How to Format a Hard Drive in Windows 11

When you format a hard drive on Windows 11, it erases everything that is there on that drive. The reasons for formatting a hard drive differ from person to person. In this post, we are not just going to discuss ways to format a hard drive but, we will also discuss everything that goes around it –

Why Would You Need To Format A Hard Drive On Windows 11?

Let’s look at formatting a hard drive as something that can render benefits in various situations –

  • You are giving your laptop or desktop for repairs or are selling it off. In such a case you don’t want someone to access the data that’s there inside your computer
  • Reformatting Windows won’t just wipe out old data but even clean overloaded registries as well
  • Your computer is hit by a virus
  • The files in the drive have become corrupted and the drive itself has become inaccessible
  • You need more space in your hard drive
  • You are changing the file system for another operating system like macOS
  • Reinstall OS: Let’s say your Windows 11 installation didn’t go well. In such a case you can format the C drive partition with the setup installer

What Should You Do Before You Format A Hard Drive On Windows 11?

Before you format the drive, ensure that there is no important data in it? If there is, make sure you take a backup of your data beforehand so that you don’t repent later. Here are the steps to automatically backup a Windows PC.

In case you suspect a malicious threat such as a Virus or any other malware, run an Antivirus utility. However, if things have gone way too far, formatting the hard drives might be the only option.

Why Should You/ Shouldn’t You Format C Drive In Windows?

Consider this – In an event, your computer is struck by a virus or if you have applications installed in your C drive that you want to completely remove before handing over your PC to someone else (For example, when giving PC for repairs or when selling it), you will have to format the C Drive.

But, let’s say you are formatting the C drive at home. First, formatting the C drive is not as straightforward as formatting the other drives on your computer. Your C drive contains your operating system. This means and in the first place, you will have to have a Windows Setup disc or Windows bootable media. For the latter, you can refer to this guide. Now the process is the same as you would install a fresh new Windows operating system.

You can also use a third-party tool to effortlessly and seamlessly create a bootable disk. One such tool is EaseUS Partition Master. For this –

  1. Have a flash drive or CD ready and connect it to your computer and before you erase the C drive download and install EaseUS Partition Master.

2. Launch the tool and click on WinPE Creator on top.


3. Choose your storage device like USB or CD when you see that the drive is available.

4. Click on Proceed to begin the process.

Next you can use your BIOS setup to change the boot sequence to boot from USB and now you can format C Drive with ease.

How To Format A Hard Drive in Windows 11

1. Format Hard Drive With The Help of File Explorer

The first way to format a hard drive is to do it via the file explorer. Here are the steps to format a hard drive with the help of the file explorer –

  1. Press Windows + E key to open File Explorer.
  2. From the left-hand side locate This PC and click on it.
  3. Under Devices and drives select the drive you want to format.



4. Right-click on it and then click on Format.

2. How To Format A Hard Drive Via Settings

You can even format a hard drive via settings. Although, a slightly longer route, it is still very simple. Start by pressing the Windows + I key combination. Next, follow the steps mentioned below –

  1. Click on System from the left-hand side, if not already selected.
  2. From the right-hand side click on Storage.
  3. Under Storage management, click on Advanced storage
  4. Click on Disks &
  5. Click on the drive you want to format and then select Properties.
  6. Scroll down and click on Format.


In a while, the drive you have selected will be formatted and all the data that’s there on that drive will be erased.

3. Using Disk Management To Format A Hard Drive On Windows 11

Disk Management tool in Windows 11 is yet another tool with the help of which you can format a hard drive on your Windows 11 PC. To do that –

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows + R key combination on your keyboard.
  2. When the dialog box opens type msc and press Enter.
  3. From the bottom half, select the drive that you want to format. Right-click on this drive and then select the Formatoption from the Context Menu.disk-management
  4. In the next window, select OK or make changes such as changing the Volume label, changing the File system,or if need be increasing or decreasing the Allocation Unit Size.
  5. Again click on OK when the prompt appears.

4. Use Diskpart Command To Format Hard Drive in Windows 11

You can use the Diskpart command in Windows 11 command prompt to format the hard drive in Windows 11. Here are the steps to do that –

1. In the Windows search bar type command

2. From the right-hand side click on Open.

3. When the Command Prompt window opens type diskpart.

4. Next, type list disk and press Enter.

format disk with command prompt - How to Format a Hard Drive in Windows 11

5. Type select disk followed by disk number.

6. For formatting partition, additionally type list partition followed by select partition and press Enter.

7. Type clean.

Wrapping Up

Formatting a drive in Windows and by that we mean even Windows 11 can arise anytime and when that happens you should be ready. Hope, we have helped you in that regard. If yes, do give us thumbs up. We’d even like to listen to your drive formatting journey. You never know that you have experienced and this post may just help someone in need. For more such information, keep reading Wethegeek. Follow us on social media – FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

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