What is hidden partition and what is it used for?
Hidden partitions refer to partitions which are set to be hidden on purpose to enhance the data security. Then users cannot see those partitions in Windows File Explorer. The most common hidden partitions should be the recovery partitions, which contain system files to assist users to restore the OS to the original state during Windows crash or corruption. But users can also delete the recovery partition to free up more useful space as long as a backup of this partition has been created in advance.
Besides, computer users could also set a specific partition “hidden” by removing its drive letter to protect critical files from being peeked or stolen by others, or any accidental deletion. To find hidden partitions on a flash drive, you can enter Windows Disk Management, and the hidden partitions always do not have any drive letter assignments.
Why need to delete hidden partition on USB drive?
Although hiding partition on the USB drive or other internal or external drives can help important data you care safe, there are still many situations where you need to remove hidden partition on USB drive, such as:
•To get more available space from the USB drive. When the saved files in the hidden partition are not useful any longer, you can delete the hidden partition to free up the hard drive space.
•To make the fullest use of the USB drive. As we all know, Windows prior to Windows 10 can only recognize and access the first primary or logical partition on a USB, which means you cannot use all capacity of this drive when there are two or more partitions, the hidden partition is also counted. Then you have to delete the extra (hidden) partition to restore the USB back to full capacity.
•To get a clean and safe partition. If the hidden partition is damaged or corrupted by virus, malware or even the human operation errors, you can fix it by deleting the partition and then creating a new one.
3 Methods to remove hidden partition from USB drive
Before you start the process of trying to delete a hidden partition from a USB drive, you should know you will lose all the information in that partition. So if you still want to keep those data, you can back up files on USB drive first. There is more than one method to delete a hidden partition on USB drive in Windows 10/8/7 computer. Below we will show you 3 different solutions.
Method 1. Remove hidden partition on USB drive in Disk Management
As we all know, the hidden partition without a drive letter won’t show up in the Windows File Explorer, but you can see it in the Disk Management. So you can try to delete a hidden partition on the USB drive using the Disk Management tool.
1. Right-click “This PC”-->Manage-->Disk Management.
2. Right-click the hidden partition on the USB, and select “Delete Volume” from the given list.
Seems quite easy! But sometimes Delete Volume is greyed out in Windows Disk Management. At this moment, you can turn to Diskpart Command.
Method 2. Delete hidden partition on USB drive via Diskpart command
Diskpart is a text-mode command interpreter, and it is able to help you create, delete or format partition. To remove hidden partition on hard drive, first of all, press “Windows+R” simultaneously to open "Run" window and type “cmd” and press "Enter", then in the Command Prompt window, type the following commands in sequence and hit on “Enter” after each one.
select disk #: “#” is the number of the target USB disk.
list partition: to display all partitions on the USB.
select partition n: “n” is the number of the hidden partition you want to delete.
delete partition: to delete the hidden partition.
Sometimes, the delete operation failed to work with displaying an error message “Cannot delete a protected partition without the force protected parameter set”, then you need to type “delete partition override” instead of “delete partition” in order to delete partition force.
For those who are not an IT expert and don’t have enough knowledge about Diskpart command, it might be very tough to correctly type the command, which could lead to operation error, even worse, the data loss or disk crash now and then. So it is wise to delete the partition using third-party software.
Method 3. Remove hidden partition from USB device via freeware
If you are not that familiar with Diskpart commands, and want to make hidden partition removal as easy as possible, you can switch to AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, which is a free but very powerful disk manage software with a clean interface, making it a wise choice for every computer user, even the newbies.
It is able to delete hidden partitions on USB drive, even remove system/boot partition or any partition that contains the active paging file or crash dump (memory dump) files from USB drive successfully, which cannot be completed via Diskpart override command. Moreover, it can even help you clear a USB stick permanently to protect sensitive or personal data.
1. Free download this software. Install and run it. Right-click the hidden partition on this USB drive and select “Delete Partition”.
2. In this pop-out window, you can choose the required deleting method and click “OK”.
3. Back to the main interface, committing the pending operation by clicking “Apply”.
How to remove multiple partitions on USB drive?
Sometimes, you might need to remove multiple partitions or even all partitions on USB drive. For deleting all partitions or volumes, you can make use of AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard as well.
1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Right click the USB drive and select “Delete all Partitions”.
2. Choose a proper method to delete all volumes on the USB drive and click “OK”.
3. Back to the main interface, click “Apply” to commit the pending operation.
Apart from removing partitions from USB drive, AOMEI Partition Assistant also supports merging partitions on USB drive, pen drive, memory card and other hard drives.
In this instruction, you can find 3 methods to delete hidden partition on USB drive. If someday you delete a wrong partition and lost important data, you can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro, which can help you recover partitions deleted accidentally with ease.