Can you resize a partition beyond the 16TB limit? Some users reported that they were unable to expand the partition over 16TB . If you are bothered by the same issue, you can follow this post of MiniTool find out the best fixes.

Why Do You Need to Expand the Partition Over 16TB?

You may need to expand a partition over 16TB in the following 2 cases.

Case 1. You Are Using a Disk Over 16TB.

Hard drives are getting bigger and bigger nowadays. Many disk manufacturers provide 16TB, 18TB, 20TB, and even larger HDDs. When you have a disk more than 16TB, sometimes you may need to expand a partition over 16TB on basic disks.

Case 2. You Are Managing Dynamic Disks or RAID.

A dynamic disk, which uses dynamic volumes to manage data, can combine the capacity of multiple disks and make it easy for the total capacity to exceed 16TB. But sometimes, you may need to extend a volume over 16TB.

Can’t Expand the Partition over 16TB

Some users found that they cannot expand a partition over 16TB although there is free space on the disk. This issue occurs on both the basic disk and the dynamic disk.

When they expand the partition or volume in Disk Management, the following error message will pop up: The volume cannot be extended because the number of clusters will exceed the maximum number of clusters supported by the file system.

The volume cannot be extended error message

If you want to know more detailed information, you can read Fixed: Clusters Will Exceed Maximum Supported by File System .

I have one large E: drive for my Veeam backups. We started running out of space and I unexpectedly could not extend my E: drive past 16TB

In addition, some RAID users report a similar issue when they expand a partition using their RAID manager tools.

Under the Raid Management tab, there is the Expand Capacity button, but with a warning on top saying "You can expand the disk volume capacity to approximately 16767.09GB". When Expand Capacity button is clicked, we receive the error "The system can only support expanding the volume size up to 16TB (and under)".

Why Can’t You Expand the Partition over 16TB?

The “cannot expand over 16TB” issue mostly occurs on an NTFS partition or volume. Actually, the maximum size of a hard drive partition, which equals the number of cluster size multiples each cluster size (sectors), depends on the file system .

When you format a partition, Windows will select the default cluster size based on the size of the partition if you don’t specify a cluster size. By default, an NTFS partition is created to use the 4K cluster size , which is the reason why you are unable to expand the partition size over 16TB.

If you use an NTFS partition or volume with the 4K cluster size, the maximum volume size you can use is limited to 16TB. If you want to save large files on the partition, you need a larger cluster size. Below is the NTFS volume size with the default cluster sizes from Microsoft Support .

Volume size

Default cluster sizes for NTFS

7 MB–512 MB

4 KB

512 MB–1 GB

4 KB

1 GB–2 GB

4 KB

2 GB–2 TB

4 KB

2 TB–16 TB

4 KB

16TB–32 TB

8 KB

32TB–64 TB

16 KB

64TB–128 TB

32 KB

128TB–256 TB

64 KB

> 256 TB

>Not Supported

Is It Possible to Break the 16TB Partition Size Limit?

The answer is “yes”. Since the partition size is limited due to the cluster size of the partition, you can change the cluster size to extend the partition size. That is to say, changing the cluster size is to make use of disk space more reasonably. Besides, changing the cluster size can help you create a partition with a larger volume size.

Thus, if you want to extend the partition over 16TB, you can increase the allocation unit size . You can refer to the following methods to change the cluster size.

How to Break the 16TB Limit on Basic Disk

It’s recommended you use MiniTool Partition Wizard to complete the following operation. As a professional partition manager, MiniTool Partition Wizard can help you manage your disks and partitions safely and conveniently. You can use the Extend or Change Cluster Size function to expand the partition size.

Besides, you can use MiniTool Partition Wizard to rename the partition . The Migrate OS to SSD/HD Wizard function can help you move your operating system to another disk.

Method 1. Extend the Partition Directly in MiniTool Partition Wizard

You can use the MiniTool Partition Wizard to extend the partition directly. The cluster size will change automatically while extending.

It’s known that MBR only supports the hard drive no more than 2TB. You need to ensure you are using a GPT disk, otherwise, the disk can only use 2TB of disk space , let alone expand the partition over 16TB.

If you have a disk using the MBR partition style over 16TB, you can convert your disk from MBR to GPT to make full use of the disk space.

Free Download

1. Move/Resize the Partition

When there is unallocated space or free space next to the target partition, you can follow the steps below to resize the partition.

Step 1 . Download MiniTool Partition Wizard, install and launch it to get its main interface. Then right-click the partition that has the 16TB limit and select Move/Resize .

select Move/Resize

Step 2 . In the prompted window, drag the slide bar to decide the partition size you want to resize. Then click OK .

You can also enter a specific number in the Partition Size box to extend the partition.