How to delete partitions on a USB flash drive or memory card

How to delete the partitions on USB flash drive, which are not visible to the computer

Today you will learn how to remove partitions on a USB flash drive or memory stick. The problem comes to light when there are several volumes on the external drive, but the Windows operating system detects only one (the first one), while the others remain invisible.

As a result, we lose free space and actually have several times less instead of the number of gigabytes declared by the manufacturer. In this article I will tell you how to fix the situation, why it happens and what obstacles you may encounter.

Oops – Windows can’t see all partitions on a USB flash drive.

Many users have long been using the ability to partition USB drives into multiple volumes, similar to hard drives or SSD drives. This has its own advantages. But there are problems of their own, which occur most often after incorrect formatting by third-party utilities or when you have created a bootable area on one of the partitions.

When you try to connect a flash drive to your PC, you will find that the Windows system only detects the first “drive”. Foreign forums suggest the simplest solution, related to the standard OS tool – “Disk Management”. But in some cases this method is unsuitable, because most of the necessary actions are simply blocked (inaccessible, highlighted in gray).

Operations are not available in Disk Management

Now I will tell you about all the options, so you can accurately pick up a working tool to fix the error.

How to delete partitions on a flash drive – instructions for Windows 10 version 1703 / 1709 and higher

“Ten” of the newest editions knows how to work correctly with USB data carriers divided into volumes. No problems should arise. If you need to remove one or more partitions, just use the built-in “Disk Management” tool.

As a result of the manipulation described below all stored information on the memory card will be permanently deleted.

  • Press on your keyboard a combination of two buttons Win + R to call the console “Run” and in the input line write the command:


  • Once the service window is loaded, in the main part of it, find your flash drive, which will be displayed graphically, consisting of several parts;
  • Right clicking on one of the items will bring up a menu of operations, where you should select the “Delete…” action:
Deleting a volume in Disk Management
  • Repeat as many times as necessary until only an unused area remains, the size of which corresponds to the total size of the USB key;
  • Again call the context menu but this time use the “Create Simple Volume…” command:
Creating a new simple volume
  • All that’s left is to follow the Wizard’s prompts. This will take you only a few minutes. You will end up with an external drive with a single partition.

Removing flash drive partitions in earlier versions of Windows

If you are using Windows 10 before version 1703 or Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1, the previous instruction will be irrelevant. This is because the Disk Management service (described above) will be disabled:

Operations not available in Disk Management

But this does not mean that nothing can be done. The command line utility in conjunction with the useful DISKPART tool will help us.

  • Start the console with administrator privileges (all methods are described here by the linkbut I recommend to do a search – universal solution for every Microsoft OS):
Running cmd as administrator
  • Then you have to be very careful, because you have to enter in turn some commands in the “black window” with the correct volume letter (there will be a short description above each operation).

Run the utility


You will see a list of disks and find your flash drive and its number (column on the left).

list disk

Put numeric value of your disk drive instead of “X”. If you enter it wrong, you risk losing all the data on the wrong medium.

select disk X

With this prompt you can remove all partitions on the flash drive at once. Now let’s move on to the creative steps.


Create primary partition (it automatically gets assigned number 1).

create partition primary

Select the newly created volume.

select partition 1

Activate it.


Perform a quick format to create a FAT32 file table.

format fs=fat32 quick

Name the connection.


Exit the Diskpart utility.


Deleting and creating partitions via the command line

Now you can close the Command Console window and enjoy the results of your work. You have learned how to delete partitions on a USB flash drive (the method will work even if the items are hidden).

27.11.2017 10:00 7402

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