How to Securely Format Hard Disk in Windows 11/10

Have you ever thought of formatting the HDD, however, wondered if there is indeed any secure way to do so? Well, in this tutorial, we will explain the right strategy to securely format your hard disk so that no one can ever recover the deleted files. 

In general, there are two ways by which you can securely wipe all data that you no longer require. Make sure to create a local backup of all your important files and folders as you won’t be able to recover them easily, even with a file recovery program. Let’s learn what secure formatting of hard disk is and how to perform this task in Windows 11 or 10 PC. 

What is Secure formatting hard disk?

When you format a hard disk, all the data which were previously available on it can be accessed using some third-party tools like Stellar. Secure formatting is a great way to replace all the previous data with random information. You may do this yourself by replacing the previous content with new non-essential files like movies, or other big files. 

After you have overwritten the previous important files with the new random files, only the recently added files could be recovered using some third-party programs. Hence, your data is all safe and secured. 

1] Format your Hard Disk by resetting it

If you are willing to reinstall Windows operating system on your computer, this method is perfect for you. Using this, you can easily wipe all the data on your HDD. For this method, you will need the reset feature on your PC. Let’s explore this method in detail –

  • Press “Windows key + I” together using the keyboard.
  • When the Settings application starts, click “Update and Security“.
  • On the left pane, select the Recovery option.
  • Head over to the right side and click the ‘Get Started‘ option.
  • A new pop-up window immediately appears on the screen with two available options.
  • Select the second one i.e. “Remove everything” your personal files, apps, and settings.

Securely Format Hard Disk in Windows 10 - Recovery

  • Subsequently, you will receive two options again. Select the second one that says “Cloud download“. 

Securely Format Hard Disk in Windows 10 - Cloud Install

Note: Make sure that you have good net connectivity as choosing this option will download Windows 10 OS from the cloud and will consume more than 4Gb data while doing so.

In case you do have a Windows 10 ISO file, choose the second option i.e. Local reinstall.

  • The system will then immediately starts deleting all your personal files and folders so that no one can ever recover your erased data. 
  • Click on the Next button to complete the remaining process and do follow the on-screen instructions. 

Once this is over, Restart Windows so that changes made come into effect. 

2] Format Hard Drive using the Command Prompt

In case you are selling your data, make sure to replace the previously stored data using secure hard disk formatting and then use CMD to re-format the current data on your PC. You must log into your device as administrator or start Command Prompt as admin to complete the below guideline –

  • Press “Windows key + R“.
  • When the Run dialog starts, type “CMD”, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys simultaneously. 
  • Doing so will launch the Command Prompt having admin rights.
  • On the elevated console, type DISKPART, and press Enter.
  • There may appear a prompt asking “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device”, hit Yes.
  • Lastly, execute a few commands in between quotes to successfully format your HDD. Make sure to proceed in the exact order as provided below –

“list disk– To list out all available disks

select disk #” – Here, (#) is the disk number.

list partition” – To view all available partitions on the selected drive.

select partition #” – To select a particular partition.

format fs=fat32 quick – To format the specific partition using the fat32 mode. 

That’s it, your hard drive is now successfully formatted. Use bootable media to clean install Windows 10 OS on your computer. In case you have any queries or suggestions, let us know in the comment section.

Tip: If you are facing update, activation, or driver issues on your Windows PC, try RESTORO PC Repair Tool. This software will scan your device for potential issues and resolve them automatically.

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