How to Format New SSD in Windows 10 | 4 Free Ways

Given the fact that SSDs are becoming more and more popular, knowing how to format new SSD in Windows 10 is necessary for many Windows users. This post will show you four different guides on how to format a new SSD Windows 10 for free.


By Hedy / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Do I need to format a new SSD before use?

When you upgrade to a new SSD, you may want to know whether you need to format new SSD in Windows 10 before you can use it. In most cases, the answer is positive. You need to format a solid-state drive to a specific file system so that it can be detected, recognized, read, and written by Windows system. In other words, formatting a new SSD is necessary.

But which file system should be formatted for your new SSD in Windows 10? You can find the answer in the next part.

What format should SSD be for Windows 10?

It is important to choose an SSD format that will be compatible with your operating system. The most commonly used file systems are:

◤ FAT32: It's the newest version of FAT (File Allocation Table), and has better read and write compatibility with more operating systems like Windows, Mac, Linux, etc. But the main disadvantage is that FAT32 only supports files of up to 4GB in size and volumes of up to 2TB in size.

◤ exFAT: It comes with good compatibility like FAT32 file system but eliminates the 4GB file size limit. However, older operating systems might require an update to read and write to a drive with an exFAT format.

◤ NTFS: NTFS (New Technology File System) is introduced as a replacement for the FAT file system. It can support volumes as large as 256TB, and its file size support tops out at 16 EiB. Compared with FAT32, it has better reliability, disk space utilization, and overall performance.

Generally speaking, if you wish to use an SSD as an external hard drive in Windows 10, exFAT and FAT32 are better. But if you want to use it as an internal hard drive, NTFS should be your best choice. To a great extent, which file format to use for a new SSD depends on your needs.

How to format a new SSD Windows 10?

After we know what format should SSD be, it is time to learn how to format a new SSD Windows 10. Keep reading, and you will learn four useful ways to format new SSD in Windows 10.

Warning: Formatting a partition on an SSD will erase all data on that partition. Please make sure you have already backup all important data on the drive prior to formatting the SSD.

▶ Way 1. Format new SSD in Windows 10 via File Explorer

If you already have partitions on your SSD, the easiest and most efficient way is to use Windows File Explorer. Follow these instructions:

Step 1. Press the "Win + E" keys to open the File Explorer.

Step 2. Navigate to the target solid-state drive, right-click it, and choose "Format". Choose NTFS as the file system, tick "Quick Format", and click "Start".


▶ Way 2. Format new SSD in Windows 10 via Disk Management

If your SSD is brand new, it cannot be visible and usable in Windows File Explorer before being initialized. Thus, you need to initialize the SSD first, create new volume on it and then format it. Disk Management is a practical Windows built-in tool that can make it. Now, let's see how to format a new SSD via Disk Management.

Step 1. Right-click the window icon and select "Disk Management" from the list to open Disk Management.


Step 2. Right-click the new SSD and choose the "Initialize Disk" option. Determine which partition scheme to select: MBR or GPT, and then click "OK”.


Step 3. Right-click on the unallocated space on the target drive. Choose the "New Simple Volume" option and click "Next."


Step 4. After specifying the volume size, you will be asked to format new SSD in Windows 10 including the file system, allocation unit size and volume label. Choose "Perform a quick format" and select "Next. "


Step 5. Assign the drive letter, click "Next" and then choose "Finish".

▶ Way 3. Format new SSD in Windows 10 via CMD

However, if there are bad sectors on your SSD, you may find you are unable to format the SSD in Disk Management or File Explorer. In such a case, you can format new disk in Windows 10 using CMD.

Firstly, press "Window + R" at the same time, type "diskpart" and hit "Enter" to run DiskPart as administrator. Then, run the following commands one by one.

list disk

select disk n (n refers to the number of the SSD that you need to format)


convert mbr (or "convert gpt" which is based on your disk capacity)

create partition primary

select part 1

active (if it is the boot drive)

format fs=ntfs quick (you can replace ntfs with fat32 or exfat)



▶ Way 4. Format new SSD in Windows 10 via a third-party SSD format tool

Formatting a new SSD is not a complex task with Windows tools, you can choose your most familiar one to quickly format new SSD Windows 10. However, if you think the steps are complicated in Disk Management or you are not familiar with command lines, you can turn to AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, the best free SSD formatting tool that is compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7, XP, and Vista.

With a clear and user-friendly interface, you can initialize the disk within three clicks and format partitions in various situations. For example, you can format SSD with bad sectors, format partition beyond 32GB to FAT32, format RAW SSD, format write-protected disk, and so on. Download this multifunctional disk formatting tool and see how it works:

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. In the main interface, right-click the target SSD and choose "Format Partition".


Step 2. Here are five file systems for you to select. Pick one based on your demand. Then, click "OK".


Step 3. Then, you will return to the main interface. Click "Apply" and "Proceed" to commit the operation.


Further reading: Can you format an SSD with Windows 10 on it?

Sometimes, you may need to format the SSD partition with Windows 10 on it. But neither Disk Management nor DiskPart allows you to format SSD with OS on it within Windows. Luckily, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant to make a bootable media, boot from it, and format the system partition. Here are the detailed steps:

Step 1. Upgrade to the AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, connect a USB drive to your computer and click "Make Bootable Media" in the left panel. Follow the prompts to complete the creation of bootable USB.


Step 2. After that, reboot the computer, enter the BIOS setup, and boot from the bootable USB drive.


Step 3. Then, you'll be in the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant automatically. Do as the steps in the fourth method to format the partition containing OS.


On this page, we have explained the necessity of formatting a new SSD before using it and introduced four efficient ways to format new SSD in Windows 10. All these methods are good and useful, but AOMEI Partition Assistant is easier to use.

In addition, AOMEI software can let you enjoy more advanced features like transferring SSD to new SSD, securely erasing SSD, aligning SSD partitions, and more. For Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003 users, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is a popular recommendation.

Hedy · Staff Editor
Hedy is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is very good at solving problems of partition management, and she wants to share all the problems she had already solved to users who met the same questions.