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How to format and partition an external hard drive on Windows

How to format and partition an external hard drive on Windows

Windows is very good with hard drive file systems. Even though you might think you’re stuck in the same partitions and format your hard disk, Windows will allow you to change things up to your preference. It’s not too complicated either. Here’s how to format and partition an external hard drive on Windows.

Read more: How to change a drive letter in Windows

quick answer

To format an external hard drive on Windows, find it in Windows Explorer, right-click it, and click appearance, and follow the steps. To partition an external hard drive on Windows, open File Disk Management Tool, right-click on the external partition and click Reduce the size of. Follow the steps to shrink it as much as you want the new partition to be, then right-click Unallocated spaces and click Simple new sizeand follow the steps.


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How to format an external hard drive on Windows

Formatting an external hard drive on Windows is very simple. Connect the external drive to your computer and open Windows Explorer. click this computer From the left navigation pane to show all available drives. Right-click the external drive, and click appearance.

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The formatting tool will appear. Click the dropdown menu below file system, and click the preferred option between NTFS and exFAT. Rename the drive under volume label, if you want to. If you want to format the drive more comprehensively, uncheck Quick Format can. click beginning.

Format Windows External Drive Dialog

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Formatting an external drive Windows Warning

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Windows will format your external drive, and give you a confirmation dialog when the format is complete.

Formatting an external drive Windows completed

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How to partition an external hard drive on Windows

To partition an external drive on Windows, you will need to use a disk management tool. Search for Disk Management in Windows search. Click on the top search result named Create and format hard disk partitions.

Find the external drive listed in the network view in the lower half. To create a new partition, you will need unallocated space. You’ll see this under a blackhead in Disk Management. If you don’t already have unallocated space, and you want to partition your external drive, right-click the partition on your external drive in Network view, and then click Reduce the size of…

Windows Disk Management shrinks in size

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The Shrink Size dialog box will appear. in the box next to Enter the amount of space to be reduced in megabytestype the amount of space you want for the new partition(s).

Windows Disk Manager shrinks volume options

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The default number here will be the maximum available, but we recommend leaving some breathing room for the current section. Once you have entered the shape, tap shrink.

Windows Disk management Reducing the final screen size

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It will take a few seconds, and the drive will now display the unallocated space with a black head. Right-click on it, and click Simple new size.

New partition for Windows Disk Management

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New Partition Wizard for Windows Disk Management

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in the box next to Simple volume size in megabytes, the default number will be the maximum available space. You can reduce it by typing a lower number in the box if you want another partition, or leave it as is if you only want to create one partition, and then click next one.

New Windows Disk Management Partition Size

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You can set a different character on this screen using the dropdown menu, or just stick to the default character and click next one.

Windows New Disk Management Partition Letter

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On the next screen, you can choose the file system and partition name. Configure it according to your needs, and click next one.

Windows new partition format and name

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Take a final look, and click ending to create the new partition.

Terminate the new partition for Windows Disk Management

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It will take a few seconds, but the partition will appear in the network view of the external disk in Disk Manager.

New partitions for Windows Disk Management

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If you want to create another partition, you can repeat the process to create a new volume with the allocated space you left before, or repeat the entire process by shrinking existing partitions.


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questions and answers

It is not a necessary thing. It just depends on your use and whether the use guarantees partitions for different purposes.

Yes, Windows Disk Management allows you to do this. You will need available unallocated space if you want to expand a partition, and if you are shrinking a partition, it will leave you with unallocated space that you can use to expand other partitions.