How to Format a Hard Drive on Windows 11 Systems

Windows 11 Systems

When you format a hard drive, it will remove any existing data present on the drive. Formatting prepares a drive for more data and ensures that all files, even the hidden ones, are removed successfully. Formatting is straightforward, and in this tutorial, I will show you how to format a hard drive on Windows 11 systems.

Format Hard Drive Windows 11

Proper formatting will remove any data present on the hard drive, and this includes viruses as well. There is always a risk that if you upload data before formatting, your data may get corrupted. So, follow the steps below and learn how to format any drive:

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Step-1: Click on the File Explorer on the taskbar to open the app. You can also open it by pressing the shortcut keys Win + X and selecting File Explorer from the list of options provided.
Format Hard Drive Windows 11

Step-2: Once File Explorer opens, click on This PC from the left pane.

Format Hard Drive Windows 11

Step-3: In the right pane, pick the drive you want to format under the Devices and drives section. Right-click on it and select Format.

Format Hard Drive Windows 11

Step-4: A Format window will open, and you will see different options in the drop-down menus. You will have to choose the ones relevant to you. Here is a general idea to help you decide:

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  • Capacity: This option shows how much space will be available to you once the formatting is complete.
  • File System: This represents the structure that tells an OS how to save and load files to and from the drive. Usually, these are the options you will get: FAT, FAT32 (Default), NTFS, exFAT. If you want your drive to be readable by both Mac and Windows, select exFAT, and if you want it readable only on Windows, select NTFS.
  • Allocation Unit Size: Keep this setting on the default provided.
  • Volume Label: This is your drive name.
  • Format Options: There is a check box next to Quick Format. If you keep this box selected, the format will happen quickly. This will remove the data so that all references to it will be removed, but the data is present on the drive. With this setting, you will be able to overwrite the old data when you upload new data onto the drive. If you uncheck the box, the Format will happen very slowly, but it will completely erase all the data.
Format Options

Step-5: Once you are done with the changes. Click on Start.

Step-6: You will get a warning message. Press OK.


Step-7: Once the Format is complete, you will get a message informing you ‘Format Complete.’ Press OK.

I hope this helps. Let us know in the comments below.

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