subject. It goes over, in-depth, the various ways you can create a bootable Ubuntu USB disk.

After plugging in your bootable Ubuntu installation disk into the USB port, boot into your PC’s BIOS settings. Look through the BIOS settings for the boot order, and configure it so that the USB stick with Ubuntu loads up first.

Once you’ve changed the boot order in your BIOS, save changes and exit. Then, reboot your PC. The Ubuntu USB installer should load up instead of Ubuntu on your hard drive.

With the Ubuntu USB installer started up, follow the step-by-step instructions below to resize a system partition on your computer.

Step 1: In the Ubuntu USB installer, a pop-up window will appear on the screen. This pop-up window is the welcome message. Look through it for the ‘Try Ubuntu” option, and click on it with the mouse.

Step 2: Once you’ve selected the “Try Ubuntu” button, the live USB installer will load a fully functional Ubuntu desktop environment. From here, press the Win button on the keyboard to open up search mode.

Step 3: Inside of the Ubuntu search mode, type in “Gparted.” Then, click on the Gparted app that appears in the search results. This program is the partition editor.

After clicking on Gparted, the app will open. When it is open, it will display the default hard drive it detects on your PC. 

Step 4: Gparted displays the default hard drive on your Linux PC (AKA /dev/sda). The default hard drive should be where Ubuntu is installed on your Linux PC.


If for some reason, Gparted does not load up the hard drive that you have Ubuntu on, you can select it in the hard drive selection menu in the top-right section of the window.

Step 5: Using the mouse, locate the Ubuntu system partition you wish to resize. When you’ve located it, right-click on it with the mouse.

Inside of the right-click menu, find the “Resize/Move” option, and select it with the mouse.

Step 6: After clicking on “Resize/Move” in Gparted, use the graphical menu to resize your partition to as large or as small as desired. When done, click on the “Apply” button to apply the changes to the disk.

Ubuntu: resize partition – non-system partition

If you have a hard drive partition that isn’t tied to Ubuntu’s core system functionality (AKA not the home partition or root partition), you can do it right on your Ubuntu desktop using Gparted.

First, you must install the Gparted application on your Ubuntu system, as Ubuntu only includes Gparted on the live installer and not after the installation. To install Gparted on your Linux PC, open up a terminal window.

Once the terminal window is open on the Linux desktop, execute the following apt install command to install Gparted.

sudo apt install gparted

With the Gparted app set up, launch it by searching for it in the app menu. Once it is open, it should load up the /dev/sda hard drive. From here, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Find the drive menu in the top-right corner and use it to select the hard drive you wish to modify in Gparted. If the drive you wish to modify is the one Gparted loads by default, do not access the drive menu.

Step 2: After loading the drive you wish to modify in Gparted, you will see its partition layout. Look through and find the partition you want to resize. Then, right-click on it with the mouse.

Step 3: In the right-click menu, find the “Resize/Move” option and select it with the mouse. Then, using the UI, resize your partition. When done, click on “Apply” to apply the changes to the disk!

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