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Windows recovery partition

What is the recovery drive for?

Manufacturers of computers, especially laptops, began to create these partitions to offer users a fast, simple and secure way to return the PC to the state it was right at the time of purchase. These partitions store a Windows image, with the manufacturer’s settings and programs, so that anyone could format the PC without having to install the operating system from scratch. No matter how damaged the Windows installation was, and even if we installed Linux, we could always go back to factory state in a few minutes.

Windows 10 currently has several restore features that have rendered these recovery partitions obsolete. For example, we can resort to restore points to recover the PC in case of failures or errors, use the recovery options (or Recovery) to solve problems in case Windows does not start, and we even have the possibility to reset pc from Windows itself, or from the cloud, to leave it as just installed, even keeping the data.

With all this, the recovery partitions of the PCs are obsolete. And therefore, most of the time they can be removed without problems.

Hide the recovery partition, or Recovery

The worst thing about the recovery partition is not that it takes up 15 or 20 GB of space, but that it often appears on This PC as a more connected hard drive. But, being packed and protected, we can’t even use it. This is due to a configuration failure of the manufacturers, since to hide it is as simple as removing the assigned letter.

To do this, what we must do is open the Windows 10 Disk Manager typing in the Windows 10 search bar: Diskmgmt.msc.

Windows 10 Disk Manager

Here, what we need to do is locate the recovery partition. We must identify it well, and not confuse it with the other Windows partitions. The normal thing is that this Recovery partition occupy between 15 GB and 20 GB. Once located, we click on it with the right button and choose the option “Change drive letter and path”.

Change the letter of a partition in Windows 10

In the new window that we will see, we will simply have to choose the drive letter that has this partition, and click on the button «Remove».

Delete drive letter in Windows from partition manager

Ready. Once the drive letter is removed, this partition will no longer appear as just another hard drive connected to the PC. Of course, the partition will continue to exist, so we can continue using it to restore the PC to its original state.

Delete the recovery partition

In case you want to delete this partition, and recover its space, we will be able to do it in two different ways.

From Windows

The first thing to keep in mind is that Windows 10 does not allow you to delete the existing recovery partition without creating a new one. The new recovery units are created in a USB memory, so we will not have to occupy space on the disk to continue having it available.

To delete it in this way, the first thing we will do is search «Recovery unit»In the Windows 10 search engine and follow the wizard until we can have the new unit ready.

Create manual recovery drive in Windows 10

To do this, Windows 10 will ask us for a 1 GB USB memory, in case of not wanting to save the system files, or an 8 GB one in case of choosing to save these system files. At the end of the process of creating the new recovery unit (a process that may take more than an hour), the wizard will offer us the possibility to delete the recovery partition from the PC.

In this way we can erase this recovery partition easily, without having to modify partitions. Of course, the space will remain “unpartitioned”, so we will not be able to use it again unless we assign it to a new partition.

Using third party programs

In addition to using this method, which is the simplest (although the least efficient), we will also be able to delete these recovery partitions using a partition manager. Windows Disk Administrator will allow us to delete this partition “by force”, like any other partition on the computer. However, we recommend using other more specific software, such as, for example, MiniTool Partition Wizard.

We will simply have to install the program, open it and locate this recovery partition in the list of disks and partitions. When we have it at hand, we click on it with the right button to choose the option to delete it.

Delete partition as MiniTool

Once the partition is erased, it will disappear. If we are lucky that the partition is next to a larger partition (for example, the system one) we will be able to enlarge it to take advantage of this new space. If it is located next to one of the Windows recovery partitions, then we cannot use it. Unless we have advanced knowledge and know how to move the partition to place it adjacent to another.

If we don’t like the MiniTool software, another alternative we can turn to is to EaseUS Partition Master. This is another excellent partition manager for Windows that will allow us to delete any partition (even recovery ones) easily. Likewise, if the partition is close to a larger one, this program will allow us to unite them in order to take advantage of this new space that we have just freed.