By Bryce / Last Updated November 27, 2020

Unable to format SSD in Windows 10 Disk Management

SSD has become a popular storage device among computer users due to its great and stable performance. But sometimes, you may find that you have no option to format SSD in Disk Management as the option of “Format…” greyed out in Windows Disk Management if you need to format SSD out of certain reason like formatting external hard drive for PS4, formatting SSD for new install and so on.

Format Option Greyed out Windows 10

Effective Ways to format SSD under different situations

The option of “Format…” in Windows 10 Disk Management greyed out can be a result of different elements and you can take corresponding ways to format SSD based on specific situation.

Situation 1. The unrecognized SSD in Windows Disk Management

When the file system of your SSD is not recognized by Windows or there are bad sector on your SSD, you can find “Format…” option grayed out. In such case, you can try to format SSD using CMD or third party partition manger.

A. Format SSD using Diskpart utility

First of all, you should run Diskpart as administrator by pressing Windows + R at the same time, inputting “diskpart” and hitting Enter key. Then, run the following commands in order.

  • list disk

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

  • clean

  • convert mbr (or “convert gpt” based on the 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)

  • exit

Format SSD CMD

B. Format SSD using AOMEI Partition Assistant

If you are unfamiliar with Command Lines or need to format partition beyond 32GB to FAT32, you can turn to AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, compatible with Windows 10/8/7, XP and Vista, will become your nice choice. Let’s see how it works:

1. Download this freeware, install and run it. In the main interface, right click the partition on SSD and select “Format Partition”.

Format exFAT Partition

2. In this small window, specify the file system of the SSD partition based on your own demand and click “OK”.

Format exFAT To FAT32

3. Preview the operation. Then, click “Apply” and “Proceed” to perform it.


Situation 2. Format SSD with OS installed

If you try to format the SSD partition that OS installed on, you’ll find the option of “Format…” is not working in Disk Management as you are not allowed to format partition containing OS within Windows. At this time, you can format your SSD that OS installed from BIOS under the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Things you should do before formatting
▸Backup important files on the SSD as formatting will erase all data on it.
▸Connect a USB drive to a working computer running Windows and create a bootable USB drive via AOMEI Partition Assistant.
▸After creating bootable media successfully via AOMEI Partition Assistant, enter BIOS while rebooting to boot computer from the bootable USB drive.

Boot from USB

Then, you’ll be in the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant. Do as the following steps.

1. Right click the SSD partition that needs formatting and choose “Format”.

2. Choose file system of the partition on SSD.

Choose File System

3. Return to the main interface, click “Apply” >“Proceed” to execute the operation.

These are all steps on how to format SSD with OS on it.

After formatting SSD that OS installed on, you will be unable to boot computer from the SSD anymore. Therefore, be cautious to make this operation.
Apart from formatting SSD partition, AOMEI Partition Assistant can also help you to securely erase SSD and wipe hard drive.

Situation 3. Unknown, not initialized SSD in Windows Disk Management

If you try to format your SSD to make full use of it when it shows as disk unknown, not initialized in Disk Management, you’ll find that “New simple Volume” is disabled and you are unable to format SSD with certain file system. At this time, what you need to do is to initialize the disk by following the steps below:

1. Locate the SSD that you need to initialize, right click it, and choose “Initialize Disk” option among given results.

Initialize Disk

2. Follow the wizard to initialize the SSD as MBR or GPT disk.

PS.: Initializing will cause data loss on the SSD.

After that, you are able to format SSD with wanted file system in Disk Management.


On this page, we not only explain why you find no option to format SSD or the “Format”… option is not working in Windows Disk Management, but also share corresponding solutions. The recommended free partition manager can help you a lot. To experience more advanced features, like align SSD partitions, transfer OS between MBR and GPT disk, securely erase SSD drive and more, you can upgrade to Professional edition.