Have you installed Ubuntu or any other Linux distro, as an alternative to your regular Windows setup? And now you want to get rid of Linux and return to Windows? Here’s how to do it!


IMPORTANT!
To avoid failure during computer startup, Linux boot menu (‘Grub/Grub2’) MUST be removed first (see below).

COMPUTERS The first thing you’ll need to do is to restore the boot record, in order to boot straight into Windows again. Because if you first delete the Linux partition(s), your bootloader won’t be able to find the operating systems you previously had installed. This will result in a computer that will fail to boot up – it will not start Windows either. This is of course not very desirable, so before proceeding, first follow this guide:


When you are absolutely certain that the Grub menu has been removed, you can now proceed by removing the Linux installation entirely from your hard drive.

Accessing "Disk Management" in Windows

The easiest way is to open the Start menu and run diskmgmt.msc
Alternatively, you can go to the Control Panel, choose Administrative Tools, then Computer Management. Flip out the ‘Storage’ tab and choose Disk Management, right underneath. Here you’ll find all your storage devices and their partitions, which you can delete, format, shrink and expand as you please.

Identifying your Linux partition(s)

Fig. 1: EasyBCD (free software)
Here you’ll need to find the partitions on which you had Linux installed, and remove them. If you have a lot of devices and you’re unsure which partition to take out, then close the Disk Management utility and disconnect any external storage devices, such as USB hard drives and memory sticks. Then return to Disk Management. Linux runs on either a EXT or a FAT32 file system, so anything labeled ‘NTFS’ would be your Windows partitions, which can be ruled out of the equation. As EXT partitions can’t be “read” under Windows, these will appear nameless here.

If you still don’t know which partition is the Linux one, take a look in EasyBCD (see fig. 1) and compare with what you have displayed in your disk manager (fig. 2).
Fig. 2: Windows' built in disk manager

Removing the partition(s)

When you are absolutely sure you have found the Linux partition(s), all you have to is right click it, and choose ‘Delete Volume’. If there is more than one Linux partition, just repeat the process until they’re all gone.

You should now have a large amount of undisposed space on your hard drive. You won’t have access to this part of the hard drive automatically. Instead you now have a few options:

You could either create a new Windows partition in place of the old Linux one.
> Right-click the unallocated space, and choose ‘New Simple Volume’. If you want the new drive to span over the whole empty space, just click OK and you’re done. If you want several small drives, just type in how large you want it to be, and then move on creating the next.

You also have the option to extend your current Windows partition, thus using the whole disk as one big disk (one drive letter).
To do this, you instead right-click the Windows partition you want to fill the entire disk, and choose ‘Extend Volume’.