Windows 10 offers multiple ways to format a partition or drive. You can initiate the format operation either from File Explorer, Disk Management, or Command Prompt.
In this guide, we will see all the three ways out there to format a drive or partition in Windows 10 without using third-party utilities.
IMPORTANT: Formatting a drive or partition will erase all data saved on that drive or partition. So, be sure to backup all data to another drive or external USB drive before formatting a drive or partition.
Method 1 of 3
Format a drive from within File Explorer
Step 1: Open File Explorer and navigate to This PC.
Step 2: Right-click on the drive/partition which you want to format and then click Format option. You can also right-click on the drive if it’s appearing in the navigation pane (left-pane) of File Explorer and then click Format button.
Step 3: Select a file system for the drive from the File System drop-down box, make sure that Quick format is selected, and then click the Format button.
Click OK button when you get the confirmation dialog to format the drive.
Method 2 of 3
Format a drive or partition via Disk Management
Step 1: Open the built-in Disk Management tool by right-clicking on the Start button on the taskbar and then clicking Disk Management option.
Step 2: In the Disk Management window, right-click on the drive or partition that you would like to format now, and then click Format option. This will open the Format dialog box.
Step 3: Enter a name for your drive, choose a file system (we recommend NTFS), select the Quick Format if it’s not already selected, and then click OK button.
The drive format process might take a few seconds.
Method 3 of 3
Format a drive via Command Prompt
If you are unable to a drive or partition via Disk Management or File Explorer, you can use the Command Prompt to format the drive. Here is how do that.
TIP: To format USB drives via Command Prompt, follow the directions in our how to format USB drives via Command Prompt.
Step 1: Open Command Prompt as administrator.
Step 2: At the Command Prompt window, type Diskpart and then press Enter key.
Step 3: Next, type List Volume and then hit Enter key to see all drives (not partitions or drives) on your PC.
Step 4: To format a partition, you first need to select it by executing this command:
Select Volume X
In the above command, replace “X” with the volume number of the partition that you want to format.
Step 5: Finally, execute the following command to format the selected drive or partition.
Format fs=ntfs Quick
The about command will format the drive with NTFS file system. If you want to format the file system with FAT32, use the following command instead:
Format fs=fat32 Quick
After completing the format, you may close the Command Prompt.
In addition to these methods, you can also use third-party utilities like Partition Wizard to format drives or partitions on a Windows 10 PC.
How to partition a USB drive via Disk Management in Windows 10 article might also interest you.