How Long Does It take to Format a Hard Drive?

How Long Does It take to Format a Hard Drive?

Formatting a hard drive usually takes minutes to few hours depending on the hard drive's capacity or the space used on it. Let us take a deep knowledge of how to do it or how long does it take to format a hard drive?

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jul 15, 2021 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions


The hard drive format is imperative in cleaning up space on your device and shielding it from hindrances. But depending on the bad factors of the hard drive, it may take endless time to format. Here we’ll define how long does it usually take to format a hard drive, factors that influence it, and how to fix it.

Why Does The Format Process Seem to Take Forever?

Factors Influence the Hard Drive Format Time

The extent of a hard drive fitted in a computer is normally measured in Gigabytes. In utmost possibilities, the little need for bulky applications or data file in your business can save money by choosing hard drive space.

The larger file size also influences the hard drive format time. The hard drive is likewise used to collect files to create, including documents, media, music, etc. The documents usually take less space than the media. The applications will frequently make transitory replicas of large documentations while being formulated, growing the need of adequate space on a disk.

The space and sort of hard drive have a straighter bearing on a computer’s performance than its size. If you have a partial size of accessible space left on the hard drive, it can influence presentation if the operating system starts using it for a temporary cache.

Fragmentation arises when the files are fragmented over a hard drive; generally, there isn’t the space to pile all the bytes in a folder in successive order. The extreme fragmentation can impact the hard drive format time as the hard drive has to do extra work to repossess each file from several locations on disk.

How to Fix "A Hard Drive Takes Forever to Format"?

Suppose a quick format of hard drive taking forever; then there are different ways to fix it. Some of the proven ways are given below:

Solution 1: Create and Format the Hard disk drive (Partition) in Windows Explorer

Create Partition

You might think about how long does it take to partition a hard drive. Here we'll show that it takes only a few minutes to partition a hard drive to secure the data or format a portion that contains bad segments that affect the data.

So, the partitioning permits you to assign one portion of your drive to Windows itself and another portion for your stuff like videos, music, pictures, and other data. It will not be demolished even if you restore your operating system.

Step 1: Check for Unused Space and Backup your PC

Firstly, open the file explorer in a window and check for the vacant space for the partition you want to create. Before partitioning your drive, create a backup data of your drive.

check for free space

Step 2: De-escalate the C: Drive

Click on the windows button and type 'partition' here; you'll see an option 'Create and Format Hard Disk Partition.' Select the option and wait for the window to respond. Now you will be able to see a list of drives installed and their partitions in your system.

To make a new partition, you will have to de-escalate the drive C: partition firstly. Click the right button and select ‘Shrink Volume’ as shown in the image below:

Shrink the C: Drive

Now the window will ask you how much space you want to free up in megabytes. Ensure that you have enough room to fit the files you suppose to put on the second partition. Then, click the ‘Shrink’ button and hold back for the partitioning process to complete.

Format Partition

Format Partition

Format Partition in Windows Explorer

Format Volume

Solution 2: Format Hard Disk Drive in Windows Disk Management

Open Disk Management

Select drive to format

Do a quick format

How to Recover Data after A quick Format?

The Wondershare Recoverit software given by Wondershare can help you recover your data even after formatting the hard drive. It is a most powerful hard drive recovery program that can easily get your lost data back securely and effectively. To recover lost data using Recoverit, you need to follow three steps given below:

Step 1: Launch Recoverit Data Recovery Program, select the formatted hard drive to get started.

Computer Data Recovery

Step 2: Recoverit will start scanning the drive or search the lost data.

Scanning lost files

Step 3: Now, after completion, you can check the whole recovered data. You can select the files or data you want to save and click 'Recover' to save all the recovered files.

Preview Recovered Files

How long does it take to reformat a laptop?

If we talk about reformatting a laptop, it might take around 30 minutes to completely restore the partition that will reload the operating system, install drivers and originals software that came with your laptop.


You might need to format the hard drive for any reason. You can do it in several ways. You have gone through how long does it take to format a hard drive in the sections mentioned above. The points mentioned above will help you straightway formatting a hard drive or a partition of a hard drive. The approximate time you can note from the points given above for formatting a hard drive or securing your data from a breach. You can also reformat your data using Recoverit software if, in any case, you accidentally lost your precious information stored in your Laptop, PC, or hard drive.

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