“Recently, I upgraded my PC from Windows 10 to Windows 11. When the upgrade was done, I found a 100MB partition without a drive letter appear via Disk Management. When I tried deleting it, I found the ‘delete volume’ option was greyed out. What’s this partition and how to delete it?”
- Question from microsoft.com
What’s the EFI system partition?
EFI, short for extensive firmware interface, partition is a system partition used as a partition on most storage devices such as HDD and SSD. When a PC boot, EFI adheres to the UEFI to load files and system utilities. With the help of an EFI partition, PC can create multiple regions on the hard disk so that different info can be stored and managed respectively.
EFI has 4 components
a) Boot loaders
b) Device drivers
c) System utilities
d) Data files
What if we delete the EFI partition?
In terms of Part 1, it’s necessary to have an EFI partition for computer booting. The partition acts as an interface for the PC to boot Windows 11 off and without it, the PC can’t successfully boot into Windows. In a word, if the EFI partition is deleted, the installed Windows 11 won’t be bootable. Therefore, the EFI system partition is always protected that you can’t find it in File Explorer and even when you use the utility of Disk Management, the volume deletion option is greyed out.
How to delete EFI partition in Windows 11 once for all?
From the contents above, we learned it’s literally hard to delete the EFI system partition for it’s protected by Windows. However, what if you do want to delete it for your own purposes? For example, there’re 2 operating systems on your PC and you want to get another 100~200 MB free space. Luckily, there’re still workarounds out there. Below, the top 2 ways to delete an EFI system partition is listed. Choose either of them according to your own requirements.
Method 1. Apply third-party software
Since it’s impossible to use Windows 11 built-in Disk Management to delete the EFI partition, some third-party disk management utilities might be the best choice. Here, I recommend AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, a powerful software utility for disk management. It helps auto-detect the hidden EFI partition and delete it in only a few clicks. Besides, other features like partition alignment and hard drive wiping are available as well.
Can I delete EFI system partition in Windows 11? If you haven’t found a proper tool, the AOMEI product should be the best choice.
Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.
Step 2. Plug a USB stick into the PC. In the top toolbar, click "Tools" and select “Make Bootable Media” as the screenshot shows. Follow the wizard to finish the rest steps and boot your PC from the USB.
Step 3. In the home interface, right-click on the EFI system partition and select “Delete Partition”.
Step 4. Hit “OK” to proceed.
Step 5. Click on “Apply” on the upper left to commit the pending operation.
Wait only a few seconds before the process gets completed.
Method 2. Use DiskPart (CMD)
DiskPart is also a Windows 11 built-in utilities based on command lines. Users execute different operations for disk management by inputting different command lines. So, of course, you can use this program to delete the EFI partition once for all. However, this program is only recommended for professional users not for novices since it’s literally hard to memorize all commands and PCs may run into system crashes if any orders are input not correctly.
1. In the search box on lower left of the desktop, type “diskpart” and select “Run as administrator”.
2. Hit “Yes” to bring up the home interface of DiskPart.
3. Type the following commands and hit “ENTER”.
a) list disk (It displays all disks on your PC)
b) sel disk 0 (Select the disk where the EFI partition is)
c) list partition (it list all partitions on that disk)
d) sel partition 1 (1 represents the sequence number of the EFI system partition)
e) SET ID=ebd0a0a2-b9e5-4433-87c0-68b6b72699c7
By doing so, the EFI system partition is set as a data partition so that you can delete it. Now, follow the command lines below to delete it
f) list partition (list all partition on the hard drive mentioned above)
g) sel partition 1(select the EFI partition)
h) delete partition override (delete the EFI partition)
Finally, type “exit” to shut down the window once prompted that the deletion is successful.
How to delete EFI partition in Windows 11? The EFI partition protected by Windows so it’s not an easy job to delete it. Luckily, in this post, 2 efficient tools are provided – third-party disk manager and Windows built-in program utility DiskPart. As for me, I prefer the third-party AOMEI product Partition Assistant Professional because I’m completely a noob in computing and it’s so easy-to-use. Plus, if you want to use this software on Server, please try the Server edition.