By Lily / Last update January 12, 2022

What is recovery partition and can I delete it?

Recovery partition is a hidden NTFS partition, containing WinRE, like Windows system image, drivers, pre-install programs and Windows settings, for you to restore Windows 10/8/7 to factory default setting or troubleshoot system issues. There are two kinds of recovery partition, Windows recovery partition around 500MB or less and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) recovery partition consumes about 7-20GB. It’s recommended to keep the recovery partition.

Besides, you could press F11 for HP computers, F8 for Dell computers, F9 for Asus, NOVO key for Lenovo laptop to enter Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) to restore Windows from recovery partition in the event of system failure.

However, you may really need to free up space for your computer to get better performance when the recovery partition occupies much more space. It’s not safe to delete it directly, because you can't restore Windows to factory settings if something bad happened to your computer without it. The best solution is creating a recovery drive or cloning recovery partition to SSD/HDD.

Create a recovery drive to replace recovery partition

To create a Windows 7/8/10/11 recovery drive to troubleshoot the problems, reset the computer or even reinstall the Windows later, refer to the following guide:

1. Connect a USB flash drive of at least 16GB to your PC and ensure it can be detected by Windows 7/8/10/11.

2. Input create a recovery drive in the Windows Search box, select it and hit enter to open Recovery Media Creator.

3. Check Back up system files to the recovery drive, and hit Next.

Create A Recovery Drive

4. Select the USB flash drive, and hit Next.

5. Click Create to copy files from recovery partition in Windows computer.

Then you could delete recovery partition safely.

Clone hidden recovery partition to SSD/HDD before deleting it

To safely and quickly clone HP/Lenovo recovery partition to SSD/HDD, it’s highly recommended to download the best free disk cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Standard, which is specially designed for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10/11.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

And now we will show you how to clone recovery partition to SSD/HDD with simple steps.

Step 1. Select Clone -> Partition Clone on the main console. If you would like to clone Windows operating system to SSD, please try System Clone in advanced editions.

Partition Clone

Step 2. Select the HP/Lenovo hidden recovery partition as the source partition.

Select Recovery Partition

Step 3. Select SSD/HDD as destination partition to clone recovery partition to SSD/HDD.

Select Destination Partition

Step 4. Tick SSD Alignment to optimize the reading and writing speed of the destination SSD.

Step 5. Click Start Clone >> to copy recovery partition to SSD/HDD.

Start Clone SSS Alignment Checked

Tips: 
✍Edit Partitions: it’s a premium feature to manually adjust the partition size and location especially while cloning smaller partition to larger one so as to fully use the capacity of the destination partition.
✍Sector by sector clone: it allows you to clone all sectors on the source partition whether it is in use or not.

Cloning recovery partition to SSD will be finished soon. Then you could delete recovery partition to free up space, and merge the unallocated space to the existing partition easily. Besides, you could use Disk Clone toclone HDD to SSD including recovery partition, Windows 10/8/7 operating system, installed programs, and all your personal files.

Have multiple recovery partitions? Which one to clone?

Microsoft Windows has a bug while upgrading Windows to the next version; that is, it will create a recovery partition if it detects that there is no sufficient space on your recovery partition (GPT disk) or system reserved partition (MBR disk) even if there is a recovery partition indeed. Hence, there may be multiple recovery partitions in Windows 10. How to tell which recovery partition you are using? To locate this Windows recovery partition, you can type reagentc /info from an elevated command prompt.

  • Input cmd in Windows search box and right-click the command prompt, select Run as administrator.

  • Type reagentc /info.

Winre Location

Then clone the recovery partition to SSD according to the above steps. After cloning, delete all recovery partitions safely, and extend other partitions.

Write in the end

It’s easy to clone recovery partition to SSD/HDD to keep the WinRE stay with your Windows 11/10/8/7, as long as you find the best free disk cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. It also applies to copy USB to USB, replace hard drive in ASUS laptop, clone hard drive in Windows 10, etc.

Actually, it’s not only a Windows cloning software but also backup and restore software for you to backup Windows operating system, partitions, files, etc. For professional users, try AOMEI Backupper Professional to enjoy more powerful features, like migrate Windows 10 to SSD, real-time sync, universal restore, etc.