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How Do I Format a Disk in Windows 10? Follow and Learn How To [Beginners' Guide]

Updated by Tracy King on Sep 27, 2022

How do I format a disk on Windows 10 or Windows 11 computer? Here is a quick tip for you to follow.

To format a disk on Windows 10, you need to:

  1. 1. Back up essential data from the source disk to another hard drive or external disk.
  2. 2. Select a reliable disk formatting tool, such as Disk Management or EaseUS Partition Master., etc
  3. 3. Format the disk with the selected tool, and clean up all existing data.

Are you looking for a simple guide to follow and learn how to successfully format a disk on Windows 10? Read on and follow this guide, you'll get 4 complete solutions below with detailed steps to format a hard drive, HDD, SSD, external hard drive or USB, etc., instantly.

Format diks Windows 10

How Do I Completely Format a Disk? Your Start Guide Here

In this part, we'll present you with a start guide to help you know what to do before formatting a disk. Let's get started here:

#1. Figure Out Why Do You Need to Format a Disk

It's essential to understand why you need to format a disk. In other words, you need to figure out your goal to format a disk. Here is a list of major reasons why people trying to format a hard disk or SSD:

  • Clean up all existing data on a disk and use the disk for new purposes.
  • To erase the entire disk, get rid of all data, and sell the disk.
  • To clear a single partition of data on the disk.

If you are with the first goal, move to the next guide. And if you plan to format a partition, you can also try the tips on this page for help. But if you tend to clean up the system C drive for reinstalling Windows, you'll need to follow this link for a step-by-step guide: How to Format C Drive in Windows 10.

If you intend to erase a disk, trying to destroy all data on the drive, you follow this guide for help: Secure Erase Hard Drive

#2. Check and Back Up All Essential Disk Data Before Formatting

Formatting disk is also known as disk formatting (by Wikipedia), which is a process of preparing a data storage device such as a hard disk drive, solid-state drive, floppy disk, memory card, or USB flash drive for initial use. Alongside preparing a device ready for usage, disk formatting will also clear all existing data on a drive. This undoubtedly will cause file and data loss issue on a disk.

Therefore, we suggest that you backup hard drive data and files in advance. You can either copy and paste your essentials to an external hard drive or turn to free backup software - EaseUS Todo Backup Free to back up all critical disk data at time. We suggest you try the latter backup option to keep things simple and easy.

Pick a Reliable Formatting Tool to Format a Disk Windows 10 - Your Checklist

How do I format a disk in Windows 10, Windows 11, or older Windows computers? Here is a list of 4 reliable formatting tools that both Windows beginners and Windows professionals would take to clear hard disk data, let's see the details:

  1. No 1. Third-party Formatting Software - EaseUS Partition Master
  2. No 2. File Explorer With Right-Click Format
  3. No. 3 Disk Management with "Format" Feature
  4. No 4. CMD - Diskpart with Format Command

Here is a comparison table for you to view and get a clue about which tool to select:

Format Tools Why Choose It Formatting Features Price
EaseUS Partition Master Free 
  • Easy to use
  • Support all Windows OS
  • Instant & free technical support
  • Format hard drive disk, partition, external hard drive, USB, SD Card.
  • Format RAW hard drive or other storage devices.
  • Format C drive
  • Format hard drive from BIOS
  • Format write-protected USB, SD card, hard drive, or external hard drive.
  • Format BitLocker partition.
$0
File Explorer
  • Easy to use
  • Support all Windows OS
  • Format hard drive, external hard drive, SD Card, USB, etc.
$0
Disk Management
  • Easy to use
  • Support all Windows OS
  • Format hard drive, external hard drive, SD Card, USB, etc.
$0
CMD - DiskPart
  • Support all Windows OS
  • Format hard drive, external hard drive, SD Card, USB, etc.
$0

According to this table, it's clear that EaseUS Partition Master is more applicable to format hard drive disks from different situations, while the other 3 disk formatting tools are more suitable for formatting a normal and healthy hard drive or partition. 

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Which disk formatting tool to select? Here is EaseUS Editor's Suggestion:

  • For the easiest disk formatting solution, pick EaseUS Partition Master.
  • To format a healthy hard drive disk, use File Explorer or Disk Management.

Now, you are clear about which formatting tool to pick, and you may refer to the respective guide listed below to start formatting the disk on your own now. 

#1. Format Disk in Windows 10/11 with EaseUS Partition Master Free - Easiest

EaseUS Partition Master Free is a third-party partition manager software designed for personal users to partition hard drive and manage storage device on Windows computers. 

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You can format a disk on a Windows computer with a few clicks. To format an entire disk, all you need is to repeat the following process till you complete formatting all existing partitions:

Step 1. Right-click the hard drive partition and choose the "Format" option.

Step 2. In the new window, set the Partition label, File system, and Cluster size for the partition, then click "OK".

Step 3. You can see a warning window, click "Yes" to continue.

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

 What Else Can EaseUS Partition Master Do? 

Aside from formatting disk using EaseUS Partition Master, you can also apply this tool to execute more tasks on your hard drive as listed here:

  • Partition hard drive, extend, shrink, and merge partitions for free.
  • Delete, format, and erase hard drive partition for free.
  • Clone data partition for free. 
  • Convert data disk from GPT to MBR for free.
  • Convert NTFS to FAT32 or FAT32 to NTFS for free.
  • Check file system error, 4k align SSD, etc.

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#2. Format Disk with File Explorer

To format a disk in File Explorer with its right-click format feature, you must be clear about how many partitions your target disk has. You can open Disk Management to view and confirm how many partitions your disk has and remember the drive letter of each partition.

Image of Disk Management

Then you can repeat the following space to format the disk on your Windows computer:

Step 1. Press Windows + E keys to open the File Explorer and locate your disk partitions.

Step 2. Right-click on one of the disk partitions and select "Format...".

Step 3. Set a new file system format to your hard drive partition - NTFS, and tick "Perform Quick Format".

Step 4. Click "Start", and click "OK" to complete the formatting.

Format disk using File Explorer

Repeat the above steps until you finish formatting all disk partitions.

#3. Format Disk with Disk Management

Disk Management is a built-in disk utility for Windows that support sophisticated Windows users to manage hard drives and SSDs on Windows computer. It allows Windows owners to flexibly create, format, delete, and extend volumes for free.

Here are the steps about how to format a disk using Disk management. Note that to do so, you must first confirm which partition needs to be formatted in case you format the wrong volume. Let's get started here:

Step 1. Right-click on the Windows icon, then select "Disk Management".

Step 2. Locate and right-click on disk partitions that you want to format, and select "Format".

Format disk

Step 3. Set file system format as NTFS and tick "Perform a quick format".

Step 4. Click "OK" to confirm.

Repeat the above steps until you complete formatting the entire disk on Windows 10. If you need to learn more details about how to use Disk Management, this guide could fulfill your need:

related articles

A Starter Guide to Disk Management

This guide gives you an overall glimpse of Windows disk management. If you want to use this Windows-built tool to set up a hard drive, start from the definition to all features.

image of disk management starter guide

#4. Format Disk Using CMD DiskPart Command

DiskPart Command Prompt, also known as CMD, is a command line disk utility that processes commands to the operating system and enables users to execute disk managing operations for free. This tool is designed for some advanced Windows users to process their computer commands to manage hard disk drives.

Notice that this process is a bit more complex than using File Explorer or Disk Management, so make sure that you follow the guide below very carefully. Here are the steps of how to format a hard drive using CMD on Windows 10:

Step 1. Press Windows + S, type cmd in the search box, and right-click Command Prompt, select "Run as Administrator".

Step 2. Type the following commands one by one and hit Enter each time to format your disk:

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk *
  • list volume
  • select volume *
  • format fs=NTFS quick

Step 3. Repeat the process until you format all partitions on the target disk, type exit to close DiskPart.

format disk using cmd

Aside from formatting disk, you can also apply Diskpart to execute the following operations on all types of your storage devices:

Conclusion

On this page, we included 4 practical solutions to assist you in formatting disk on Windows 10 or newer operating systems. Old Windows users like Windows 8 or Windows 7 can also apply these methods to format your disk completely.

So which is the easiest disk formatting solution? File Explorer is more suitable for beginners, EaseUS Partition Master is ideal for more complex disk formatting situations, while CMD is more recommended for Windows administrators.

As an ordinary user, you can try EaseUS Partition Master as it also has a strong and powerful tech support team that you may reach and contact us anytime for online assistance.

FAQs About Formatting a Disk on Windows 10

If you have further questions about formatting disk on Windows, check the questions and answers below:

1. How to format a hard drive Windows 10 from BIOS?

To format a hard drive from BIOS, you have two options: apply EaseUS Partition Master and create a bootable disk to format the drive from BIOS. 

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Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

The other option is to use Command Prompt:

  1. 1. Download a Windows installation media on your PC.
  2. 2. Reboot PC and enter BIOS, select to boot from the Installation Media.
  3. 3. While entering the Install Windows window, click "Repair your computer".
  4. 4. Then go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.
  5. 5. Type the following commands one by one and hit Enter each time:
  • diskpart
  • list volume
  • exit
  • dir F:
  • format F: /FS:NTFS

Repeat the process till you complete formatting the target hard drive from BIOS.

2. What does it mean to format a disk?

Formatting is the process of making a storage device ready for new usage. While formatting a hard drive or disk, the execution program will remove all existing files and data, bypassing the recycle bin.

Meanwhile, formatting a drive can also change the default file system format. Therefore, if you need to clean up a disk or change a drive format, you can use a disk formatting tool such as File Explorer, Disk Management or third-party formatting software to accomplish the task.

3. How do I format all files in Windows?

To format all files in Windows, you need to back up all existing valuable files to an external hard drive at first. 

Note that you can delete files, but there is no way to format files. Fortunately, you can apply a formatting tool to format hard drive partitions containing files on your computer. By doing so, you can format all files in Windows.

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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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Product Reviews

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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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  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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