Deleting the Recovery Partition in Windows

In most cases, you won’t be able to delete a protected recovery partition using the Disk Management tool, at least not through the standard procedures. Protected recovery partitions are typically hidden and marked as “protected,” which means they are not meant to be easily altered or deleted.

These protected recovery partitions often contain essential system recovery information, and the operating system restricts direct access or modification to prevent accidental deletion.

Deleting the recovery partition in Windows can be beneficial to reclaim disk space or accommodate custom disk configurations. However, it entails trade-offs, including the loss of built-in recovery options, such as system restore and factory resets, which could complicate future system recovery. Users should back up essential data, follow proper deletion procedures, and be prepared to rely on alternative methods for reinstalling Windows when needed.

Disclaimer: Deleting a protected recovery partition is a high-risk operation that should only be undertaken by experienced users. Proceed with caution, as it may lead to data loss. Make sure to have a recent and working backup before performing this procedure. You undertake this at your own risk.

Steps to perform

Please exercise extreme caution when using these commands, and ensure you have selected the correct partition to delete. Deleting the wrong partition can result in data loss or an unbootable system.

  1. Open the Windows Disk Management tool to get a graphical overview of all physical hard drives and partition layout.
    Press “Windows key + X” on your keyboard simultaneously and select “Disk Management” in the WinX menu.
Disk Management Recovery Partition
Disk Management overview with Recovery Partition.
  1. Open Windows Command Prompt with administrative privileges.
    Press “Windows key + R” on your keyboard simultaneously. Type “cmd“, hold down the “Ctrl + Shift” keys and press “Enter” or click on the “OK” button.

  1. Check the recovery configuration:
    reagentc /info
Windows Recovery Environment Status
Windows Recovery Environment configuration information.
  1. Disable Windows Recovery Environment:
    reagentc /disable

  1. Access DiskPart:
    diskpart

  1. List available disks:
    list disk

  1. Select the disk containing the recovery partition: Choose the appropriate disk number (replace with the actual disk number, e.g., select disk 0):
    select disk <number>

  1. List partitions on the selected disk:
    list partition

  1. Select the recovery partition: Choose the recovery partition you want to delete (replace with the actual partition number, e.g., select partition 4):
    select partition <number>

  1. Delete the partition with override:
    delete partition override
Diskpart Steps
Disk Part steps to delete the recovery partition.
  1. Confirm deletion: Open the Disk Management Tool and double-check if the former recovery partition shows now as unallocated space.
Disk Management Unallocated
Recovery partition shows now as unallocated space.
  1. Extend Partition: Right-click on the partition you want to extend, and from the context menu, choose “Extend Volume“.
    Please note: The Disk Management Tool can only extend a partition if there is unallocated space immediately adjacent to it on the right side.
Disk Management Extend Volume
Extend a volume with the newly unallocated space.
  1. Extend Volume Wizard: You should see the available unallocated space in the wizard. Confirm that the unallocated space is selected. Then, click “Next.”
Disk Management Extend Volume Wizard
Disk Management wizard to extend the selected disk.
  1. Partition Extended: Once the process is complete, the partition will be extended using the unallocated space, and you should see the updated partition size in Disk Management.
Disk Management Final Result
The final result after the deletion and extension.
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