Uninstall Windows 7 on a multiboot system

If you are running a multiboot system with Windows 7 installed on a computer that is also running an earlier version of Windows, such as Windows Vista, you might be able to safely remove Windows 7 from the computer, depending on how the computer is set up.

To do this, you need to format the partition containing Windows 7, or delete it entirely. This allows the earlier operating system to reclaim the disk space.

Before you begin, you should back up your programs, files, and settings. Formatting or deleting a partition deletes all of the data on the partition. For more information about backing up data, search Help and Support for "back up." For more information about multibooting, see Can I have more than one operating system on my computer (multiboot)?

Picture of Disk Management in Microsoft Management Console
Example of a multiboot disk configuration

Warnings

  • Don't format or delete the earlier version of Windows in a multiboot configuration. Doing so could render your computer inoperable. This is because the computer uses the startup files from the earliest version of Windows that is installed on the computer. For more information, see Install more than one operating system (multiboot).

  • If the earlier version of Windows was somehow installed after Windows 7 was installed on the computer, deleting Windows 7 in this case could render the computer inoperable.

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To format or delete an existing partition (volume)

To format or delete the Windows 7 partition, you need to start (boot) your computer using the earlier version of Windows.

Formatting a partition deletes the data on the partition but keeps the partition on your computer's hard disk. Deleting a partition results in unallocated disk space on the hard disk. You can create additional partitions from this space, or expand an existing partition so that it can make use of the space.

Note

  • Quick format is a formatting option that creates a new file table, but does not fully overwrite or erase the volume. A quick format is much faster than a normal format, which fully erases any existing data on the volume.

  1. Open Computer Management by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Security, clicking Administrative Tools, and then double-clicking Computer Management. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  2. In the left pane, under Storage, click Disk Management.

  3. Right-click the volume that Windows 7 is installed on, and then click Format to format the partition, or click Delete volume to delete the partition.

  4. To format the volume with the default settings, in the Format dialog box, click OK, and then click OK again.

To remove Windows 7 from the multiboot screen

Even if you delete or format the partition containing Windows 7, it can still appear as an operating system option when you start your computer. You can remove Windows 7 from the multiboot screen.

  1. Open System Configuration by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Security, clicking Administrative Tools, and then double-clicking System Configuration. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  2. Click the Boot tab, and then click the listing for ‍Windows 7‍‍‍.

  3. Click Delete, click OK, and then click Restart.

Note