Formatting a hard drive or SSD will allow you wipe all data on the drive which is useful when you want to fix disk errors or give your computer to someone else.
This article will show you how to format a hard drive or SSD using 3 different methods.
Note: Formatting your drive will erase all data on the drive and could result in data loss. You should back up any important information before formatting a drive.
Use File Explorer to Format a Hard Drive or SSD
- Right click on the Start ⊞ and select File Explorer.
- Select This PC.
- In the Devices and Drives list, right-click the drive you want to format and select Format
- Select NTFS as the file system and leave the other default settings in place unless you have specific preferences.
- Select Quick Format as the format option, unless you wish to completely remove all the data from your hard drive for enhanced security
- Click Start to begin the process
- A warning message will pop up reminding you that all data on the disk will be deleted. If all your necessary files are backed up, click OK.
- When the process is complete, you will see another popup message. Click OK.
- The formatted drive can now be found in file explorer.
Use the Settings Menu to Format a Hard Drive or SSD
- Click the Start ⊞ and select Settings ⚙, or use Windows + I to quickly open Settings.
- Select System.
- Click on Storage.
- Under Advanced storage settings select Disks and volumes.
- Find the HDD or SDD you wish to format, and select the primary partition you wish to format
- Click Properties and select Format.
- Choose a name under Label and select NTFS as the file system.
- Click Format to format the drive.
Use Command Prompt to Format a Hard Drive or SSD
- Press the Windows ⊞ key on your keyboard.
- Type cmd in the search menu and press Enter.
- Select Run as administrator to open the Command prompt window.
- Type diskpart and press Enter
- Type list disk and press Enter to list all SSD and HDD drives connected to your computer
- Type select disk followed by the disk number you wish to format. For example, if your disk number is 1, type select disk 1. Make sure you select the correct disk number!
- Type clean and press Enter to format the hard drive or SSD.