How to Remove Windows Installation Media in Windows 7, 8, 10, 11

After installing or upgrading Windows system on your PC via Windows installation staller, you may want to continue to use the media for storing data. This post will demonstrate you how to remove Windows installation media in Windows 10, 8, 7.


By Dervish / Updated on May 12, 2023

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What is Windows installation media?

If you want to upgrade or reinstall the Windows system on your PC, you can create a Windows bootable USB flash drive as a Windows installation media. And this media contains starting and OS files that boot your computer into installation program, but it can't be used as storage device until you delete the windows installation files.

After installing, you may ask how to remove Windows installation media from USB drive to restore it to normal state. You can refer to this article, it will give the easy answer in the following part. 

How to remove Windows installation media in Windows 7, 8, 10?

As mentioned above, the starting and system files are the key for creating a windows installation media. To remove them from the drive, you can format the media. The formatting process will delete all files on the USB installer, and rebuild the file system. So you can reuse the drive.

Method 1. Delete Windows installation media with Disk Management

Disk Management is Windows built-in drive manager. It helps you to format your Windows media quickly. Here are the steps in details.

Step 1. Press “Win + R” key to open “Run” box, and type “diskmgmt.msc” on the box, and press Enter.

Step 2. You will see all connected drives are demonstrated on the Disk Management. Right-click on the installer drive, and choose “Format”.

Step 3. Choose a proper file system, and hit “OK”.

● File systems are the ways of data storing, each with different features. You can choose it according to your needs.
● NTFS and FAT32 are commonly used in computer’s storage devices. But, it can’t format a drive that is larger than 32GB to FAT32 file system. If the DM failed to format the installation drive, please turn to the method 2.

Method 2. Remove Windows installation media via powerful partition manager

Disk Management is a simple and limited to format a drive. Sometimes, it fails to format a USB flash drive. In this circumstance, you can turn to a third-party partition manager-AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It is able to format a USB drive, SD, HDD, SSD, TF card in Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista.

Apart from formatting a Windows media without size limit, it supports format it to FAT32, NTFS, Ext2, Ext3 and other file systems. Now download the software and follow the steps below to see how to use it.

Free Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, right-choose the installation media, and click “Format Partition”. 

Step 2. Choose a file system in this window, and click “OK”.

Step 3. Then you can preview the result of the formatting. Then click “Apply” on the main interface to confirm the operation.

It will take seconds to format the media. It is worth mentioning that the data can be recovered after formatted. If you want to sell the installation media, please wipe the external drive completely to protect the information.

Further reading: How to remove Windows.old folder after installing?

The Windows.old folder contains the previous system and data, so you can use the folder to restore the system to the old version. If you don’t like the new system, you can go “Settings > “Update & Security” > Recovery” and choose the previous version of OS to restore.

If you enjoy the new installed OS, you can also refer to the following steps to remove Windows.old folder.

1. Open “This Computer”, and right-click on the C drive. Open “properties” of the C drive.

2. Under the “General” tab, choose “Disk cleanup”.

3. Check the “Previous Windows installation(s)”. And click “OK” to start the cleaning process.


Now you have known how to remove Windows installation media in Windows 10, 8, 7. Whether the media is a USB flash drive, CD, DVD, the 2 methods can delete Windows installation files easily.

Besides, the partition manager-AOMEI Partition Assistant performs well in disk and partition management. It enables you to create/delete/resize partitions and other tasks. And you can upgrade to professional edition that provides more advanced feature, such as convert partition table  between MBR and GPT without data loss, change USB serial number.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.