Meade ETX 90 picture

Deleting Partitions from command prompt/terminal (Mac/Win)


I often run into situations where I need to remove all the partitions from a USB stick or a hard drive. This is some reminders for myself on how to do that on both Windows and Macintosh.

NOTE: This is for information purposes ONLY. If you follow these instructions, you will lose the data on the drive you are working with. I take no responsibility for this - it is all on YOU. You have been warned.


Open an administrative command prompt or PowerShell:


list drives

sel drive {drive number} (ie: sel drive 1)

list part

sel part {partition number} (ie: sel part 2)

del part override

Repeat the selecting and deleting of partitions as required until all partitions are removed.


Open a terminal window:

diskutil list | more (lists your physical disks and partitions - figure out which one you are looking to work with ie: /dev/disk1)

diskutil umountDisk /dev/disk{disk number} (ie: diskutil umountDisk /dev/disk1)

gpt destroy /dev/disk{disk number} (ie: gpt destroy /dev/disk1)

This will remove all the partitions and volumes on the disk.

My name is Rick Towns and I am an amateur astronomer and computer programmer from Canada. This is a collection of interesting posts I've gathered over the years.