If you installed Ubuntu or some other Linux distribution alongside Windows to complete some tasks over a given period of time and now want to switch back to running only Windows, then you have come to the right place.
Removing Ubuntu when no longer needed not only saves you some disk space, it also saves you some time on booting by not having to go through the grub terminal each time to choose Windows from the list.
There are two parts to it, first is removing the Linux operating system which in this case is Ubuntu, this will remove all system files as well as any data you may have on Ubuntu, so you should back up any files you have on it before proceeding with this process.
The second part is to remove the grub bootloader, this is the initial screen that shows up each time you boot up, from where you choose which of the two operating systems you want to run, you need to remove that as well.
In case you’re wondering which of the two you have to do first, it really doesn’t matter, the grub bootloader comes with your Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution you installed alongside Windows.
So removing the bootloader will automatically switch you back to Windows bootloader, hence there won’t be a case where you’re unable to boot into your operating systems because you removed the grub bootloader.
Step 1: Remove Ubuntu system files and data.
To do that, you need to log into your Windows from the grub terminal. From the desktop, right-click on the start menu and select disk management.
You should see this disk management window pop up.
Here you want to identify which partition has your Ubuntu or whichever Linux distribution you have installed along with Windows, and here’s how you do that.
Normally you would have at least two partitions, in some cases, you may have 3 or 4 or even more partitions under disk 0, the number of partitions depends on how you earlier configured your drive during installations.
If you have two partitions as I have in my case, then automatically the first partition with drive letter C would normally be the partition with your Windows and the second partition would be for Ubuntu, so you only need to delete the second partition.
Normally the first partition would have the system files, boot files, all the other files as well as the primary partition, so all files relevant to Windows are in this partition. But if you have four partitions, usually the first 2 partitions which are labeled C and System reserved are your Windows partitions, while the last two partitions are for your Linux operating system.
Another way to identify the partition with your Ubuntu is to remember the amount of disk space you allocated during the Ubuntu installation, in my case, I allocated 50GB, so obviously, the second partition is for my Ubuntu.
Here I will delete the second partition and extend the Windows partition. To do that, right-click on the second partition, and select delete volume from the options.
Click yes on the dialog box and wait a bit for the process to complete.
Afterward, you will notice that it now says Free space. If you have multiple partitions for the Ubuntu, then you want to delete the second partition in the same manner.
Next, you want to right-click on the partition again and select delete partition, and hit yes on the dialog box, then it changes to Unallocated space.
Now right-click on the C partition and select Extend volume.
You should then see the extend volume wizard.
Here just hit next, next, and then finish.
Wait a bit for the process to complete, and then you should have only 1 volume on your Disk 0, meaning you have removed your Linux and reclaimed all the disk space back to windows.
Step 2: Remove the Grub Bootloader
For that you should go to your Windows start menu, click on the power icon, then press and hold down your shift key and select restart.
Keep holding down the shift key until you see a blue screen like this.
Here select Troubleshoot, then Advanced options.
On this advanced options page, click on Command prompt.
Here select your user account, and enter your password.
It should open up this command line terminal, here run the commands:
- bootrec /fixmbr and hit enter, it should say the operation completed successfully.
- bootrec /fixboot and hit enter, it should again say the operation completed successfully.
- bootrec /scanos and hit enter. Obviously, this command scans all your disks to see if there are windows installations on any of them, now this could take some time depending on your system specifications and the size and number of disks to scan so you might have to wait a bit. After scanning, it will show you the windows installations you have on your disks, in my case it shows my Windows 10 installation, so now I’ll go ahead and make it my primary boot OS by typing the command,
- bootrec /rebuildbcd and hit enter. Then wait for the process to complete.
- After that it will asks whether you want to add it to your boot list. Now if you have multiple windows installations it will give you all the available installations and the corresponding drives where they are stored.
- At this point if you would want to add all the installations to the boot list, then type A and hit enter to complete the process. Of course, A would also work if you have only a single windows installation like in my case here. Now type exit and hit enter to close the terminal.
Restart your computer and that should be it. If everything worked well, you have successfully removed all Ubuntu related files, and will have your PC booting directly to Windows as it normally does.
Please share your comments, questions, and feedbacks in the comment section below.
The following video demonstrates the solutions in this tutorial.