How to Format a Hard Drive on Windows 11

Hard Disk

Easily format an HDD, SSD, or NVMe SSD storage device on Windows 11 using Storage Settings, File Explorer, or the Disk Management app.

Formatting a Hard Drive refers to deleting everything that’s in the Drive. Sometimes the Hard Drives in our computer can get corrupted or they can get slower over time. Formatting the Drive can be a solution to these problems.

There can be many instances where formatting is required. If it is a new Hard Drive, then it is recommended to format it before you use it. If you want to do a fresh installation of Windows 11, you must format your Hard Drive. Many other cases also call for formatting your Hard Drive. For example, if you wish to clear junk files or cached files that you are unable to remove manually or if you wish to use a different file system etc.

Whatever the case may be, if you need to format your Hard Drive on your Windows 11 computer, this article got you covered. Follow the methods discussed here to know about multiple methods that you can use to easily format your Hard Drive.

Note: Never format your ‘Local Drive’ or ‘C Drive’ or the drive where you keep your system files. It will delete the OS files and make your system crash.

How to Format a Hard Drive using Storage Settings

The process of formatting a Hard Drive from the Storage Settings menu is very simple. First, open up the Settings app by pressing Windows+i or by searching for it in Windows Search.

On the Settings window, scroll down and click on ‘Storage’.

From there, scroll down again and click on ‘Advanced storage settings’ located in the Storage Management section.

After that, from the expanded options, click on ‘Disks & Volume’ option.

It will show you a list of storage devices you have on your computer and also how many drives you have.

Now, click on the Drive you wish to format and then click on the ‘Properties’ button.

After that, scroll down and you will see the ‘Format’ button. Click on it to format the drive.

The Format Volume dialog box will appear. Here you can give a name to your drive by typing it under the Label section. Keep everything as it is and click on Format. After a short moment, your Drive will be formatted and everything will be erased.


How to Format a Hard Drive from the File Explorer

Formating a Hard Drive using File explorer is even easier than the previous method. To start, launch the File Explorer by pressing Windows+e or by going to Windows Search.

On the File Explorer window, click on ‘This PC’ to see all the devices and drives you have on your computer.

From there, right-click on the drive you wish to clean and click on ‘Format…’ option from the context menu.

The Format Files dialog box will appear. Keep everything default in the new window. If you wish to change the name of the Drive then you can by typing it in the text box below ‘Volume label’. Click on Start and the drive will be formatted.

Note: The time it will take to format the drive will depend on the speed of your Hard Drive and also the amount of data stored in it.

How to Format a Hard Drive using Disk Management

You can use the Disk Management feature of Windows to format drives. Start with launching the Run window by pressing windows+r. Type disk diskmgmt.msc inside the search box and press Enter.

The Disk Management window will open and you will be able to see the drives presented as blocks in the bottom half of the window.

Now, Right-click on the block that represents the drive you wish to format and then click on ‘Format…’ option from the context menu.

The Format [drive letter] dialog will appear. Change the Volume label if you wish and keep everything as it is. Click on ‘OK’ to continue.

Another window will appear. Click ‘OK’ again and your drive will be formatted.


The above methods apply to all kinds of storage devices like an HDD, SSD, or even NVMe SSD devices.