How to have two partitions on a USB Flash Drive

Two partitions on USB Flash Drive

In this article, you’ll learn how to create two partitions on a USB flash drive and also how to remove partitions from a flash drive.

Thumb drives (or Flash Drives) are widely used for storing important files, backing up relevant data, moving it easily from one device to another, or even storing system backups and images. Their portability and their relatively good data transfer rates make flash drives very convenient to use.

There are some reasons you may want to format a USB drive with multiple partitions, and If you have a flash drive with a lot of storage space, it may be useful for you to do it.

You may want to use different file systems for whatever reason or to create multiple bootable partitions on a USB drive to have, for instance, Windows and Linux and also other personal files. It can also make it easier even if you just need to organize your files in separate logical drives.

Besides, if you usually carry with you a flash drive with sensitive data, having two partitions allows you to create one for storage, having easy access to non-critical files like apps, photos, or videos, and another one that you can encrypt with BitLocker for extra protection to your confidential data.

Using the above-mentioned capabilities you’re maximizing the usability of your big USB flash drive.

Table of Contents

  1. Software to partition USB Flash Drive
    1. How to partition a flash drive – Windows 10
      1. Remove partitions on a USB drive
    2. USB flash drive partition software free download
  2. Wrap Up

Software to partition USB Flash Drive

Creating multiple partitions on a USB drive is easy, you just have to follow the right steps and use the right tools.

How to partition a flash drive – Windows 10

Since build 1703, Windows 10 supports full multiple partitions on removable media like USB flash drives and is able to get access to all partitions. You can also create multiple logical partitions on a flash drive using the built-in OS tools.

To create several partitions on a USB flash drive in Windows 10, follow the next steps:

  • Insert the flash drive in the USB port
  • Format it with the NTFS file system by going to File Explorer > This PC and under the Devices and Drivers section, right-click on the flash drive selecting the Format option, and use the File system drop-down menu, selecting the NTFS option
  • Open the Disk Management console by going to Run and typing diskmgmt.msc
  • Right-click the icon on the USB stick and select Shrink Volume in the context menu
  • Now, you just need to choose the available size of free space after shrinking and click on Shrink. If you have a 64GB USB drive and you want to create two partitions of 32GB, you just have to choose 32GB as the amount of space to shrink. That will be the first partition and the total usable space will be reduced to 32GB.
  • Then, right-click on the unallocated disk area and select New Simple Volume to create another partition using the free remaining space.
  • End up the process by formatting the second partition with the desired file system – you can have different file systems on different partitions in the same disk – and choose a volume name and a drive letter for it.

Your 64GB USB flash drive has 2 partitions now, both with 32GB and using different file systems (if desired). You are able to create a partition in a USB drive with FAT32 and NTFS file systems.

Using the same procedure, you could also have created 3 or more partitions using the amount of unallocated disk area, after shrinking the size of the first partition. It is a simple USB partition tool windows includes for free.

Remove partitions on a USB drive

Removing partitions is also a simple process and you can still use the Windows built-in Disk Management tool to do it. Before removing a partition, don’t forget to backup all its data in the first place. Otherwise, it will be lost during the process!

To remove partitions from the flash drive, take the following steps:

  • Open the Disk Management console by going to Run and typing diskmgmt.msc
  • Locate the USB flash drive and the partition you want to be deleted, right-click on it and select Delete Volume in the context menu.
  • Windows will advise you the data in the selected partition will be lost and should be backed up. Click the Yes button to confirm the action.

USB flash drive partition software free download

There is some dedicated software for USB drive management. MiniTool Partition Wizard Free makes an interesting option to manage your flash drive partitions.

Not only it is free but also very easy to use with a very clear and straightforward interface. Even if you’re not very much into computers and technology, the app has a wizard that leads you to go over the required steps without any difficulty.

This application allows you to easily create, resize, merge and delete partitions on your flash drive. It also includes a USB drive partition repair tool. Overall, it is a powerful and resourceful partition tool for a USB flash drives.

Bear in mind that previous Windows versions (before Windows 10 build 1703), can only access the first partition of a USB drive.

Wrap Up

Creating partitions on a USB drive is a great help to have a better data organization, especially if it has a big storage space. In that case, it can serve more than one purpose, like having a system image backup in one partition and your personal files on the other. If you’re a Linux user, you can even use one partition to boot and another for your files.

But whatever the reason, it helps you to maximize the usability of your thumb drive.

You can use the Disk Management tool on Windows 10 to set up multiple partitions or third-party software like the MiniTool Partition Wizard Free we mention in our article. Both are free and if the first is part of Windows, the second is very easy to work with and user-friendly.

We hope this article has been useful for you to learn how to create two partitions on a USB flash drive, or even more, according to the size of the drive and your needs.