[Answered] Does Formatting Disk Erase Data?

If you wonder “Does formatting disk erase data?”, this post may help you a lot. In this post, we will introduce how to format disk without losing data and how to get data recovered after disk formatting.


By Hester / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Does formatting disk erase data?


I can often read that disk formatting can erase bad sectors and remove sophisticated viruses, does formatting disk erase data?”

- Question from Joey

Hard Disk

Does formatting a disk erase data? It depends on the format method you are taking. By default, there are two ways to format your disk in Windows File Explorer: quick format and full format.

What does formatting a hard drive do:

🔹Quick format: It simply deletes the data the drive and generates a new file system for future use.

🔹Full format: It not only wipes all data but also writes zeros to the drive, making it impossible to recover any data. It also checks the disk for bad sectors and it takes significantly longer than a quick format.

In general, quick format will not actually erase all of its stored data while full format will wipe the whole disk.

📝Tips: No matter what ways you decide to take, we recommend you back up files before formatting.

How to format disk without erasing data

Now you may know “Does formatting disk erase data?” When formatting a hard drive, if you intend to re-use the disk and it is still working, you can use quick format, which will not entirely delete all the contents to avoid data loss after formatting.

Step 1. Open This PC, locate and right-click on the disk you want to format, and then select Format.

Step 2. Choose the File system you want, tick Quick Format, and then click Start.

Format USB

  • Full format mode is selected automatically if you uncheck quick format.
  • Full format is a good option when you want to remove the bad sectors of your damaged drive or you want to sell or donate the drive.

How to recover data after formatting disk [2 cases]

If you find files disappear after formatting a disk, don’t worry, we will introduce how to recover data from formatted disk.

Case 1. Recover data from formatted disk with Windows backup

If you have enabled Windows backup before, you can directly recover the data from Windows Backup and Restore.

Step 1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

Backup and Restore Windows 7

Step 2. Under Restore section, click Restore my files.

Restore My Files

Step 3. According to your demands, select "Browse for files" or "Browse for folders" > select the files or folders to recover > click Next.

Browse for Files or Folders

Step 4. Choose the location you want to restore your files and click Restore.

Select Location to Save Recovered Files

Case 2. Recover data after disk formatting without backups

When you don’t format a disk without a backup of the lost files, stop using your disk and turn to professional data recovery software for help. MyRecover could help you solve this problem.

As a Windows recovery tool, MyRecover is devoted to helping Windows users restore lost data from all-inclusive data loss scenarios, including data recovery from formatted disk. It can also recover lost data from empty Recycle Bin, system crash, virus attack, etc.

No matter whatever type of file you have lost, texts, pictures, compressed files, etc., MyRecover can retrieve your precious data from HDD/SSD in Windows 11/10/8/7 with a high recovery rate.

Download and install MyRecover, then we will show you how to recover data within 3 easy steps.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Open MyRecover. Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.

Select Formatted External Hard Drive to Scan

Step 2. Then it will scan your drive quickly and deeply, after the progress you will see a list of files. You can find your lost file accurately by entering its name in the upper search box.

Scanning External Hard Drive

Step 3. Select all the target files you want recover, and click Recover x files to get them back.

Select Files to Recover from External Hard Drive

Wrapping Up

“Does formatting disk erase data?” Now you may have grasped the answer. Quick format won’t erase the data while full format will wipe your disk. Both the two modes have its own benefits, choose the one according to your situation.

However, no matter which method you are taking, it always have data loss risks to format a partition. To strongly secure your data, it is important to develop a good habit of regular backup, AOMEI Backupper can backup up your data automatically and protect your data all the time.

Hester · Editor
Hester, a great editor, is dedicated to offering effective data recovery solutions for Windows and iOS users.