How to Remove a Second Operating System from a PC

By Alan Sembera

Dual-boot systems allow you to choose your operating system at startup.
i Christopher Robbins/Photodisc/Getty Images

In a typical dual-boot setup, a second partition on your computer's hard drive contains a newer version of Windows or a Linux installation. While this can be useful when your applications or devices require different operating systems, it also takes up disk space. You can remove the second operating system without affecting the functionality of the original operating system; however, removing the original operating system could cause your computer to stop working.

Back up any files you want to keep that are associated with the second operating system. Once you delete the operating system, everything saved on that partition will be lost.

Boot to your primary Windows operating system -- the one first installed on the computer.

Click "Search" on the Windows 8 Charms bar, and type "computer management" into the search bar. Select "Computer Management" from the search results. If you are using an earlier version of Windows, click the Start button, type "computer management" into the search field and press "Enter."

Click "Yes" to allow Windows to open the Computer Management window. Click "Disk Management" in the left pane. You may need to click the arrow next to "Storage" to display the option.

Locate the volume containing the second operating system in the upper pane. Typically the volume will have a drive letter such as "D" or "F." Right-click the volume and select "Delete Volume." The volume labeled "C" normally contains your primary operating system; do not attempt to delete this volume.

Click "Yes" to confirm. Windows will delete the volume containing the second operating system; you will lose all files and data stored on that volume.

Delete the disk partition if you want to recover the disk space that was used by the other operating system. Locate the drive that contained the volume in the lower pane. Each partition on the drive is represented by a rectangle. The partition that formerly held the other operated system will be labeled as free space, and will be highlighted in a different color.

Right-click the unused partition and select "Delete Partition." Click "Yes" to confirm.

Right-click your primary partition, the one containing the C drive, and select "Extend Volume." Click "Next," "Next" and then "Finish" without changing any settings to add the free disk space to your primary partition.