A disk, whether it’s an HDD or an SSD, is normally divided into different partitions. Even if you never create a partition, the disk itself will come with some custom partitions already created. If you take a look at the partition type, these partitions show up as system partitions and they cannot be deleted.
What are system partitions?
A system partition is a partition that’s been created by the manufacturer of a disk or that’s been created by an OS image when it was burnt to a USB disk. These partitions vary by type; some might be boot partitions, others may EFI partitions, or recovery partitions.
They contain information for recovering important system files and they cannot be created nor deleted like a normal partition. They’re very small in size but if you’d like to recover that bit of storage space, you can do so by deleting these partitions.
Before you begin
You should know;
- Files on other non-system partitions will be safe but you should back them up just in case.
- You won’t be able to delete a system partition for the drive that your Windows 10 is installed on from the desktop. You will have to access Command Prompt from the boot menu.
- Once deleted, creating a system partition again is a long process so make sure you really want to delete the system partition.
Delete system partition
With that out of the way, here’s how you can delete the partition.
- Connect the disk to your Windows 10 system
- Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
- Enter the following command to activate the Disk Partition tool.
- List all disks with the following command. Note the number given to the disk that you want to delete the system partition from.
- Select the disk with the following command. Replace ‘no.’ with the number for the disk.
select disk no.
- List all partitions on the disk with the following command.
- A disk may have more than one system partition. You will have to delete them one by one. From the previous command, check which partition is a system partition, and note down the number allocated to it. Select the partition you want to delete.
select partition no.
- Run the following command to delete the selected partition.
- Repeat for all system partitions that you want to delete. The deleted partitions will show up as unallocated space. You can format them from the Disk Management tool.
System partitions are small but they’re essential, especially if the disk they’re on is going to be used to boot an OS or install one. Unless you’re pressed for space or you only plan on using the disk for storing files, you should leave them as they are. The disk will still work without the system partitions.