How to Uninstall Ubuntu from Windows Dual Boot Safely

Brief: This beginner’s guide shows you how to safely remove Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution from Windows dual boot.

Trust me, installing Ubuntu in dual boot with Windows is not that difficult a task. Similarly, removing Ubuntu from dual boot is also not that complicated.

In both cases, you need to take a bit of precautions with disk partitions. Having a Windows recovery and proper backups always helps.

In this tutorial, I am going to show you the steps for uninstalling Ubuntu from Windows dual boot. The steps should be equally valid for any other Linux distribution be it Linux Mint, Debian, Fedora, Arch etc.

Uninstall Ubuntu safely from Windows dual boot mode

The process is composed of two parts:

  • Change the boot order in UEFI settings and give priority to Windows Boot Manager. You may also delete Grub entry from UEFI setting, if your system gives you this option. If that doesn’t work then you’ll have to repair boot with a bootable Windows disk.
  • Deleting the Ubuntu partition from Windows.

As the last resort, you need to have a bootable Windows disk or recovery disk so that you can use it to repair the boot after removing Ubuntu (if needed).

Part 1: Run a sanity check and make Windows as default boot manager

I want you to have as few troubles as possible. And hence I recommend change the boot setting and make Windows boot manager as the default option to boot.

Let me explain a bit here. When you install Ubuntu or some other Linux, it adds Grub bootloader to your boot settings and makes it the default.

So, now your system has two boot loaders or boot manager (whatever you want to call it). Grub gives you option to boot into Ubuntu or Windows.

Dual Boot Grub Screen

Windows boot manager lets you boot into Windows directly. And this is what you are going to use here.

Step 1: Access UEFI boot settings

Before you go on and delete the Linux partition, it will be a wise move to check if you can make Windows boot manager as the default boot option. This way, when you remove Linux, your boot process won’t be disturbed.

Access the UEFI settings from Windows. Search for UEFI and go to Change advanced startup options:

Accessing UEFI Settings Windows

Click on Restart now:

Access Uefi Settings Windows

On the blue screen next, select Troubleshoot:

windows uefi settings

Select Advanced Options next:

advanced uefi settings

On the next screen, select UEFI Firmware Settings:

uefi firmware settings

Hit restart button on the next screen:

restart boot settings uefi

Step 2: Move Windows Boot Manager up the boot order

Now your system will boot into UEFI settings. Now, the next screen will look different for different systems and manufacturers. You have to look for boot tab here.

On my Acer predator, it looks like the image below. Here, use arrow keys to select Windows Boot Manager and press F5 to move it up the order. Press F10 to save and exit.

change boot order

Now, your system should boot straight into Windows. To verify, restart your system a couple of times and see if the system boots into Windows without showing the grub screen of Linux.

If that happens, you are good to go with the next step which is to delete the Linux partition and reclaim your disk space.

Part 2: Deleting Linux partition on Windows

Let’s see how to delete the Linux partition and extend your Windows disk with available freespace afterwards.

Step 1: Go to disk management

Log into Windows. Press Windows+R and type diskmgmt.msc into the dialog box. This will open the Windows disk management tool.

Disk Management Windows

Step 2: Identify Linux partition

Since you installed Linux, it’ll be easy for you to recognize the Linux partition by its size.

Another hint for identifying the Linux partition is to look for those that don’t have a file system and drive number. Windows partitions are labeled with a drive number, such as C, D, E, etc., and usually use the NTFS or FAT file system.

As you can see, I have three Linux partitions here as I created root, swap and home separately when I installed Ubuntu.

Delete Linux Partition

Step 3: Delete Linux partition

Select the Linux partition(s), right click on them and opt for the Delete Volume option.

Uninstall_Linux_From_WIndows_Dual_Boot_1

It will throw you a warning – just select Yes here.

Uninstall_Linux_From_WIndows_Dual_Boot_2

Step 4: Extend Windows partition

The deleted partition(s) will now be available as a chunk of free space. You can either extend the existing volume or create a new Windows partition from it.

I would suggest that you create a new drive (or volume or partition, whatever you want to call it) as this will be easier if you decide to dual boot Linux with Windows again.

Uninstall_Linux_From_WIndows_Dual_Boot_3
Troubleshooting tips to fix the Windows boot loader

After deleting the Linux partition, of your system boots into a broken Grub screen which shows a message like grub rescue error, you need to use Windows recovery disk and fix the Windows bootloader.

Step 1:

Put in the Windows installation disk and restart your computer. Press F10 or F12 at boot time to go into BIOS/UEFI and choose to boot from removable disk.

Booting from Windows installation disk

Step 2:

Choose to repair your computer:

Repair windows boot loader

Step 3:

Go for the Troubleshoot option here:

troubleshoot windows and linux dual boot

Step 4:

On the troubleshooting page, choose Advanced options:

Uninstall_Linux_Windows_Dualboot_4

Step 5:

Look for the command prompt option in here:

Uninstall_Linux_Windows_Dualboot_6

Step 6:

In the command line, type the following command to fix the Windows boot loader:

bootrec.exe /fixmbr

Normally, it works instantly. You don’t even have to wait for it.

Uninstall_Linux_Windows_Dualboot_5

Step 7:

Once it’s done, restart your computer and this time boot normally from the hard disk. You should be able to boot into Windows. If you still see a Grub rescue error, try the steps below.

Step 8: If the trick in step 6 didn’t work

If the command in step 6 didn’t work, try Automatic repair from the advanced troubleshooting options.

automatic repair windows troubleshoot

It will take some time to find the issue and then repair it.

Automatic repair Windows Linux dual boot

Now if you reboot, you should go into Windows normally without seeing any Grub rescue error thingy.

I hope this guide helped you safely remove Ubuntu from Windows dual boot. Feel free to ask any questions or make a suggestion.

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  • After installing linux on my 2tb ssd there are now no partitions on the drive and I cant do anything with it. I cant extend a volume that just isnt there, cant convert to basic disk, nothing. I’m at my wits end and would really appreciate some help with this, thanks.

    • To make a few things clear.

      You installed Linux and it is the only operating system on your computer now, right?

      Also, you want to utilize parts of the 2 TB disk space by creating partition for something else?

      To shrink or extend partition, you can use a live Linux USB and then use a tool like gparted to change the partition size

  • Hi! What if after changing the boot sequence in the BIOS, Grub menu insists on being the primary? I tried even removing the option to boot through the Ubuntu partition but it still insists on it. Any suggestions on what I can do?