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Why Can’t Delete Volume on USB Flash Drive and How to Fix the Issue

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    Question: I have a USB flash drive with 1 partition on it, and now I want to make the device back to unallocated space via deleting the partition. Nevertheless, I can’t delete a volume on USB flash drive in Disk Management since the “Delete Volume” button is grayed out. What’s the reason and how to solve the problem?

    Answer: it is largely because your USB flash drive is regarded as a removable device by Windows. On this kind of devices, users are not allowed to delete partitions (also called volume) and can only create 1 recognizable partition. Well then, does it mean there is no way to delete volumes on USB flash drive when Disk Management can’t do it? It is of course not. Here, we will introduce 2 solutions.

    Delete Volume on USB Flash Drive with DiskPart

    DiskPart is a command-line utility contained in Windows operating system, which can help partition both external and internal device. To delete a partition with this program, users need to take the following steps: type cmd in “Search Box”, right click CMD.exe and run it as administrator. Then, type commands below successively (each typing ends with hitting on “Enter”): diskpart → list volume → select volume N (N is the number of the volume we want to delete) → clean. After DiskPart shows it succeeded in cleaning the disk, our work is done.

    WARNING: since DiskPart is a command based program, users are easy to make mistaken operation. If they pick up a wrong volume, Windows or other important information may be destroyed.

    Delete Volume on USB Flash Drive with MiniTool Partition Wizard

    MiniTool Partition Wizard is a free Windows partitioning program with friendly user interface. To delete a partition in this program, please run it to get the starting interface and then choose “Launch Application” to get the window below:

    minitool partition wizard main interface

    In this interface all partitions and disks are shown clearly. Please select the partition we want to delete and choose “Delete Partition” from the left pane. After this operation we can preview the selected partition becomes unallocated:

    delete partition on usb flash drive apply change

    At this time, please click “Apply” button to perform the change. After application is completed, our work is done.

    Now users would know how to delete volumes on USB flash drive when Disk Management can’t do it. Actually, these solutions can be applied on all removable devices apart from USB flash drive, like SD card, memory stick, and CF card. Just try them out when necessary.