Top 2 Ways: How to Erase WD External Hard Drive

Do you want to know how to erase WD external hard drive in Windows? This page will offer you two effective solutions to achieve your goal.


By Miya Updated on November 20, 2023

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Why Need to Erase WD External Hard Drive?

There are several reasons why you might want to erase the data on a Western Digital (WD) external hard drive:

  • Data privacy: If you plan to sell, donate, or dispose of your WD external hard drive, it's important to erase the data to protect your privacy. You don't want your personal or sensitive information falling into the wrong hands.
  • Security: Erasing the data ensures that any confidential or sensitive files are completely removed from the drive. This is especially important if you stored any financial, medical, or business-related information on the external hard drive.
  • Reuse or repurpose: If you want to repurpose the WD external hard drive or use it for a different purpose, erasing the data allows you to start with a clean slate. This is common when you want to use the drive for a different operating system or to create a new backup.
  • Performance optimization: Over time, an external hard drive can accumulate unnecessary files, temporary data, and fragmented files, which can impact its performance. Erasing the drive and starting fresh can help optimize its performance and restore its original speed.

When erasing an external hard drive, it's important to use a proper method that ensures the data cannot be easily recovered. This typically involves using specialized software such as AOMEI Backupper or built-in secure erase functions provided by the drive manufacturer.OK! Let's take a look at how to erase WD external hard drive.

How to Erase WD External Hard Drive In Windows?

In this guide, I will present you with two efficient methods to securely erase Western Digital (WD) external hard drives on a Windows operating system.

Solution 1. Erase WD External Hard Drive with WD Drive Utilities

How to erase a WD external hard drive? You can use this tool - WD Drive Utilities. It is a software package provided by WD that offers users a range of functions, including drive registration, drive timer settings, diagnostics, and drive erasure capabilities. Follow the instructions below to learn how to use WD Drive Utilities to erase a WD external hard drive:

Step 1. Connect the WD external hard drive to your computer. Download, install, and open WD Drive Utilities.

Step 2. Once WD Drive Utilities is running, locate and click on the Drive Erase option.

Drive Erase

Step 3. Take a moment to read the warning message and ensure you understand the implications. Once done, tick the I Under stand checkbox. Finally, click on the Erase Drive button below to initiate the drive erasure process.

Erase Drive

Step 4. Once the process is complete, you will receive a notification indicating the finish. Ensure you safely disconnect your WD external hard drive by following the appropriate steps.

Now I'm sure you've learned how to reset a WD external hard drive via WD Drive Utilities. Let's take a look at how to do this using third-party software.

Solution 2. Erase WD External Hard Drive Using Advanced Third-Party Software

As stated on the WD Support Site, WD Drive Utilities may not be compatible with all WD external drives for the erasing process. In such cases, if the erasing process fails, an alternative solution is to utilize advanced third-party software like AOMEI Backupper Pro.

AOMEI Backupper Pro offers the capability to securely erase HDDs from various brands, including Samsung, SanDisk, Crucial, and of course, WD. It simplifies the erasing process with its Disk Wipe feature. This software is designed for all Windows PCs, including Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, and boasts the following notable features:

★Enables erasing selected partitions or unallocated space to free up storage, ensuring the erased data is irrecoverable.
★Supports wiping USB drives, hard drives, and SD cards, and is compatible with various disk brands such as Western Digital, Samsung, SanDisk, and more.
★Offers multiple secure wiping methods, including DoD 52220.22-M (with 7 passes) or Gutmann (with 35 passes).
★It provides backup, restore, clone, sync, and other useful functions. You can create automatic backups of important files before erasing the WD HDD, ensuring the safety of your valuable data.

Now, let's walk through the steps to perform a secure erase on a WD external hard drive using AOMEI Backupper. Prior to beginning, download and launch the software. Remember, deleted data is not recoverable, so it's recommended to back up your files to protect any important data you don't want to lose.

Download Free TrialWin11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Ensure that the WD HDD you wish to erase is connected to your computer and is being detected properly.

Step 2. Open AOMEI Backupper on your computer. On the left panel, click on Tools, and then select Disk Wipe from the options displayed on the right side.

Disk Wipe

Step 3. Next, you will be prompted to choose the type of erase you desire. If you want to completely wipe all data from your Western Digital HDD, select Wipe Disk. This option will delete all partitions and erase all sectors on the disk.

Choose Wipe Disk

Step 4. Choose the specific hard drive that you wish to wipe data from and click Next to proceed with the process.

Choose Disk

Step 5. On the Wiping Method page, select the option Fill sectors with Zero. Afterward, click on Start to initiate the zero filling process.

Start Wipe

Step 6. Subsequently, you will be directed to the erase process page. If you wish to halt the process, you can click on Cancel located in the right corner. Once the operation is successfully finished, click on Finish to complete the process.


Important Note:
◉ If you intend to erase the current system disk or the C drive where Windows is installed, the software will reboot to WinPE mode to carry out the operation. Please note that you will not be able to access your system after the completion of the process.
◉ It's important to be aware that this function does not support the wiping of dynamic disks.


Now you have learned a simple way to know how to erase WD external hard drive in Windows. Both WD Drive Utilities and AOMEI Backupper can assist you in this task. However, AOMEI Backupper offers compatibility with a wider range of hard drives compared to WD Drive Utilities. Rest assured that this reliable software will ensure that the erased data remains unrecoverable.

Additionally, you can utilize this software to migrate data or systems on WD SSDs. When migrating a system, you can trust that the cloned disk will enable successful booting without encountering any issues.

Miya · Editor
Miya has an excellent insight and receives professional and systematic technical training since joining AOMEI. She has a comprehensive understanding of computer issues, aiming at helping users troubleshoot all kinds of problems. A lot of computer users around the world have found her articles very helpful!