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What Is the Best Free Disk Format Utility? Top 5 Free Disk Format Utility Recommend

Updated by Tracy King on Oct 31, 2022

Key Takeaways of Free Disk Format Utility: 

1. It's important to back up disk essentials before formatting.

2. This page offers you 5 best free disk format utilities that you can apply any one to format a disk.

Are you looking for a free formatting solution to assist you in formatting any type of storage device successfully on both Windows and Mac computers? This is what this tutorial guide aims at. In the following, we'll show you how to pick a free disk format utility to execute disk formatting operations easily. Let's get started here.

What Is Free Disk Format Utility

Before we start, let's first learn what disk format utility is. Disk format utility is defined as HDD format tool or disk formatting software that enables users to format their hard drives, SSDs, external hard drives, USBs, SD cards, etc., and quickly clean up existing data easily. In addition, users can also set the desired file system formats to the target hard disk drives with ease.

Meanwhile, the free disk format utility is a free hard drive format software or program that assists people in formatting their storage devices and changing the file systems for free quickly. 

How Can I Format My Hard Drive for Free? Top 5 Free Disk Format Utility Recommend

So how can I format my hard drive for free? Here is a list of 5 free disk format utilities that you take an overlook and pick the one that suits your needs the most to efficiently format your hard disk drives:

  1. #1. EaseUS Partition Master
  2. #2. File Explorer
  3. #3. Disk Management
  4. #4. CMD
  5. #5. Disk Utility

Which one to pick? First, check the operating system of your computer. Next, confirm which file system format you'd like to format your storage devices to. Last, take a view of the comparison table below, and pick the best free disk format utility:

Free Disk Format Utilities Operating Systems Supported File Systems Reason to Choose
EaseUS Partition Master Support all Windows and Windows Server systems. NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, EXT2, EXT3, EXT4 Free, easy to use, beginners' best choice.
File Explorer Support all Windows and Windows Server systems. NTFS, FAT32, exFAT Free, to use, and appliable to all Windows users.
Disk Management Support all Windows and Windows Server systems. NTFS, FAT32, exFAT Free, appliable to all Windows users.
CMD Support all Windows and Windows Server systems. NTFS, FAT32, exFAT Free, appliable to all Windows users.
Disk Utility Support all macOS and Mac OS X systems. APFS, HFS, FAT32, exFAT Free, appliable on all Mac computers.

According to the table, it's clear that EaseUS Partition Master, File Explorer, Disk Management, and CMD are all free disk format utilities designed for Windows, while Disk Utility is for Mac computers. So now, you should be able to have a clear clue about which one to pick so as to format or reformat hard drive now. 

So how do I use the disk format tool to format my drives? Follow the respective guide below:

#1. Format Disk with EaseUS Partition Master Free

Applies to: All Windows beginners.

Pros Cons
  • 100% free
  • Easy to use
  • 24*7 tech support
  • Not available on macOS

EaseUS Partition Master Free, with its format features, can simply change the file system of your disks into another format in only a few simple clicks. 

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PLUS: This software also allows you to convert disk file systems between NTFS to FAT32 without formatting. For more details, you may refer to: NTFS to FAT32 or NTFS to FAT32 for help. 

So let's see how to format your hard disk drives with EaseUS disk formatting software here: 

Step 1. Run EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the hard drive partition you intend to format and choose "Format".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2. In the new window, set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and Cluster size for the partition to be formatted, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3. Then you will see a warning window, click "Yes" in it to continue.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4. Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting the partition on your hard drive.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4

#2. Format Hard Drives with File Explorer

Applies to: All Windows users.

Pros Cons
  • 100% free
  • Easy to use
  • Not available on macOS

If your hard drive contains partitions and you need to clear existing data on the target hard drive quickly, Windows File Explorer is here to help:

Step 1. Open File Explorer on your computer by pressing the Windows + E keys.

Step 2. Locate and right-click the target hard drive partition that you tend to format, and select "Format". 

Step 3. Change the drive label, set a new file system format - NTFS, exFAT, or FAT32, tick "Perform a quick format".

Step 4. Click "Start" to format the selected drives, and click "OK" when the formatting process completes.

Format disk with File Explorer

If your hard drive contains several partitions, repeat the above steps until you finish formatting all the existing volumes on the target disk.

#3. Free Formatting Hard Disk Drives with Disk Management

Applies to: All experienced Windows users.

Pros Cons
  • 100% free
  • Applicable to any Windows user.
Not available on macOS

Disk Management is a Windows built-in utility that offers disk partitioning, extending, shrinking, formatting, and even disk conversion features to great worldwide users. Users can also apply this tool to format their hard drive partitions for free. Here is how to do so:

Step 1. Right-click the Windows icon, select "Search," and type Create and format hard disk partitions, then click to open Disk Management. 

Step 2. One Disk Management opens, locate and right-click on the target hard drive partition, and select "Format...".

Step 3. Set new volume label, file system - NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT, and tick "Perform a quick format". And click "OK". 

Format disk with disk management

Wait for the process to finish, and you can repeat the steps to format other existing partitions on your hard drive to clean up the entire disk data.

Don't worry if you don't see the format option or the format option greyed out in Disk Management. Here is a troubleshooting tutorial that can help you out:

related articles

How to Fix Disk Management Format Option Greyed Out

If you cannot format a hard drive or new disk in Disk Management when the format volume option is greyed out, relax! We provide you with three useful solutions to repair and fix the format option not available in disk management on your Windows.

Image of format disk with disk management

#4. Format Disk Drives Using CMD

Applied to: Windows professionals and administrators.

Pros Cons
  • 100% free
  • Applicable to any Windows user.
  • Complex for beginners.
Not available on macOS

CMD is also known as Command Prompt or DiskPart commands utility that process command line orders through the operating systems so to execute disk partitioning operations. Aside from formatting disk partitions, administrators also apply this command line tool to create volumes, convert disk types, and even program.

Here is the process that you can follow to format hard disk partitions with command lines:

Step 1. Open Command Prompt as administrator by right-clicking the Windows icon, selecting Run, and typing cmd in the run dialog. 

Step 2. Open Diskpart by typing diskpart in Command Prompt and hit Enter.

Step 3. Then type the following command lines and hit Enter each time:

  • list disk
  • select disk * (Replace * with the number of your USB drive.)
  • list volume
  • select volume * (Replace 10 with the volume number of your USB flash drive.)
  • format fs=ntfs quick (You can also replace NTFS with FAT32 or exFAT.)
  • exit

Image of formatting disk with cmd

The command prompt formatting command also works to format other types of storage devices, such as to format USB using CMD or format SD card using CMD

#5. Format Hard Disk Drives on Mac for Free with Disk Utility

Applies to: All Mac users.

Pros Cons
  • 100% free
  • Applicable to any Mac user.

Supports limited file system formats, not compatible with NTFS.

Disk Utility is a Mac version of Disk Management generated by the Apple computer and built-in the macOS to assist Mac users in managing disk partitions. Aside from creating and deleting partitions on a Mac computer, it also enables users to format disk partitions and change the file system for other purposes.

Here is how to use Disk Utility to format disk drives on Mac:

Step 1. To go to Finder, click "Go" and select "Applications".

Step 2. Double-click to open "Utilities" in the Application folder, then double-click to open "Disk Utility". 

Step 3. Select your target hard drive on the left pane, and click "Erase" at the top menu.

Step 4. Then set a new volume label, and set a new format to your drive partition.

Then click "Erase" again to format the selected hard disk partition. 

Image of format usb on Mac

Disk Utility not only works format hard drives, it also helps to change external storage devices' formats, such as How to Format USB Flash Drive to FAT32 on Mac.

Conclusion

On this page, we listed 5 top best free disk format utilities to assist both Windows and Mac users in formatting their hard drives for free. For Windows beginners, you may prefer EaseUS Partition Master or File Explorer as the formatting solution. For Mac users, the Disk Utility shall be the best disk formatting option for you.

FAQs about Free Disk Format Utility

If some of you still have doubts about the free disk format utility, follow and find answers below.

1. What utility can be used with Windows to format drives?

In Windows operating systems, File Explorer, Disk Management, and Command Prompt all could be applied to format hard drives. File Explorer could be the easiest option for Windows beginners among the three formatting utilities.

2. What is the best free formatting software?

Here is a list of the best free formatting software that you could apply to format disk drives on both Windows and Mac computers:

  • EaseUS Partition Master Free
  • HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool
  • FAT32 Format
  • HDD LLF
  • Windows File Explorer
  • Disk Management
  • Command Prompt
  • Disk Utility
  • Terminal

To learn more details about this formatting software, you may refer to this page for help: Top Best 9 Hard Drive Format Software

3. How do I totally format my hard drive?

  • Open Disk Management, right-click one of your hard drive partitions, and select "Format".
  • Set a new file system to it, and click "OK" to start formatting the volume.
  • When the process completes, right-click another volume on your drive, and again, select "Format". Set a new format and click "OK".

Repeat all the above steps until you finish formatting all the existing partitions on your hard drive. After this, you'll successfully format an entire disk.

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About the Author

Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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  • I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you're doing with your computer's partitions easy.

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