How to Cancel a Format in Progress If Windows Won't Cancel Format

To cancel a format that is taking forever or being initialized mistakenly, you can use Diskpart, Disk Management, or File Explorer to achieve this goal. In case you need to recover data from a formatted hard drive, the way to peroform data recovery using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

Table of Contents

Have you ever met such an issue that Windows cannot stop a progressing format when you regret the operation? Don't worry about losing your data. Here on this page, you will find 3 practical methods that can help you immediately stop a formatting process and restore your lost files with a format recovery software:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Use DiskPart Run Command Prompt as Administrator > Type diskpart > list disk > select disk X > offline disk...Full steps
Fix 2. Use Disk Management Open Disk Management > Right-click the disk you are formatting > Select "Offline"...Full steps
Fix 3. Use File Explorer If you initiate the formatting in File Explorer, click the "Cancel" button to stop the formatting...Full steps
Fix 4. Recover Formatted Data Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard > Scan the formatted hard drive > Restore partially lost data...Full steps

How to Cancel a Format in Progress

"Hi, I have an issue with a WD Elements external hard drive and I wanted to format it on Windows using the Diskpart. But after I entered the command [format fs=ntfs], this stage hangs there for already two hours, still, 12% completed! Can I just interrupt the format process and start it all over again? But it seems that Windows won't cancel the format in a safe way. Please help."

Hard disk formatting is recognized as a good choice when it comes to fixing some generic hard drive issues, such as hard drive becomes very slow suddenly, cannot open hard drive as usual or bad sectors were developed on the drive. Microsoft Windows allows for hard disk formatting in many ways, and users can format the internal drive as well as some external USB flash drives in File Explorer, Windows Disk Management program and Command Prompt.

The cost of time on formatting a storage drive depends on how much the storage is used, usually from seconds to hours. But sometimes, quite a lot of people got stuck in a formatting process for an incredibly long time, for example, over 24 hours, they badly need to interrupt the format midway. At such a moment that hard drive takes forever to format, they have two concerns. Will stop the format in progress do damage to the hard drive? What to do if Windows won't cancel the format even after you close the format window?

How to Cancel Hard Drive Formatting in Windows 10/8/7 Completely

You will have different ways to cancel the format. The most effective way to really cancel a format is to set the hard drive you are formatting as offline, either via Diskpart or Disk Management.

Method 1. Cancel a Format via Diskpart

Step 1. Run Windows Command Prompt as an administrator.

Step 2. In the window, enter diskpart > list disk > select disk X > offline disk.

Step 3. Now the formatting process has been canceled. Continue to enter online disk in order to use it.

How to cancel a format via Diskpart

Method 2. Cancel a Format via Disk Management

Step 1. Right-click "This PC" and choose "Manage".

Step 2. Go to "Disk Management".

Step 3. Right-click the disk you are formatting and choose "Offline". To work with it, right-click it again and choose "Online". (You can also choose "Cancel Format".)

How to cancel a format with Disk Management

Method 3. Cancel a Format via File Explorer

If you initiate the formatting process via Windows File Explorer, you will see the formatting window and there is a "Cancel" button available for you in it. You can click the button to stop the formatting process. If this method fails to work. you can use one of the two methods above to cancel the format, which will work definitely.

How to Recover Data from a Partially Formatted Hard Drive

By doing like this, you have to accept a fact that interrupting the format once it has started is not 100% free of risks. As soon as the task is taking effect, especially the process is going for a while, you will get an inaccessible hard drive that shows up as a RAW drive in the end.

For people who forgot to back up the hard drive before starting the format and later canceled the format, download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover data from a partially formatted hard drive. Let this professional hard drive recovery software help get all the erased data back on the drive that has not been fully formatted.

Note: To guarantee a high data recovery chance, install EaseUS data recovery software on another disk instead of the formatted disk. 

Step 1. Choose the formatted hard drive 

Choose the hard drive partition which you've accidentally formatted and click "Scan".

select a partition and click scan

Step 2. Select wanted files

After the scanning process, you can click "Filter" to filter a specific file type to quickly find wanted files. Then use "Other Lost Files" or "Files Lost Original Name", "Tags", etc. in the left pane to locate your files.

select files

Step 3. Recover files to a secure location

Select the data that you wish to recover and click "Recover". Choose a new location to store the files and click "OK".

recover files

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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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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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