How to Partition and Format Hard Drive Free

Brithny updated on Jun 03, 2019 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

Why do you need to partition and format a hard drive

If you're installing a new hard drive, you need to first partition the hard drive and then format it so that you can access and store data on it.

If you have an old hard drive which is not properly formatted, overrun by malware or other software problems, you have to format it for reuse.

Except for the above two reasons, you might need to partition and format the hard drive in many other situations. Here we'll introduce you two easy ways using Disk Management and its alternative software - EaseUS Partition Master Free to do the job. Hope it is helpful!

Windows Disk Management VS EaseUS Partition Master Free 

Here is a comparison between Windows Disk Management and its alternative software - EaseUS Partition Master Free to help you quickly decide which tool you want to use:

Comparison Disk Management EaseUS Partition Master Free
Price Free Free
Partition Hard Drive


(It can't extend partition when the unallocated space is not behind the target partition.)


(Supports to partition hard drive without formatting)

Format Hard Drive


(Format to NTFS only)


(Format to FAT, FAT32, NTFS, ReFS)

Besides, Disk Management has the limits of being unable to move unallocated space on a hard drive nor to clone a hard drive partition, wiping hard drive.

EaseUS Partition Master Free, on the other hand, can all do these jobs for you for free. If your new disk is SSD, you can also use EaseUS partition master software to 4K alignment it and optimize its performance for free.

Partition and format hard drive using EaseUS free partition software

EaseUS partition software - Partition Master Free enables you to do the task by creating, deleting, splitting, merging, resizing, moving, copying hard drive partitions and format hard drive partition for free. Now you can download the program and follow the step-by-step guide below to partition and format hard drive with ease.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

Partition a hard drive


Step 1: Install and launch EaseUS Partition Master

Run EaseUS Partition Master

Step 2: Partition Hard Drive

Shrink partition:

1. Right-click on a partition that you want to shrink and select "Resize/Move".

Shrink partition

2. Drag the end of the partition rightward or leftward or adjust the space by clicking the "Partition size" column. Click "OK" to continue.

Extend partition:

1. To extend partition, you need to leave unallocated space next to the target partition. If not, shrink a partition as mentioned above to leave enough unallocated space behind the target partition first.

2. Then right-click on the target partition and select "Resize/Move".

Extend partition

3. Drag the target partition handle into the unallocated space to extend partition. Click "OK" to continue.

Create partition:

1. On the main window, right-click on the unallocated space on your hard drive or external storage device and select "Create".

Create partition on unallocated space

2. Set the partition size, partition label, drive letter, file system, etc. for the new partition and click "OK" to continue.

Delete partition:

1. On the main window, right-click on the hard drive partition which you want to delete and select "Delete".

Select parittion to delete

2. Click "OK" to confirm.

Change partition drive letter:

1. Right-click the partition, and choose "Change Drive Letter".

Change Drive Letter - Step 1

2. Click the down arrow, choose a drive letter for the partition, then click "OK".

Step 3: Execute operations

Click the "Execute Operation" button at the top corner and keep all changes by clicking "Apply".

Format a hard drive


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), 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 "OK" in it to continue.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4: Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting the partition on your hard drive.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4

Partition and format hard drive using Windows Disk Management

Windows' built-in Disk Management tool allows users to create and format a hard drive in a free and safe way. You can try it no matter you want to partition and format a new drive or repartition and format your old hard drive. Here are the steps:

Note: Before you can resize a hard drive in Windows, you must have installed a new unused hard disk, or have some unpartitioned space available on an existing drive. 

  • Step 1: Open Disk Management
  • Right-click on This PC/My Computer > Click "Manage" > Enter Device Manager and click "Disk Management".
  • Step 2: Partition hard drive
  • Shrink partition:
  • 1. Right-click on the partition that you want to shrink and select "Shrink Volume".
    2. Adjust the partition size and "Shrink" to confirm.
  • Shrink partition with disk management
  • Extend partition:
  • 1. Shrink partition next to the target partition that you want to extend in advance.
    2. Right-click on the target partition and select "Extend Volume".
  • Extend partition with disk management
  • 3. Click "Next" to continue, add the unallocated space to extend the target partition. Click "Next" and "Finish" to complete.
  • Create partition: (formatting required)
  • 1. Right-click on the unallocated space, select "New Simple Volume".
  • Create partition with disk management
  • 2. Click "Next" to continue, set the new partition size, drive letter, file system, click "Finish".
    Wait for the formatting complete. (If you need to create a new partition, you don't need to format it again after the process.)
  • Delete partition:
  • Right-click on the partition that you want to delete, select "Delete Volume" and select "Yes".
  • Delete partition with Disk Management
  • Change drive letter:
  • 1. Right-click on the partition and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths".
    2. Click "Change" to set a new drive letter for your partition.
  • Change partition drive letter.
  • Step 3: Format hard drive partition
  • 1. Right-click on the hard drive or partition that you need to format, select "Format".
  • Foramt partition.
  • 2. Set new label, file system - NTFS, partition size on the hard drive, click "OK" to confirm the formatting.

There, you've successfully partition and format hard drive on your PC. Now you can use the hard drive partition to save data again.


100% of people found this article helpful.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

"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."Lifewire

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

About EaseUS Partition Master

All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.