Updated on September 25th, 2019
The aim of this article is presenting how to delete and remove partition from USB drive in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP. Deleting partition can be done via various methods and this instruction includes four cases of removing partition on USB disk.
Overview on removing partition from USB drive
Deleting partition is the process of removing volumes and data, which is one of the most common operations users do to storage device in order to manage or make best of disk capacity. A disk partition is a logical storage area on hard drive and a disk can contain multiple partitions. A new hard drive usually contains a single partition which means you can see the drive in File Explorer after it is well connected to PC.
However, users prefer to add more partitions on the disk so that files and operating system can be stored in separate sections without conflicts. Partitions on disk can be formatted to various file system such as NTFS, FAT, exFAT, ext4, etc. so that they can be access by different operating system. Once a partition is created, you can store all kinds of data on it, for example, photos, documents, emails, applications, backup, etc.
Similarly, a USB drive should be partitioned before it can be used to store data. Most of us deem that a USB drive can only be divided into a single partition, but it is not always the story. Actually, both USB flash drive and SD card can be divided into multiple partitions and these partitions can be managed by partition manager. Thus, we can create, delete, format, hide, clone or back up these partitions when necessary. Since partition is the container of our data, the deletion of partition definitely leads to data loss. There are still reasons explaining why people want to delete partition on SD card, USB drive or hard disk.
Here is one of such issue found on online community:
“Recently I downloaded a program which is able to make bootable disk for flash drive. I tried that software, and it creates two small partitions and leaves 13.87GB unallocated space. Now the disk does not show in File Explorer, but I can see it in Disk Management. I want to revert the flash drive to one single partition as before. However, when I right-click on one of the partition, the option “Delete Volume” is not available. What’s more, other options like Extend, Format are also greyed. What can I do to remove these two partitions? Btw, My computer is running Windows 7.”
The need to delete partition from USB drive
Although deleting USB partition brings about data loss issue, there are still many users what to delete volumes from USB disk, SD card or hard drive. Here are some reasons they do so:
- To delete extra partition. There is usually a single partition on USB flash drive or SD card, and extra partition cannot be accessed and should be deleted.
- To wipe a USB drive. Many users believe deleting partition can complete wipe the USB drive, and thus they would like to try delete partition.
- To remove write-protection. In some cases, the removing of partition can fix the “The disk is write protected” issue occurred on USB drive.
- To repartition USB drive. Delete all partitions on USB drive which is not properly partitioned and create new partition.
- To restore USB drive back to full capacity. If a USB flash drive contains two or more partition, Windows prior to Windows 10 can access the first partition. Thus you won’t be able to utilize all capacity. In that case, you’ll want to delete extra partitions to restore USB drive back to full capacity.
- To get rid of virus. Virus or malware will be removed once partition is deleted.
- To repair damaged partition. Delete corrupted partition and create a new one.
Things you need to know before deleting partition
It is important to note that when you delete partition from USB disk, you’ll lose all information in that partition. Therefore, a full backup of important data should be done before deleting anything. If you failed to back up data, you’ll have to perform USB drive recovery.
Deleting partition cannot completely wipe data on the USB flash drive, and lost partition and files are still recoverable. If you want to permanently erase data on USB drive, you can use PartitionGuru to wipe a disk.
There is more than one method to delete partition from USB drive, and you should choose the one that is easier to you. Complicated operation may lead to extra issue, for example delete wrong partition.
Method 1: Remove partition on USB drive in Windows 10 Disk Management
Disk Management in Windows 10 improves performance on USB drive, as Windows 10 becomes able to access second partition on USB disk. The “Delete Volume” is available to delete USB partition. If your computer haven’t upgraded to Windows 10, you can move to rest method to delete partition on USB disk or memory card.
Step 1: Open Disk Management by right-clicking Start menu and choosing Disk Management.
Step 3: System prompts the deletion causes data and asks to backup data in advance. Click “Yes” button if you have created a backup.
Method 2: Delete partition on USB drive via Diskpart command
DiskPart.exe is a text-mode command interpreter that enables you to manage objects (disks, partitions, or volumes) by using scripts or direct input from a command prompt. It is able to create, delete and format partition. It is recommend that average users use this tool cautiously, as it enables explicit control of partitions and disks.
Step 1: Launch Diskpart from your compute. Press Windows + R to open Run window where you should type diskpart and click OK. Click Yes button if you are prompted by User Account Control.
Step 2: In the Command Prompt type list volume and press Enter key. Then all partition on your computer will be listed and each volume is followed with a number. Identify the partition you want to delete and remember the number.
Step 3: Type select volume # and press Enter. Please replace # with the number of the volume to be deleted.
Method 3: Remove one partition on USB disk using partition manager
In this solution, we’ll use a free Windows partition manager – Eassos PartitionGuru to delete partition. This tool provides all-inclusive features to manage partitions for various storage devices. As to USB disk partition, Eassos PartitionGuru can do these for you:
- Create, delete, format and hide partition on USB drive, SD card, portable drive, etc.
- Resize, split, extend partition on USB disk as well as add unallocated space to partition without data loss
- Clone & image partition for USB drive to help create backup copy
- Complete wipe data on USB disk to protect sensitive data
- Check & repair bad sectors on USB flash drive to fix disk damages
- Partition & repartition USB disk
- Support multiple file system formats: NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, etc.
- Recover deleted files and partitions from USB drive
Now we’ll show you how to delete a partition from USB drive using this free partition manager:
Step 1: Insert the USB drive from which you want to delete partition to your computer. Then install and launch Eassos PartitionGuru.
Step 3: Click Yes button when PartitionGuru asks confirmation for the operation.
Step 4: Click “Save All” button to save changes to partition table. Click Yes button and the partition will be deleted successfully.
Method 4: Delete all volumes from USB drive at one time
This method is able to delete all partitions on a disk at one time, and it is very convenient when there are multiple partitions to be deleted.
Step 1: Launch Eassos PartitionGuru from your computer and locate the USB drive whose partitions need to be deleted.
Step 3: Click Yes button when PartitionGuru prompts “Are you sure you want to delete all the partitions on current disk? All files in it will be lost”.
Step 4: Click Save All button to save disk changes to partition table.
How to recover deleted partitions from USB drive?
This part is written for those who accidentally deleted partition and lose data. This guide will show you how to search for lost or deleted partitions and restore them to previous status.
Step 3: Preview files in each partition found by the software and decide whether it is one of your lost partitions.
Step 4: Click Save All button to save lost partitions to partition table and get them recovered.
In this instruction, you can find 4 methods to remove partition from USB drive, such as delete partition using Disk Management, Diskpart command and partition manager. Deleting partition cases data loss and you should make a backup in advance. Besides, we also present solutions to restore deleted partitions and files in the last part. If you feel this article useful, please feel free to share it with your friends.