We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Do I Choose the Best Disk Formatting Software?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

To choose the best disk formatting software for your needs, you should consider the type of formatting you want to perform and the disk format you need to create. If you want to perform low level formatting, for example, then you should typically choose a program developed by the maker of your disk; high level formatting, however, can be performed using a number of different programs. You should also be sure to choose software that can create the right type of disk format for your operating system (OS). Different types of disk formatting software are available at varying price points, so you should choose a program that is affordable and functional.

Disk formatting software typically refers to programs and utilities used to format a disk drive, usually either a floppy disk or a hard disk drive. One of the first things you should consider when looking at different programs is the level of formatting that the software is able to perform. Low level formatting makes physical changes directly on the disk, and is typically permanent. If you want to perform this type of disk formatting, then you should use software developed by the maker of your disk hardware to prevent damage.

There are a number of different types of disk formatting software that you can use for high level formatting. This type of formatting makes no changes to the actual disk, and just creates different sections, often called partitions, which can be used by an OS or similar system. You may already have a utility provided with your OS that you can use as disk formatting software, which you should consider using before purchasing or finding another program.

One thing you should consider for high level formatting is the type of format system that is utilized by your OS or operating system. You want to make sure that any hard drive or other disk you format is compatible with the format system your OS uses. Older versions of Windows®, for example, utilized a system called a file allocation table (FAT), while later versions of the Windows® OS typically used the new technology file system (NTFS).

As you consider the optimal disk formatting software, you should also look at how the program is available. While there are commercial programs that you can use for disk formatting, there are also open source and freeware programs available that can provide you with powerful formatting tools. Some programs may also have both a free trial and a commercial version available, which lets you try the software before you buy it. Any freeware program you choose should be from a reputable developer and download source, however, to avoid downloading a malicious program disguised as legitimate software.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Logicfest — On Jul 14, 2014

@Melonlity -- There are some very good reasons for getting a formatting program that is different from the one provided in your operating system. Some formatting programs will completely erase data from a disc that you are formatting. That is handy if you are worried about privacy. It is not uncommon to transport files on a USB drive and some of the files on those would be valuable if they fell into the wrong hands.

You've also got some that will encrypt data and do all sorts of nifty tricks. The built in formatting program will be fine for most people, but there are some who need something with a little more firepower.

By Melonlity — On Jul 13, 2014

I do believe it is always best to use the software that comes with your operating system. Think about it. The one that comes bundled with your operating system will be set up to do everything you need it to do to be compatible with your computer. Just call it up, format your disk and forget about it.

Why would anyone go for anything else?

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.