[Free!] 5 Ways to Wipe Hard Drive on Windows 11

How to effectively wipe hard drive on Windows 11? In this tutorial, you'll learn when need to wipe a hard drive and 5 ways to do it.


By Tina / Updated on May 12, 2023

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When need to wipe a hard drive on Windows 11?

▶ When you decide to throw out or sell a hard drive: Before these actions, to prevent your private information from being stealing, you need to erase all the data on it.
▶ When you want to reuse a hard drive: Many users store large amounts of data on their hard drives, resulting in the hard drive running out of space. Therefore, they will want to wipe a hard drive for reuse.

However, neither deleting data or formatting the hard drive can protect your personal information. Because deleting data and formatting the hard drive just make it impossible for users to find the data from its original location, but the copy of them still exists on the hard drive. Deleted data can be retrieved by data recovery software if their paths are not overwritten by new data!

To make sure data safety of your data, you should wipe your hard drive on Windows 11 before selling it or throwing it away. Besides, wiping the hard drive helps to reset the hard drive to factory settings and make it perform better than before, so you can use it like a new drive.

Wipe Hard Drive Windows 11

How to wipe a hard drive on Windows 11

Here are four different ways including Command Prompt, Diskpart, Disk Management and resetting your computer to completely wipe the hard drive on Windows 11, you can choose one of the ways according to your own situation.

✦ Method 1. Using Command Prompt to wipe a hard drive

Command Prompt is a command line program commonly used in most Windows operating systems. The users can enter the commands to solve some problems such as extending volume, formatting volume, converting MBR to GPT, etc. Please refer to the steps on how to wipe a laptop hard drive on Windows 11.

Step 1. Press "Windows" and type "cmd", then select "Run as administrator".

Step 2. Type "format f: /fs:NTFS/p:1" (replace "f" with the drive which you want to wipe) and press "Enter".

Step 3. Type "y" and press "Enter" to wipe the data.

Step 4. You'll be prompted to enter a Volume label, then you should type a name of the drive or you can press "Enter" to skip it.

Step 5. Wait until "Creating file system structures" appears on the screen.

creating file system structures

Step 5. Input "exit" and press "Enter" to close the window after you wipe this hard drive.

✦ Method 2. Wiping the hard drive with Diskpart

Diskpart is another Windows command line utility that has the ability to manage disks in computers that run all versions of the operating system. You can wipe the hard drive on Windows 11 by cleaning up all the data on it, and here are detailed steps:

Step 1. Hit "Windows" and type "cmd". Then click "Run as Administrator".

Step 2. Input "diskpart" in the ejected window and hit "Enter".

Step 3. Input and run the following commands and press "Enter":

• list disk (list all disks on your computer.)
• select disk 2 (Select the disk you want to wipe completely. )
• clean all (Delete all data from the selected disk.)

diskpart wipe hard drive

 ✦ Method 3. Erasing a hard drive on Windows 11 with Disk Management

You can also use Disk Management on Windows 11 to wipe a hard drive. Besides, it provides you with other disk managing features, such as initializing disks, creating volumes, converting FAT32 to NTFS,etc.

If your hard drive becomes RAW, the Format button will be grayed out because the file may be corrupted.
Once the hard drive is write-protected, the Format will be grayed out.
Disk Management doesn't allow formatting a drive over 32GB into FAT32 file system

Step 1. Press "Windows+X", and then choose "Disk Management" in the popped window. 

Step 2. Right-click the target hard drive and click "Format".

click format

Step 3. If you want to wipe the partition deeply, don't select "Perform a quick format" and click "OK".

click ok

Step 4. Close the Disk Management after you finish wiping this hard drive.

✦ Method 4. Resetting the PC to wipe the hard drive

Resetting this PC is also a practical method, because the PC will be restored to the default state, and all data on it can be wiped except the system. Detailed steps are as follows:

Steps 1. Press "Windows" and click "Settings" on the menu popped.

Steps 2. Select "Update and recovery" and click on "Recovery" in the left-hand Windows pane.

Steps 3. Click on "Get Started" under the "Reset this PC" option, then click "Remove everything" in the ejected window.

get start

Steps 4. Choose "Fully clean the drive".

fully clean the drive

Steps 5. Check the operation and click "Reset".

click reset

Freeware to wipe hard drive on Windows 11 permanently

Although there’re 4 methods, all of them have their own drawbacks. Some are difficult to operation, while others have the file system or size limitations.

Therefore, in order to successfully wipe hard drive on Windows 11, we recommend you a powerful hard drive wiping expert - AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It perfectly avoids the problems mentioned above.

With it, you can preview the effect and avoid wrongly selecting the target hard drive. In addition, when you erase the entire hard disk, it also intimately prepares the function of creating partitions for you.

Please download this freeware to see how to wipe a hard drive on Windows 11.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Please back up important data you need in advance, because once the hard drive is wiped, the data cannot be retrieved.
There’re four methods to wipe the hard drive including Fill sectors with Zero, Fill sectors with random data, Gutmann and DoD 5220.22-M. Here, we can use Fill sectors with Zero to wipe this hard drive for free, if you want to use the others please turn to the Professional Version.

Step 1. Open AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard and right-click the target hard drive, then select "Wipe Disk".

wipe hard drive

Step 2. Select "Fill sectors with Zero" and click "OK".

fill sectors with zero

Step 3. Click "Apply" in the interface to wipe this hard drive.

click apply

Further tip: Safely wipe SSD without hurting

Due to the different storage methods, HDD and SSD also cannot be erased in the same way. If you find out that it is an SSD when you are ready to wipe the hard drive, you can upgrade to the Professional Version and do the following to clean up this hard drive:

Free Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Right-click the SSD in AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, click the target disk, then click "Wipe" and select "SSD Secure Erase".

select ssd secure erase

Step 2. Choose the SSD and click "Next" in the popped window.

click next

Step 3. Sometimes, SSD will encounter a frozen state that can be thawed by a hot swap. So please follow the instructions to learn how to perform a hot swap.

frozen state

Step 4.  Click "Finish" after watching "The SSD has been erased successfully".

click finish


To conclude, there are various ways to wipe a hard drive on Windows 11, but to do it without concern, you should ask help for a third-party freeware. In addition to erasing the hard drive, you can also merge partitions, split partitions, and use other hard drive managing functions with this powerful software.

By the way, if you are a Windows Server user, the Server Version will be more suitable for you. If you are a business user, you can try the Unlimited Version, because this version allows multiple people to use it at the same time.

Tina · Staff Editor
Tina is an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She has a positive attitude and full of energy. On her work, she always keeps thinking to figure out the solutions for users' problems, and writes the answers so that can help someone. In her daily life, she likes to sing, watch TV and sleep. She always being grateful and happy to all the things happened and all the people encountered.