There are times when you need to format a hard drive or SSD on your Windows 11 PC. Be it to give the storage device to someone else or to erase all data to start fresh. Formatting a storage drive reduces the chances of bad disk sectors, common disk errors, and defrags the disk. So, to learn how to format hard drive or SSD in Windows 11, we have put together this guide with four easy methods. You can perform quick format, erase data from all sectors, create primary partitions and much more. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and learn how to format a hard drive or SSD in Windows 11.
Format Hard Drive or SSD in Windows 11 (2022)
In this guide, we have included four ways to format hard drive or SSD in Windows 11. From File Explorer to Settings, Disk Management and Command Prompt, we have mentioned all the common methods . Expand the table below and navigate to the section of your choice.
1. Format Hard Drive or SSD in Windows 11 from File Explorer (Easiest Way)
The easiest and fastest way to format a hard drive or SSD in Windows 11 is to use Windows 11 File Explorer. It works for both external and internal drives and is much faster than other techniques. Here is how this method works:
1. Press the Windows 11 keyboard shortcut “Windows + E” to open File Explorer. Here, right-click on the hard drive or SSD you have plugged into your computer and select “Format” in the context menu.
2. Next, in the pop-up window that opens, make sure “File System” is selected as “NTFS“, which is a Windows file system. If you want the hard drive to be compatible with macOS as well, you can choose “FAT32” or “exFAT” file systems.
3. Leave the allocation size unchanged and leave it as default. So, check the “Quick format” box under “Format Options” and click “Start” to format the storage drive. Then within seconds you will have formatted your HDD or SSD in Windows 11.
To note: Quick format is faster, but it does not completely erase data. Instead, it simply removes the memory references, making them inaccessible. Data will be overwritten when you start adding new files to the storage drive. If you want to completely wipe data from all sectors, uncheck Quick Format. This step comes in handy when you want to give the storage device to someone else because it is more difficult to recover deleted data using third-party software.
2. Format HDD or SSD in Windows 11 from Settings
Besides File Explorer, you can also format a hard drive or SSD in Windows 11 from the Settings app. Here’s how:
1. Simply press “Windows + I” to open the Settings app in Windows 11. Here, navigate to System -> Storage.
2. Next, expand the “Advanced storage settings” option and select “Disks and volumes“.
3. Here, click on the primary partition under the HDD or SSD you want to format. Then select the “Properties” option.
4. Then click “Format“.
5. In the dialog box that opens, set a name under the “Label” field and choose “NTFS” as the file system. Finally click on “Format“, and you are done. Here’s how you can format a hard drive or SSD in Windows 11 using Settings.
3. Format Hard Drive or SSD in Windows 11 Using Disk Management
Although Disk Management might seem a bit daunting to many, it’s actually the best way to format a hard drive or SSD in Windows 11. It’s my favorite way to format hard drives, SSDs, SD cards, USB sticks, etc. That said, let’s get started.
1. Press “Windows+X” or right-click on the Start menu to open the Quick Links menu. Now click on “disk management“.
2. In the Disk Management window, you will find the connected hard drive or SSD storage, usually marked as “Disk 1” or above, at the bottom. On the right side, it will show the primary partition. Right-click on it and choose “Format“.
3. Next, give the HDD or SSD a name under the “Volume label” field and click “OKAY“. You can uncheck “Perform a quick format” if you really want to erase all data instead of memory references.
4. And this is how you can format HDD or SSD in Windows 11 with disk management.
4. Format Hard Drive or SSD in Windows 11 from Command Prompt (CMD)
You can also format hard drive or SSD in Windows 11 using command prompt terminal. You must run the popular
diskpart to format the disk, drive or partition. That said, let’s look
1. Press the Windows key and type “cmd” in the Start menu search box. Then click “Execute as administratorin the right pane to open the Command Prompt window. If you still want to run CMD with administrator privilege, you can head to our linked article.
2. Then in the command prompt window, type the below command and press enter to open DiskPart.
3. Next, run the command below to list all hard drives and SSDs connected to your Windows 11 computer. Note the disk number (shown under the second column) of the hard drive you want to format. Make sure to choose the correct disk number, because choosing the wrong disk will cause data to be erased inadvertently.
4. Next, choose the disk by running the command below. Here, replace
X with the disc number, you noted above.
select disk X
5. Finally run the below command to format hard drive or ssd under Windows 11.
6. Now you need to initialize the disk to use it. To do this, run the commands below one by one. In the fifth command, where you assign the drive letter, replace
X with your favorite letter. When you’re done, you can use the formatted hard drive or SSD through File Explorer.
create partition primary select partition 1 active format FS=NTFS quick assign letter=X exit
Erase Hard Drive or SSD in Windows 11 in Four Easy Ways
So here is how you can wipe, format, create partition and initialize disk on Windows 11. I like that Windows 11 has several built-in tools to format hard drive or SSD storage drive. You can perform a quick format or uncheck it and wipe the entire drive sector by sector for complete peace of mind. Anyway, that’s it for this guide. If you are looking for a way to uninstall apps in Windows 11 from system programs to hidden apps, you can follow our article. And for those who are looking to convert disk from MBR to GPT without any data loss in Windows 11/10, check out our detailed tutorial to learn the step-by-step process. If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.