Windows 10, offers several ways to format a partition or disk. You can initiate a format operation from File Explorer, Disk Management, PowerShell or the Command Line.
In this guide, we’ll look at all four ways to format a disk or partition in Windows 10 without using third-party utilities. Here you learn How to Format a Hard Drive in Windows.
IMPORTANT: Formatting a disk or partition will erase all data stored on that disk or partition. Therefore, be sure to save data on another disk or external USB drive before formatting the disk or partition.
4 Ways to Format Disk Drives in Windows
1. Format the drive using File Explorer
- Open Explorer and go to “This computer”.
- Right-click on the disk/partition you want to format and select “Format…”. You can also right-click on the drive if it appears in the navigation pane (left pane) of Explorer and then select the “Format” button on the “Manage” tab.
- Select the file system for the disk from the File System drop-down list, make sure that Quick Format is selected, and then click Start.
- Click the “OK” button when you see a dialog box confirming that you want to format the disk.
2. Formatting a disk or partition using Disk Management
- Open the built-in Disk Management tool by right-clicking on the “Start” button or pressing the Win + X shortcut and selecting the “Disk Management” option.
- In the “Disk Management” window, right-click the disk or partition you want to format and select “Format” from the context menu. Once confirmed, the Format dialog box will open.
- Enter a label for your disk, select a file system (we recommend NTFS), enable “Quick Format”, and click “OK” .
The disk formatting process may take a few seconds.
3. Formatting the Disk from the Command Line
If you can’t manage a disk or partition through Disk Management or File Explorer, you can use the command line to format it. Here’s how to do it.
- Open the command prompt as an administrator.
- In the Command Prompt window, type “Diskpart” and press Enter.
- Then type “List Volume”, and press Enter to see all the drives on your PC.
- To format a partition, you first need to select it by running the following command:
Select Volume XIn the above command, replace “X” with the volume number of the partition you want to format.
- Finally, run the following command to format the selected disk or partition.
Format fs=ntfs QuickThis will format the disk to the NTFS file system. If you want to format the file system using FAT32, use the following command:
Format fs=fat32 Quick
When the format is complete, you can close the command line.
4. Formatting disks using PowerShell in Windows 10
In addition to the command line, you can also use Windows PowerShell to format disks. Here’s how to do it.
- Open PowerShell as an administrator. To do this, right-click the Start button, and then select the PowerShell (administrator) option .
- In the PowerShell window, run the following command to get a list of all drives, their letters, volume labels, and sizes.
Get-VolumePress the Enter key.
- Then run this command to format the disk.
For quick formatting, use this command
Format-Volume -DriveLetter "" -FileSystem -NewFileSystemLabel ""For full formatting use this command
Format-Volume -DriveLetter "" -FileSystem -NewFileSystemLabel " -Full"
That’s it! You can close the PowerShell window when you are done.
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