Formatting Vs Erasing! Which Is Better?

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We all are familiar with Deleting and Formatting actions. These are the two methods of removing data from a computer hard drive or any other storage media. Even though, they differ, the main purpose of both the format and erase process is to remove the data present on a storage device and make space for saving the new (other) data by the user.

There are numerous people who say it is better to format the device rather than erase data from it, but what exactly is the difference between them?

The only dissimilarities between these two are

  • “Erasing demands the user to manually delete each data (file or folder), select only a part of data or all at once that they wish to delete, and hit the Delete But, format takes all the data present on the storage drive at once and erase them with a click.
  • Erasing just removes selected data but formatting deletes entire storage drive data

And, when you choose to erase something, the OS will move that file or folder present on the disk to Recycle Bin/Trash folder and marks the file space as an empty space just in the index of the file system. As it is marked as empty space new information can be rewritten onto it. Still, the file will be present on the same storage media.

In the format process, the data will be completely erased from the index, changes the file system of the storage drive, and makes as a new device. Here also, the data will be located on the same drive, which you formatted. Thus, formatting has an advantage over erasing, when you wish to completely empty your storage drive.

If you want to delete a big file and save a small file in place of the larger then erasing is best suited. It will place the small file in place of the big one and leave the rest of the space untouched.

In contrast, the formatting cleans the entire drive, allocates space again, and makes the disk-like brand new. Hence, if you need to delete everything on your drive then formatting is always faster and better than erasing.

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Brief Comparison of Formatting Vs Erasing:



Removes selected data at a time

Removes all data in one shot

Useful for deleting specific files

Beneficial in making a used drive a brand new drive

Not suggested for solving drive issues

Formatting is the best solution for various problems of a drive

Takes time: as it deletes single files

faster as it erases the whole thing in a single click