How to delete a Boot Camp partition

If you’ve installed Windows via Boot Camp, and now want to delete it and restore the space to your main Mac hard drive, this brief tutorial will guide you through the steps to do just that.

It’s actually quite easy to remove the Windows drive and reclaim all the hard drive space, the only “problem” is that Apple doesn’t make it an obvious process.

NOTE: by deleting your Windows Boot Camp partition, you will of course be deleting all of the data on that partition. Make sure to back up anything on your “Windows drive” before you proceed. Your OS X partition will not be erased and you won’t lose any data from it.

If for any reason the following steps don’t work, there’s a link at the end of this tutorial that will take you step by step through deleting any partition on your Mac, and restoring the space to your primary one.

  1. Launch the Boot Camp Assistant by going to your Applications -> Utilities -> Boot Camp Assistant.

  2. click to enlarge

  3. Click Continue on the initial Boot Camp Assistant Introduction window.

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  5. Select Create or remove a Windows partition and then click Continue

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  7. Click the Restore button to remove the Windows partition and restore the disk to a single-partition OS X volume.

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  9. You’ll be prompted to enter your password – do so and then click OK.

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  11. The Boot Camp Assistant will start partitioning…

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  13. and then you’ll be back to a single OS X volume. That’s it – Windows is gone.

  14. click to enlarge

If for any reason this method didn’t work, see the tutorial titled How to Properly Delete a Partition in OS X (which involves rebooting) but will delete any partition and restore it to the primary.

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208 thoughts on “How to delete a Boot Camp partition”

  1. Pingback: Fix Boot Camp Partition Error Some Files Cannot Be Moved Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 [Solved]

  2. Pingback: Fix Boot Camp Error Partition Files Cannot Moved Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 [Solved]

  3. Pingback: Fix Boot Camp Error Cannot Partition Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 [Solved]

  4. Hi, I did this easy enough, but after reboot, I got a message saying “no bootable device, insert boot disc and press any key” problem I have is that I bought it 2nd hand and don’t have the boot disk. Any suggestions? Sorry, totally new to mac.

  5. Just did this, but it didn’t give me any space back. The Windows partition was on a 2 TB hard drive, occupying 460 GB of space — NONE of that space has been relinquished since removing the partition. Any idea what went wrong and how I get all that space back? I only deleted it because I needed the space for time machine backups, and so this really screws me over something huge… Thanks for any insight!

  6. mine goes to the windows support software and when I click continue, it says ”

    The startup disk cannot be partitioned or restored to a single partition.”

    “Back up the disk and use Disk Utility to format it as a single Mac OS Extended (Journaled) volume. Restore your information to the disk and try using Boot Camp Assistant again.”

  7. Diana Villarreal

    I wish It was hat easy!

    It gave me error: “Your disk could not be restored to a single partition”

  8. Hi Ross

    Sorry forgot to mention that the Windows HD icon does not appear on my desktop or Disk Utility anymore!

  9. Hi Ross

    I highlighted Macintosh HD and it tells me Capacity : 103,5 GB and Available : 5.49 GB. Any suggestions?

  10. HI – I followed your instructions. After clicking remove it eventually came up with a ” cannot partition the hard drive” caption. I then tried same procedure and it was taking for ever to process so I used force quit. Now the Windows HD icon has disapeared but it does not seem to have given any additional free space. Any suggestions? thanks

      1. @88eee219f9f42c79b5c18e0251152771:disqus and @61a0a5adfea8f97b0634778f70e1f3e9:disqus – Have you tried rebooting? If not, do so. If that doesn’t clear it up, open Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility) and see what it shows.

  11. Thank you for posting this! This helped ease my fear of taking this partition off the HDD. Now I can install Parallels and run both side-by-side!

  12. That’s awesome! Thank you so much for posting this! Just took me about 30-45 seconds and bam! windows is gone!

  13. Criselle lazaro

    hi i’ve been deciding to remove my boot camp for a while but i don’t know how then i read your tutorial and thought that it’s easy as abc but when i look for another tutorial (just trying to make sure that this one is the same as what others said) it says that i should have a 10 gb free space on mac before removing the boot camp or else it will crash on the final stage which is combining both memory. Is that true?Hoping you’ll answer this one.Thank you!

  14. EXCELLENT!!! I do not know why I ever installed windows on my mac! What a waste of time that was! So glad windows is finally off! Thanks!

  15. when i click continue on the bootcamp assistant introduction screen it doest ask me whether i want to add or remove a partition. it only allows me to add a partition. is there an update to fix that? thanks.

  16. when i try to open boot camp assistant from utilities, I get a pop up that says “boot camp assistant beta has expired” It only lets me close the box.

    Do I need to re load a newer version of bootcamp assistant to undo my window partition?

  17. Do you have to delete Windows 7 operating system before you remove the windows partition? Or will that be part of all that is removed?

    1. @5388462a7a33733246a3e12f6d90320c:disqus – No – when you delete the Boot Camp partition, you’re deleting all of Windows 7 at the same time. No need to do anything inside of Windows except perhaps move the files you want to keep onto a USB stick (again, *all* of Windows will be wiped when you delete the Boot Camp partition).

  18. I tried doing boot camp bt i dont have a boot disk so i cant log in please help. P.S i have a disk in my computer and i cant eject it

  19. Thanks heaps for this helpful tute.

    I have scrapped bootcamp and gone back to using Virtual Box with Windows. Bootcamp was too messy.

  20. For me, this tutorial worked like a charm. I was having issues when switching between Windows and OSx.

    Now I have everything in Mac, and rather work with VMWare Fussion. Thanks for the info.

  21. i have a problem i setup windows seven by bootcamp on my mac when i restart the system it should open both on the screen my original os xand windows 7 and choose which one to open but this doesnt happen only windows 7 start.
    can someone help me with that thank you…….

    1. I’m pretty sure you have to hold OPTION while you’re on the grey screen (ie. before the apple logo comes up.) Alternatively, you can just choose your Startup disk – System Preferences -> System -> Start Up disk and choose what disk (windows or osx) you want. :) hope that helped. :)

      1. is there any way to NOT have to hold option? i mean, to get my mac back to how it was b4 any bootcamp shit was installed. i’d really appreciate your help. thanks!

      2. When you say “b4 any bootcamp was installed” do you mean, no part ion (no windows)? If so, just follow the instructions in the article. If you want to keep windows, and just change which OS your computer boots to by default, then follow iMarsh’s instructions above.

  22. Thank you for your assistance. Got rid of the windows junk and got a clean mac disc in return. Great tutorial.

  23. After I added windows it worked well for awhile then none of the games worked after and update or something. Heres the question. I still show a boot camp partition. I want to reinstall windows to the that but when i open up the boot camp assistant it says ” Boot camp helps install windows..blah blah blah. when i click continue it pops up a page saying ” Download Windows Support Software” and gives two options
    1. Download the windows support software for this mac
    2. I have the Mac OS X installation disk that came with my Mac or I have already downloaded the Windows support software for this mac to a cd, DVD or an external disk.

    Either option I choose and select continue it then says
    ” The startup disk cannot be partitioned or restored to a single partition.
    The startup disk must be formatted as a single mace os extended ( Journaled) volume or already partitioned by boot camp assistant for installing windows.

    HELP ! I just want my windows partitian back and I have no idea what to do.

  24. I’m an ex-Windows person. I had a 100gb partition for Windows because I had a number of programs that I thought I needed. It turns out that Windows 7 wouldn’t support them (XP programs.) I would occasionally go to the Windows side for a “visit.” Well, it had started to act up on me so I tried to reinstall Windows 7. Everything went wrong and I ended up with 100gb that were no longer of any use to me. I stumbled on your page when I searched “how to uninstall Windows 7 on Bootcamp.” I followed your instructions and, after 20 seconds, I now have a 500gb Mac hard drive and couldn’t be happier! Thank you so much!

  25. Before step 3 it asked if I want to download windows something… I chose option that I have disks already then it went to step 3 and after that everything went smoothly.

  26. Confession: I read this write-up and started laughing because I knew you had to be wrong. It took the Apple Store geniuses roughly five hours to successfully set up Boot Camp and create a partition, and you were insinuating that five mouse clicks were all that separated me from undoing it all.

    And you were right.

    CHEERS! This has been fantastic.

  27. — For all those unable to *automatically boot to Mac OS X* —

    Turn off your Mac, switch it back on and when the screen turns white hold down the option key (the ‘alt’ key). Choose the ‘Mac OS X’ Hardrive icon.

  28. Gene Manuel Ramos

    Thank you so much. A very big Help!!!…. it really works!!! You’re the best. You save my life because my father was gonna scold me :D

  29. Thanks a million for this support. It was so easy, I have done it in 2 mins. You saved journey, going to an Apple store, queue, questions, bla bla…

    Have a nice day.

  30. I installed Windows 7 with Boot Camp, now I would like to remove that partition. Problem is that I cannot find Boot Camp program, I have only Boot Camp installer. So I do not have option “remove partition” Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,


  31. I was meant to write that it is telling me I am using 183gb of space 50gb more than my files and folders add up to.

  32. I did this then installed lion. Windows was removed succesfully but I now have the following problem.
    HD size 250gb (roughly)
    All files and folders add up to 133gb
    This should leave me with roughly 117gb of free space.

    The problem I have is the system is telling me I am using 167gb of space which is 50 gb more than files add up to. The same size as the original windows partition. Although it is not causing a problem right now, I would like my 50gb back.

    Is anyone able to help me get the macbook pro to realize that this space is not being used. I have used daisy disk to try and find the missing area but this was of no help.

  33. Curious george

    Dear Ross, I have a problem. As smart as I am, I’ve followed this tutorial, but forgot to uncheck to automatically boot into Mac. Therefore, I am stuck, while holding down the command key during the booting process, because there is a code to fill in, which I have never used!(because I never used the windows part of my Mac). But if i don’t hold the command button, it gives me a grey folder in the booting background with an interrogation mark on it. So, if you may please, would you kindly send a solution to this problem? Thank you very much!

  34. running boot camp on a macbook air. i created a 20GB Windows partition. Now, I want to remove it, but I don’t have an option using Boot Camp or Disk Utility. Any recommendations?

  35. Herbert Valerius

    After scratching my head for a while I came across your help and bingo, I am back in business. I had to remove win 7 from my Mac because I have it now on a new Toshiba.
    Thanks a million for your help.

  36. what if i can’t acces the mac partition anymore…if i restart the laptop windows partition is all i can see…how can i uninstall windows then!!!!! is crazy i hate this tegnology..

  37. On OS X Snow leopard V 10.6.7 I don’t get screen 2, I simply get down to a panel which shows macintosh xxx gb windows 20gb as the final screen. how do I fix


  38. PLEASE HELP on mine it has no option that says “Restore”
    in fact, the things mine says are totally different than yours!
    i dunno, i have the new imac with snow leopard or whatever, and i really need to delete my windows partition.
    when i get to the point with the slider, it has 20GB of windows but wont let me go down any further.
    a little help? :) thanks

  39. I already have XP running in a BootCamp partition. Can I either upgrade the XP to Win 7 or can I add another partition for Win 7. I tried to upgrade XP but when going through install it says several files are missing for the upgrade …

  40. I want to delete my bootcamp partition like this but am unclear whether it will delete everything on my Mac OS or not.

    Do I have to back up everything on my Mac Partition, or Can I just go ahead and delete the windows partition?

  41. yassir al mtowaq

    hi when i go to continue i get this

    The disk cannot be partitioned because some files cannot be moved.

    Back up the disk and use Disk Utility to format it as a single Mac OS Extended (Journaled) volume. Restore your information to the disk and try using Boot Camp Assistant again.

  42. The process works great, but my computer still prompts me toward the windows partition that no longer exists. The only way I am aware of to avoid this is by holding down option at startup and selecting the one and only drive (Mac OsX). Why does it not automatically alter it’s default to Mac OsX? And, is there a way to correct this issue?

  43. Please ignore previous post. This is easily sorted by holding down the Option key during boot to trigger the OS selection screen of boot camp.

  44. Hi, I did this last night and it worked great! After I had removed the partition everything wsa working fine…until I reboot my machine the next day.

    Now I get the error “No Bootable Device — Insert boot disk and press any key”. Does anyone know how to recover form this?

  45. I tried this, but I just din’t pass from “partitioning disk”… How can I format everything and re-install mac os x with the installation disk?? I have a macbook air. Thanks for the help!

  46. Awesome it worked for me! but i ended up being left with a problem when i started my mac back up it told me i needed a bootdisk and would be a black screen showing a dos type format. now if i shut it off and restart it i have to hold option key and it allows me to to see the mac hardrive… i want to have it start up like normal again someone please help me!!!!!!! thanks

  47. How to remove window bootcamp without formatting my mac..says “The startup disk must be formatted as a single Mac OS Extended (Journaled) volume or already partitioned by Boot Camp Assistant for installing Windows.”….please help

  48. I have a question, If I do this, and I have OEM Windows 7 installed in bootcamp, will I be able to use it again in say Parallels 6? I just dont want to delete my bootcamp partition if I am not going to be able to use the activation code again for my OEM Windows 7. Can anyone help me with this before I try it? Thanks.

  49. Moo Moo Have you run a disc de frag programme first? If there is stuff all over the disc Bootcamp wont find space for a partition…thats about all I DO know lol!

  50. I partitioned a windows partition, and now when I perform these steps it just hangs at the Status: Partitioning disk step for hours. Any ideas?

  51. To Hongcalvin:
    I was getting nowhere so I used my Time Capsule to completely restore my previous disc. Im not very technical so not sure I can help
    If you have Time Capsule you just go into it and restore from the last date. As Time capsule doesn’t save the Widows side of your disc it just leaves you with a restored Mac disc.
    But you really need a full blown techs advice on this rather than count on me,…I sometimes just get lucky!
    Good Luck

  52. Derek, would you mind explain a bit more as I had the same problem and have no idea. What to do. I altogether did three reformatted to factory setting and yet I still unable to access the partition box to set the partition. I am lost.

  53. Even the online guy from mac service couldn’t really help me with this one!!
    Eventually had to totally erase HD and restore from Time capsule…thank god for time capsule!

  54. Ross…I tried this but got a box saying I had to upgrade before I couod use Bootcamp Assistant
    I looked in the forum and followed an instruction to use dick utility to erase Windows and everything. Which I did.
    Now when I try BC Assist i get “The startup disk must be formatted as a single Mac OS Extended (Journaled) volume or already partitioned by Boot Camp Assistant for installing Windows.” HELP…Im lost…

  55. Thank you! Overwhelmed by how simple things are when fiddling with my new mac and even more so by the simple help available! Awesome :)

  56. i have deleted the partition but the but now when i boot it looks for windows OS but if i hold in the alt key and boot see only the mac partition and can boot in to it how do i get the mac to go straight into the os

  57. Thanks Ross! Simple! Love it :) BTW, I decided to get rid of my Windows partition, and I now use VirtualBox instead. I can run Windows from my Mac OS, without having to reboot. Great program, and free. Gotta love it.

    1. Scot – I agree – VirtualBox is awesome. But sometimes you just need the “speed” that running an OS not in ‘virtual’ mode gives you (esp. Windows). That’s why I still have a Windows bootcamp partition..

  58. I want to keep the windows 7 partition, but I want to reallocate space. So I spilt my HD 50-50. So half is on the mac side and half is on the windows side. Is it possible to get it to 75-25 on the mac side without deleting everything and starting over?

  59. I was under the impression that Mac OS X didn’t like to resize its own hard drive. This is a blessing. Thanks wadges

  60. when i go to bootcamp the remove a partition option does not exist… what should i do?
    i had to shutdown my computer mid partitioning earlier because it froze, the partition completed as my available hard drive space dropped, but it is as if my computer doesn’t know it…. PLEASE HELP

  61. wow, I bought a used mac a year ago and it already had a windows partition. I didn’t know it would be so easy to restore! thanks.

  62. i removed windows from my mac, but now when I start up my laptop, i need to hold down the option key so that I can pick “Macintosh HD”. Anybody know how I can fix this?

  63. I have the same problem as LL Cool J. Deleted the partition, and now that amount of disk space is no where to be seen. In the disk util, the main Macintosh HD shows the full disk space amount, but when highlighting the only partition (now that Bootcamp is gone) it says that the total amount of space is that less the amount I had used for Bootcamp. Restarting Bootcamp Assistant shows no option to remove the Bootcamp partition anymore, but the full amount of the drive is still less by the size I had used for the Bootcamp partition I had created and removed. It’s like the created Bootcamp partition is still there, but unable to be seen. I tried fixing the disk permission both within Snow Leopard, and also with Applejack started up in single user mode, but with no success. : (

  64. I have a similar but agitating problem, I tried getting rid of the partitions disk by dragging it to the trash and ejecting it, and while that did work, it now wont let me restore the partition to get back all space that i need. I’ve tried using disk utility, but not surprisingly, the disk isnt there. i’ve tried using the bootcamp wizard, but it only wants to create a new partition, it wont let me restore anything. what do i do?

  65. Pingback: How Do I Remove Linux Dual Boot?

  66. After ringing Apple tech support, cos I couldn’t find my bootcamp assistant in utilities, applications, or wherever it’s supposed to be, they told me it couldn’t be done, at all. I told them about this page I found and he still said it wasn’t possible to make it one disk, all I could do was reformat the bootcamp disk, make it a Mac OS X (still separate) and use it manually…Hmm.
    THEN I found my BC assistant in the ‘home’ folder, used it and was done in 5 seconds…so thank you.. 100GB back!!
    And thanks to my interstate friend, who found this site online and sent me the link.
    I’m a happier Mac owner now.

  67. THANK YOU TH! I couldn’t figure how to startup my computer again… I was really worried when the screen appeared saying NO BOOTABLE DRIVE INSERT DISK and thought that I did something wrong! I didn’t realize I would stll have to hold down the option/alt key when I started up the computer and then change the startup settings. Also if I ever install bootcamp again it will be nice to know that I can make it so that Windows isn’t the default startup… I was really annoyed that everytime I started my computer I had to hold down the option key inorder to not have it start in Windows.

  68. Hi, I never used bootcamp although it has been partitioned on my mac for about a year. There is no bootcamp assistant, I have tried numerous times using disk utility to erase the space and the partition is still there! Any ideas? All help much appreciated, thank you I am quite a novice at technical stuff!

    If you get this message after deleting the windows partition and restoring the full amount of space to the Mac OS the fix is easy.
    -Go the the apple menu
    -Systems Preferences
    -Startup Disk
    -Click Mac OS as the default

    You just need to tell the Mac to go back to starting up in Mac OS. It still thinks it has an option even there is no other partition

  70. I had windows installed, I had 120 or so GBs on the mac side. didnt want windows anymore so deleted it using bootcamp. I just tried to install windows again but it says i only got 60gb of space left. Im pretty sure the HDD has the 60GB of unused free space telling itself that it is used. how can i get this back?!?

  71. No that didn´t work !
    My macbook tries to startup in windows and gets stuck, asking for the original Win-CD
    I have to hold down the “option” key every time I turn on my computer. . .to get back on osx-track

  72. Questoin, hoping someone can help me with this problem. I had a partition on here, but removed it through this process, but now whenever i reboot my computer, i have to hold on option when i hear the beep. If i dont do this, it tries to load the non-existant windows and i have to restart my computer. Is there a way to stop this?

  73. kyhana I had the same problem as you! When I try to boot up my Mac after removing the partition that i made in boot camp it gives me a black screen that tells me I need a boot disk or something like that. What can I do?

  74. Klaas van der Veen

    Jimmy, you are the BEST.
    I changed the time and my Windows partition was gone in half a minute.
    I got 25GB unused disk space back.


    I managed to delete the windows partition but using disk utility but I am still short 5 GB of hard drive space I had allocated, any ideas how I can claim it back

  76. Pingback: Can't delete the bootcamp HDD - MacTalk Forums

  77. I removed the Windows XP partition no problem. But when I turn the iMac on, or when I restart while in Leopard, I get a Windows message stating that the machine can’t boot and instructing me to insert a bootable disk and then hit any key. How do I remove the last vestige of XP from my iMac?
    Your help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

  78. I did the first step,
    {Launch the Boot Camp Assistant by going to your Applications -> Utilities -> Boot Camp Assistant.}

    But all I get is {Boot Camp Assistant Beta has expired}. What can I do?? I desperately want my 15G back!!!!

  79. I did the first step,
    Utilities -> Boot Camp Assistant.>

    But all I get is . What can I do?? I desperately want my 15G back!!!!

  80. Hi, i used bootcamp to create a windows partition, however afterwords I found it was too small, so I followed these steps to delete it and everything was going fine except my computer has said status: partitioning disk for 14 hours.

  81. Ahh boot camp utility tells me I need 10gb free to create a partition and wont let me go past the first screen (ive only got 5gb free with nothing but the OS and apps on the HD) but I just want to give the old partition back, not make a new one. Any advice? Thanks!

  82. I removed the Windows Vista partition no problem. But when I turn the iMac on, or when I restart while in Leopard, I get a Windows message stating that the machine can’t boot and instructing me to insert a bootable disk and then hit any key. How do I remove the last vestige of Vista from my iMac?

  83. Greetings,
    I want to reclaim some of the disk space I gave to WIndows originally. At the apple store one of the sales people demonstrated for me a new function…not sure if it was in boot camp or disk utility, but it had a slider that you could move between the two partitions that apparently would not cause Windows data or operating system to be lost but would merely reclaim unused space on the Windows sector to the Mac sector. I got home all excited to avoid having to wipe out the WIndows sector but could not find the place where this newer utility was located. I updated last night to the very latest OS update and still can’t find it. Can you help? Thanks!

  84. Pingback: Come cancellare un partizione di Boot Camp |

  85. When i did this steps all went smoothly. The thing is I later wanted to creat a new partition with bootcamp, and the wizard told me to back up and format mi HD. Which i refuse to do. It says that the new partition can’t be done. What’s up with that? I did the same steps as this tutorial , and when I tried to make a new partition it said something about unmovable files.

    Any thoughts?

  86. How can I remove/recreate the partition? The minus symbol next to the list of partitions is greyed out, and if I erase the partition, it still remains…

  87. @RedFlag That’s what I ran into. If you use the Disk Utility (Found in Applications->Utilities), you can remove and then recreate the partition and it will work just fine.

  88. I used boot camp to create a windows partition, but later formatted it for linux used it for linux. However, I ran into problems, and I want to delete the partition or reformat it so I can install windows 7 instead. When I follow these steps, it of course tells me that it can’t be restored. How else can I delete or reformat the partition?

  89. I ran into a problem where the option wasn’t available to remove the Windows partition. I ended up having to reclaim the space manually through the Disk Utility but it worked fairly painlessly – just not as user friendly as the wizard.

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