Format a floppy disk

Before your computer can save information onto a blank floppy disk, you must format the disk. You can also format a previously used disk to erase all existing information on the disk.

  1. Insert the floppy disk into your computer’s floppy disk drive.

  2. Open Computer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Computer.

  3. Right-click Floppy Disk Drive, and then click Format. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.


    • Many computer manufacturers no longer include a floppy disk drive with new computers. If you don't see Floppy Disk Drive listed in your Computer folder, examine your computer to see if it actually has a floppy disk drive. If you have questions, check your computer specifications or contact the computer manufacturer.

  4. In the Format 3½ Floppy dialog box, you can adjust any of the following settings:

    • Type an optional volume label in the Volume label box. The volume label is the name of the disk and can be up to 11 characters total, letters and numbers only.

    • Select the Quick Format check box if you want to speed up the formatting process by skipping the disk damage check.

    • Select the Create an MS‑DOS startup disk check box if you want to create a disk that can be used to start your computer.

  5. Click Start to format the floppy disk.


  • Formatting a floppy disk erases all information currently on that disk.