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How to Delete Partition in Windows 10 (Multiple Options)

Hard drives, solid state drives, SD cards and USB disks can all be partitioned. Normally, because of their small size, USB disks aren’t partitioned but larger storage devices like HDDs and SSDs almost always are, especially on a Windows 10 system. macOS does without them but installing Windows 10 on a large, single chunk of storage is never a good idea.

What is a partition?

A partition’s name gives you some idea as to what it is. Your drive is split into smaller parts. These parts are somewhat isolated from each other so that you can install different operating systems on each one. They aren’t completely isolated though. You can still access the other partitions as easily as any folder on your system. It’s like adding a small divider in your large drive. Think of it as a house with multiple rooms, or a drawer with dividers in it.

Partitions aren’t physical. They are logical meaning the storage units in a drive understand they’ve been segregated based on certain logic and principles but the drive itself isn’t being cut in half. When you create a partition, the drive understands how certain parts of it are to be divided in terms of storage, and how files are to be stored on it.

How to view partitions in Windows 10

It is really easy to view partitions on a Windows 10 PC. You can do it from the built-in GUI tool, or you can use Command Prompt.

View partitions with Disk Management

  1. Connect the drive/disk that you want to view partitions for to your PC.
  2. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
  3. In the run box, enter ‘diskmgmt.msc’, and tap Enter

The Disk Management tool will open showing you all drives that are connected to your PC, and their partitions.

View partitions with Command Prompt

Windows 10 ships with a command line utility called Diskpart that can create, delete, and list partitions.

  1. Connect the drive to your PC.
  2. Open Command Prompt.
  3. Run the following command to start the Diskpart tool.
diskpart
  1. A new Command Prompt window will open.
  2. In the new window, run the following command and it will list all the disks i.e., drives connected to your system.
list disk
  1. Select the disk that you want to view partitions for with the command below. Replace the number with the number for the disk returned in the previous command.
select disk 0
  1. View partitions with the following command
list partitions

How to delete a Windows 10 partition

Now that you know how to view partitions on Windows 10, you can start deleting them. You should know that when you delete a partition, any data on it is erased. Normally, this is permanent and files cannot be recovered easily so back everything up before you proceed. If you have an OS installed on the partition, you won’t be able to boot from it once the partition has been removed. You cannot delete the partition that your current OS has booted from.

Delete Partition with Disk Management

    1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
    2. Enter “diskmgmt.msc” and tap Enter.
    3. Right-click the partition you want to delete, and select Delete Volume from the context menu.
    4. The partition will be deleted and show up as Unallocated space.

    Delete partition with Command Prompt

    1. Open Command Prompt and run the following command to open the Diskpart tool.
    diskpart
    1. List the disks connected to your system with the command below, and identify which one you want to delete the partition from via its number.
    list disk
    1. Select the disk with the following command. Replace the number with the number of the disk you want to select and delete partitions from.
    select disk 0
    1. Select the partition that you want to delete with the command below and change the number to that of the partition.
    select partition 6
    1. Delete the selected partition with the command below.
    delete partition

    The partition will be deleted and show up as unallocated space.

    Delete partition with third-party apps

    Aside from the above two, stock Windows 10 tools, there are third-party tools that you can use to delete partitions in Windows 10. They give users a GUI, much like the Disk Management tool and some find them to be more user-friendly than the Disk Management tool. While these tools work well, you should use them at your own risk and remember that regardless of the tool, data from a deleted partition cannot be recovered.

    Some tools that you can use are the free version of the EaseUS partition manager, the Paragon Partition Manager, and the free version of the Macrorit Partition Expert.

    Free versions of the above apps may have limitations.

    Conclusion

    Deleting a partition does not damage a drive. Sometimes, it is necessary e.g. when you want to change how a disk is divided into drives. Often, to join two drives and make a bigger one, you have to delete a partition if the drives/volumes you’re merging aren’t next to each other. Just remember to be careful, and to always take a back up.

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