How to Delete a Windows Recovery Partition

Remove your recovery partition to free up more space on Windows

What to Know

  • In PowerShell or Command Prompt: diskpart > list disk > select disk # > list partition > select partition # > delete partition override.
  • To format partition: right-click Start > Disk Management > right-click Unallocated > New Simple Volume > follow wizard.

This article explains how to delete a recovery partition in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. It also explains how to format and expand a partition to use the unallocated space.

Person deleting a WIndows Recovery partition
Lifewire / Brooke Pelczynski

How to Delete a Recovery Partition in Windows

Because recovery partitions are protected, the steps for removing them differ from deleting a normal partition.

When you create a recovery partition for Windows, it's best to store it on an external drive in case something happens to your computer. After saving it somewhere else, you can delete the recovery partition from your PC to free up space.

  1. Right-click the Start menu and select Windows PowerShell (Admin) or Command Prompt (Admin).

    If you're using Windows 7 or earlier, you'll have to open Command Prompt another way, like through the Start menu or Run dialog box.

  2. Type diskpart and press Enter, then type list disk and press Enter.

  3. A list of disks displays. Type select disk # (where # is the number of the disk with the recovery partition) and press Enter.

    If you're unsure which one it's on, find out by opening the Disk Management tool.

    Select Disk
  4. Type list partition and press Enter. A list of partitions displays. Type select partition # (where # is the number of the recovery partition) and press Enter.

    select partition
  5. Type delete partition override and press Enter.

After you see a confirmation message, you can close the PowerShell/Command Prompt.

partition override

How to Format a Partition

Deleting a recovery partition will create a section of unallocated space on your drive. To use the unallocated space, you must format the partition:

  1. Right-click the Start menu and select Disk Management.

    If using Windows 7 or earlier, click the Start menu and type diskmgmt.msc in the search box to find the Disk Management tool.

  2. Beside the disk number for your hard drive, you'll see several partitions, including one named Unallocated. Right-click the Unallocated partition and select New Simple Volume.

    New volume
  3. Select Next to continue the wizard.

  4. Enter how much data the new partition should use out of the unallocated space, then select Next.

    Size volume
  5. Choose a letter from the drop-down menu to assign to the partition, then select Next.

    drive letter
  6. Enter a name for the partition in the Volume label field, then select Next.

    The default file system is NTFS, but you can change it to FAT32 or another file system if you wish.

    volume label
  7. Select Finish to close the wizard.

How to Expand a Partition to Use the Unallocated Space

If you want to expand another partition to use the extra space, then the unallocated space must appear to the immediate right of that partition in the Disk Management tool. To extend a partition:

  1. Right-click the partition you want to expand and select Extend Volume.

    extend volume
  2. Select Next to continue the wizard.

  3. Enter how much of the unallocated space you want to use, then select Next.

    drive size
  4. Select Finish to terminate the wizard. The Windows partition will be resized to include the extra space.

  • Is it safe to delete a recovery partition in Windows?

    Yes. Removing a recovery partition will not affect the Windows operating system.

  • How do I restore a deleted Windows recovery partition?

    To restore deleted recovery partitions, rebuild the Windows Boot Configuration Drive, use a third-party tool, or reinstall Windows.

  • How do I factory reset Windows without a recovery partition?

    Use Reset This PC to restore your Windows PC to factory settings. In Windows 8, use Refresh Your PC to back up your files first.

  • How do I create a recovery drive in Windows?

    In Windows 11 or 10, search for Create a recovery drive and check the box beside Back up system files to the recovery drive. Next, connect a USB drive, then select Next. You can also create a recovery drive in Windows 8.

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