By AOMEI / Last Updated April 24, 2020

What will formatting a hard drive do?

To format a hard drive means to delete all information on it then set up a file system so that the operating system can read and write data on the drive. Usually, you may need to do formatting in situations like:

  • Plan to use the new drive in Windows.

  • Want to make the computer run faster after being used for a long time.

  • Intend to delete all personal data on the drive.

Since there’s a Windows built-in utility Disk Management that can help you format hard drive, the following article will show you detailed steps.

How to format hard drive with Disk Management?


  • Make sure you have partitioned the hard drive first if it has never been used before or was just wiped clean.

  • In order that operating system could run properly, system partition and boot partition are not allowed to be formatted in Disk Management.

  • Be sure to back up important data to safe places like external drive or cloud storage.

  • Shut down all applications currently utilizing the hard drive. Otherwise, you will not be able to proceed.

Step 1. Open Disk Management.

Step 2. Right click the partition and select Format.

Format Drive

Step 3. Settings.

Quick Format


  • Only the partition smaller than 32GB can be formatted from NTFS to FAT32 through Disk Management.

  • Perform a quick format option is much faster than a normal format but it won’t completely overwrite the volume.

Step 4. Confirm.


It’s not a difficult operation. However, what if you want to format a partition bigger than 32GB to FAT32? What if you have to format a system partition due to some reasons? Don’t worry, AOMEI Partition Assistant will do the trick.

Format hard drive with AOMEI Partition Assistant

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard version is a totally free disk partition management software but comes with many powerful features that enable you to control disks and partitions easily. Now let’s see how to do formatting with this tool.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant.

Step 2. Also right click the partition. SelectFormat.

Aomei Format

Step 3. You’re able to change File system here.

File System

Step 4. Click Apply to execute.


Formatting doesn’t really erase the data. They can still be recovered by some software. If you intend to delete data thoroughly, try wipe partition. For people who need format system partition, you are capable of realizing it under the help of Wipe Hard Drive. Besides, AOMEI provides the way to Make Bootable Media in advance for the sake of booting computer normally after formatting.