How to Delete a Windows Recovery Partition

Remove your recovery partition to free up more space on Windows

Person deleting a WIndows Recovery partition

Lifewire / Brooke Pelczynski

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.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

How to Delete a Recovery Partition in Windows

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

  1. Right-click the Start menu and select Windows PowerShell (Admin) on Windows 10 or Command Prompt (Admin) on Windows 8.

    If you are using Windows 7 or earlier, select the Start menu, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator. You may need to navigate through the menus to find the Command Prompt icon.

    Right-click the Start menu and select Windows PowerShell (Admin) on Windows 10 or Command Prompt (Admin) on Windows 8.
  2. Type diskpart in the Command Prompt window and press Enter.

    Type diskpart in the Command Prompt window and press Enter.
  3. Type list disk and press Enter.

    Type list disk and press Enter.
  4. A list of disks will be displayed. Type select disk # (where # is the number of the disk with the recovery partition) and press Enter.

    If there are multiple disks and you're unsure which one its on, you can find out by opening the Disk Management tool.

    Select the number of the disk with the recovery partition and press Enter.
  5. Type list partition and press Enter.

    Type list partition and press Enter.
  6. A list of partitions will be displayed. Type select partition # (where # is the number of the recovery partition) and press Enter.

    Select the number of the recovery partition.
  7. Type delete partition override and press Enter.

    Type delete partition override and press Enter.

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

In addition to creating a recovery partition, it's also recommended to make copies of your important files using backup software such as Backup Maker.

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

How to Format a Partition

Deleting a recovery partition will create a section of unallocated space on your drive. In order 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.

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

    Right-click the Unallocated partition and select New Simple Volume.
  3. Select Next to continue.

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

    Enter how much data the new partition should use out of the unallocated space, then select Next.
  5. Choose a letter from the drop-down menu to assign to the partition, then select Next.

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

    Enter a name for the partition in the Volume label field, then select Next.
  7. Select Finish.

    Select Finish.

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.

    Right-click the partition you want to expand and select Extend Volume.
  2. Select Next to continue.

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

    Enter how much of the unallocated space you want to use, then select Next.
  4. Select Finish. The Windows partition will be resized to include the extra space.

    Select Finish. The Windows partition will be resized to include the extra space.