How to Delete EFI (System) Partition in Windows 10

Can I delete the EFI system partition?

Usually, you can easily delete a partition in Disk Management. But you can’t delete EFI system partition in Windows because the “Delete Volume” feature is grayed out.

The “Delete Volume” may also gray out when you try to delete the OEM partition, recovery, or system reserved partition. This page will talk about how to delete the EFI system partition on Windows, as well as the must-know information about the EFI system partition, including what EFI is and what happens when the partition is deleted. Keep reading and learn more details.

How to Delete EFI (System) Partition in Windows 10/8/7

Part 1. What Is EFI System Partition (ESP)

EFI partition, also known as EFI system partition, short for ESP, is automatically generated when you successfully install Windows OS on a GPT disk in your computer. It takes about 100M or 200MB or so with no drive letter. Normally, you may see more EFI system partition on Windows 10.

According to Wikipedia, “EFI system partition (ESP) is a partition on a data storage device which is used computers adhering to UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). When a computer is booted, UEFI firmware loads files stored on the ESP(EFI system partition) to start installed operating system and various utilities.”

It includes 4 main components:

  • Boot loaders
  • Device drivers
  • System utilities
  • Data files

what is an EFI partition

Part 2. What Happens If You Delete EFI System Partition (ESP)

According to Part 1, the EFI partition is like an interface for the computer to boot Windows off. It’s a pre-step that must be taken before running the Windows partition. Without the EFI partition, your computer won’t be able to boot into Windows.

In a word, EFI system partition deletion will cause the installed system unbootable. Therefore, EFI system partition is usually protected and locked by the Windows operating systems to prevent and avoid accidental deletion. That’s why you can’t see the EFI partition in Windows File Explorer nor delete it using Windows Disk Management.

Important
1. If you want to keep your Windows OS running smoothly, don’t do anything to the EFI system partition.
2. If your hard drive is getting full, follow to learn what is taking up space on the hard drive and use the right ways to free up disk space.
3. If you installed two Windows systems on your PC and want to delete the ESP, freeing up disk space and just keeping one OS, follow methods in Part 3 for help.
4. If you want to delete the EFI partition and install a new Windows OS, you can directly reinstall the OS. The ESP will be automatically removed.

Part 3. How to Delete EFI (System) Partition in Windows 10/8/7

For users who want to delete the EFI system. Delete with the Windows built-in tool – Diskpart. To avoid unnecessary file loss, make sure you have backed up the ESP files in advance.

Delete EFI System Partition with Diskpart

As a command-line utility, DiskPart is sort of complex for average users to apply. Please be very careful while following the below command lines to delete EFI partition:

Step 1. Open DiskPart on your PC.

  1. 1. Hit “Windows Key + R” to open the run dialogue box.
  2. 2. Enter diskpart and click “OK” to open a black command prompt window.

Step 2. Change EFI system partition ID and set it as a data partition.

Type the below command lines and hit Enter each time:

  • list disk” (It displays all the disks of your computer. )
  • sel disk 0” (It identifies which disk you need to work with. Here 0 stands for the disk letter.)
  • list partition” (It displays all partitions and EFI system partitions on the selected disk.)
  • sel partition 1” (Select the EFI partition that you want to delete. Here, 1 stands for the volume number of EFI.)
  • “SET ID=ebd0a0a2-b9e5-4433-87c0-68b6b72699c7”

Delete EFI system partition with Diskpart command line.

By doing so, it will make the EFI system partition deletable. Continue with the following steps to remove this partition on your hard drive.

Step 3. Delete the EFI partition with the command line.

Type the below command lines and hit Enter each time:

  • list partition” (It displays all the volumes on the hard drive.)
  • sel partition 1” (It identifies which partition you want to remove. Here 1 stands for the volume letter.)
  • delete partition override” (It removes the EFI partition from Windows disk.)

Step 4. Complete EFI deleting process.

Finally, type “exit” to close the windows when you receive the message that says, ‘DiskPart successfully deleted the selected partition’.

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