Delete a hard disk partition

You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.

When you delete a hard disk partition or volume (the terms partition and volume are often used interchangeably), you create empty space that you can use to create new partitions.

If your hard disk is currently set up as a single partition, then you can't delete it. You also can't delete the system partition, boot partition, or any partition that contains the virtual memory paging file, because Windows needs this information to start correctly. For more information, see Can I repartition my hard disk?


  • All data on a partition will be lost when you delete it. Be sure to back up any files that you want to save to a different location before you begin.

Watch this video to learn how to delete a partition (1:17)

To delete a partition

  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, such as a partition or logical drive, that you want to delete, and then click Delete Volume.

  4. Click Yes to delete the volume.

If you delete a primary partition, the resulting empty space is called unallocated disk space . If you delete a logical drive within an extended partition, the resulting empty space is called free space. You can now use the empty space to create additional volumes. To learn how, see Create and format a hard disk partition.

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