In general, almost every one of us uses partitions so that one big hard drive turns into multiple smaller drives. This allows us to better manage our data by putting it in various folders and drives. However, when it comes to USB drives, no matter the size, we just use it with one partition. For the most part, this is not an issue. However, if you have a big USB drive and want to use it for multiple purposes, it is better if it can act like multiple drives.
For instance, you can install a bootable OS in one partition and use other partitions for data storage. Thankfully, you can easily partition USB drive in Windows 10 using a built-in tool. Let me show you how.
Caution: To partition a USB drive, we need to format the drive. So, back up any data in it to a safe location.
Partition USB Drive in Windows Without Installing Any Software
Before you can create partitions in USB drive, make sure that it is plugged into your system and has no data in it. The partitioning process will delete all data irrecoverably.
1. Open the start menu and search for partition. From the search results, click on the Create and format hard disk partitions option.
2. The above action will open the built-in disk management tool. You will see all your drives in the main panel. Under the main panel, scroll down and you should see the plugged-in USB drive with its own disk number. In my case, the USB drive is named as Disk 3. Right-click on the USB drive and select Delete Volume.
3. You will see a warning message telling you that the data in the USB drive will be lost. Click on the Yes button to continue.
4. As soon as you click on the yes button, Windows will delete the volume In the disk management tool, you will see that space is marked as Unallocated.
5. Now, right-click on the unallocated volume and select New Simple Volume option.
6. The above action will open the volume creation wizard. Click on the Next button to continue.
7. In this window, enter the space you want the first USB partition to be in MBs (megabytes) in the “Simple Volume size in MB” field and click the Next button. In my case, I want the first USB partition to be around 4.5 gigabytes.
8. Here, assign a new drive letter or let the default be and click on the Next button.
9. Now, select the file system of your choice. If you don’t know what to choose, let the defaults be. Also, you can name the partition anything you want. Simply enter the name of your choice in the Volume Lable field. Click on the Next button.
10. Finally, click on the Finish button.
11. You will now see a partitioned USB drive in the Windows disk management tool. Of course, apart from the partition we just created, all the other space is marked as unallocated.
12. So, go through step 5 through 10 again and create a new partition according to your need. In my case, I’m allocating all the remaining space to a new partition.
13. That is it. You’ve successfully partitioned USB drive in Windows 10.
14. If you open the file explorer, you will see two new partitions appear in the file explorer. Of course, no matter what computer or operating system you plug in the USB drive, you will see the partitioned USB drive rather than a single drive. You can use these partitions as you wish.
Hope that helps. As you can see, it is rather easy to partition a USB drive in Windows 10 using built-in tools.
If you like this article, do check out how to format the USB drive using command prompt commands and how to create Windows 10 USB installer.
Image credit: Karolina Grabowska