How to delete an existing disk volume with Windows 11 “Disks and Volumes” Settings options

Microsoft introduced new settings with Windows 11 to manage the disks and volumes. They offer many possibilities and we are going to see how to delete an existing disk volume in this tutorial.

We saw in previous tutorials how to shrink an existing volume size and how to create a new disk volume. We are now going to see how to delete an existing disk volume.

The steps described in this tutorial shouldn’t damage your computer. Nevertheless be aware that to delete a disk volume also mean to delete all the files stored on that volume, so be sure to FIRST backup them on an other volume if you want to keep them. There is no easy way to recover the data from the deleted volume afterward. Anyway, be sure to understand what you are doing and do it at your own risks. If you are not familiar with the concepts of disks, partitions and volumes or feel unsure about reproducing these steps, ask someone with good computer skills to help you. As always, the author and the website decline any responsibilities about the consequences of trying to reproduce these steps.

I decided to delete the “Data” volume that I created in a previous tutorial. This volume was empty right now. One more time, be sure to check that the volume you are going to delete is empty or that you have copied the files to an other volume (if you don’t want to loose then) before going on with the steps of this tutorial. Be sure also not to delete the EFI system volume or boot volume with the operating system (typically the C: volume) or the computer will not startup properly.

First I opened the Windows 11 Settings and I went to the “System > Storage > Advanced storage settings > Disks & volumes” settings (you can see step by step how to do that in an other tutorial). A single SSD disk was installed in this computer with four volumes: an EFI system volume, the C: volume with the operating system and programs, the E: volume I was going to delete and a small 595 MB Microsoft recovery partition.

System > Storage > Disks & volumes
System > Storage > Disks & volumes

I selected the Data E: volume and I clicked the “Properties” button. I now had access to the volume details with the possibility to change the label, the drive letter, to format or to delete the volume. I wanted to delete this volume and therefore I clicked the “Delete” button.

Data E: volume details
Data E: volume details

A window opened asking to confirm the operation with the following warning message: “Are you sure you want to delete this volume? This action cannot be undone and will permanently delete all data on the volume. You will not be able to recover files or folders using Recycle Bin.” This is the last reminder message before deleting the volume and its content so be sure to understand it before confirming the operation. I clicked the “Delete Volume” button to confirm that I wanted to delete the volume.

Confirm to delete the volume
Confirm to delete the volume

The volume was deleted in less than a second and the disk now had some unallocated space available in its place.

Unallocated space instead of volume
Unallocated space instead of volume

There are no easy way to recover the volume and its data once it has been deleted but some third party tools may be able to recover the volume if you do not alter the disk.

There was now some unallocated space available on this disk, we will see in the next tutorial how to use it to increase the capacity of an existing volume.

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