Home Dual Boot How To Safely Remove Ubuntu Linux From Dual Boot Windows

How To Safely Remove Ubuntu Linux From Dual Boot Windows

A Step-by-Step Guide To Uninstall Ubuntu Linux From A Dual Boot Configuration On Your Windows System.

By Karthick
Published: Updated: 109.8K views

Are you looking to uninstall Ubuntu Linux from your dual-boot Windows system? If you no longer require Linux on your computer and want to remove it from your dual-boot setup, you've come to the right place. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process to remove Linux from a dual boot configuration on your Windows computer.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced user, we'll provide you with easy-to-follow instructions to ensure a smooth Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution uninstallation process from Windows dual boot.

Even though, this guide is tested with Ubuntu and Windows Dual boot setup, it should work on any other Linux distributions such as Debian, Fedora, Linux Mint etc.

Why Uninstall Ubuntu Linux from Dual Boot?

There are several reasons why you might want to uninstall Ubuntu Linux from Dual Boot and restore your computer to a single operating system setup.

Firstly, you may have initially installed Linux to explore its capabilities or experiment with a new operating system. However, if you find that Linux no longer meets your needs or you prefer using Windows as your primary operating system, you can simply remove Linux OS from the Windows Dual Boot setup.

Additionally, you might require more storage space on your computer. Dual-boot configurations allocate a portion of your hard drive to each operating system, and if you find that your Linux partition is underutilized or you simply need more space for your Windows files and applications, removing Linux can free up valuable storage capacity.

Furthermore, troubleshooting and maintaining a dual-boot setup can be complex, especially for users who are less experienced with Linux. If you encounter compatibility issues, driver problems, or difficulties with software installations, removing Linux can eliminate the complexities associated with managing multiple operating systems.

Lastly, if you no longer need the specific features or software available in Linux and find that you rarely use it, removing Linux can help simplify your computer setup and optimize system resources for Windows.

Whatever your reason may be, removing Linux from dual boot Windows doesn't have to be a daunting task. In the following sections, we will walk you through the step-by-step process to uninstall Ubuntu Linux or any Linux distribution and ensure a smooth transition back to a single operating system environment.

Backup your Important Data!

Before we dive into the step-by-step process of removing the Linux operating system from your dual-boot setup, it's crucial to acknowledge that while the steps are generally simple, there is a potential risk of encountering issues.

In the event that something goes wrong, you may need to recover your Windows operating system or perform a clean reinstallation.

To avoid any data loss, it's highly recommended to back up your personal data before proceeding with the upcoming sections.

When it comes to cleaning the Linux operating system from a Windows perspective, there are various approaches available. In this guide, we will focus on a simple and safe method that involves changing the boot order to Windows Boot Manager, deleting the Linux partitions, and cleaning the EFI entry.

However, it's worth considering an alternative option instead of completely removing the Linux operating system. You can set Windows as the primary operating system and keep Linux intact, allowing you to boot into Linux whenever needed.

Now, without further ado, let's proceed with the actual steps to remove the Linux operating system from the Windows dual-boot setup.

Safely Remove Ubuntu Linux from Windows and Linux Dual Boot

Step 1: Set Boot Order to Windows

Before proceeding with the process of cleaning the Linux operating system, ensure that the boot loader is configured to load Windows as the default operating system.

Although you have the option to skip this step and directly clean the Linux disk partitions and EFI entry, it is safer to set the boot order correctly to avoid potential issues. Just in case something goes wrong, the bootloader will not properly load and you might not be able to boot into windows.

To set the boot order and configure the boot loader, please follow the steps below:

  1. Go to "Settings" on your Windows system.
  2. Click on "Recovery."
  3. Select "Advanced Startup" and click "Restart".
Restart Windows
Restart Windows

In the next step, choose "Troubleshoot".

Choose Troubleshoot Option
Choose Troubleshoot Option

Choose "Advanced Options".

Click Advanced Options
Click Advanced Options

Choose "UEFI Firmware Settings".

Choose UEFI Firmware Settings
Choose UEFI Firmware Settings

Restart the machine to load the firmware settings.

Restart to Change UEFI Firmware Settings
Restart to Change UEFI Firmware Settings

After the restart, you will be directed to the BIOS menu. It's important to keep in mind that the user interface and available options may differ depending on the manufacturer of your computer. In this guide, I am using Dell Inspiron Laptop.

As you can see in the image below, "ubuntu" is set as the first boot option.

UEFI - Boot Sequence
UEFI - Boot Sequence

By using the arrow keys, you can rearrange the boot order to ensure that the "Windows Boot Manager" is positioned at the top of the list. This will enable Windows to boot directly without displaying the GRUB bootloader.

Change Boot Order to Windows
Change Boot Order to Windows

Click "Apply Changes" and click "Exit". The system will now restart and boot into windows directly. You can also restart the machine from within windows to make sure the boot loader is loading windows properly.

Step 2 - Remove Linux Partitions

In order to remove Linux, it is necessary to delete the corresponding Linux partitions and allocate the freed space to Windows partitions. Follow the steps below:

  1. Open the "Run" dialog box.
  2. Type "Disk Management" or "Drive Manager" and hit Enter.
  3. Within the Disk Management interface, locate and select the Linux partitions.
  4. Right-click on each Linux partition and choose the "Delete Volume" option.
  5. Confirm the deletion when prompted.

In my case, the highlighted partitions from the below image are Linux partitions.

Find Linux Partitions in Windows Disk Management Interface
Find Linux Partitions in Windows Disk Management Interface

If you're unsure how to identify Linux partitions, follow these steps. There are several methods to determine the disk partition type. For Windows partitions, they are typically assigned drive letters such as C, D, E, and so on, or they may be labeled as NTFS or FAT32 partition types. Additionally, you may come across other partitions such as "Recovery partition" and "UEFI partition" in the disk manager.

However, Linux partitions do not display their partition type directly in the disk manager. In such cases, you can utilize the diskpart utility to check the partition types. Here's how:

1. Open the command prompt with administrator privileges.

Run Command Prompt as Administrator
Run Command Prompt as Administrator

2. Launch the diskpart utility by entering the command "diskpart" in the command prompt. This will start an interactive prompt where you can execute various commands related to disk partitioning.

Diskpart Utility
Diskpart Utility

3. To check the partitions of a specific disk, you must first select the disk. To obtain a list of the available disks, execute the following command:

list disk
List Available Disks using Diskpart
List Available Disks using Diskpart

4. In my case, there is only one disk available. To select this disk, run the following command:

select disk 0
Select Disk
Select Disk

If you have multiple disks, adjust the command by specifying the appropriate disk number. For instance, if you have multiple disks and want to select the second disk, you would use the command:

select disk 1

Ensure that you select the correct disk.

5. Next, execute the following command to get a list of partitions associated with disk 0:

list partition

This command will provide you with the information about the partitions existing on disk 0.

List Partitions
List Partitions

6. To get details about any partitions, you have to first select the partition using the "select" command. For example, I am selecting partition 8.

select partition 8
Select Partition
Select Partition

7. Run the "detail partition" command which will print the partition number and type with other information.

detail partition
Display Partition Details
Display Partition Details

8. Look at the "Type" section in the above output. It displays a hash value, which is not randomly generated but rather pre-allocated identifier values specifically used for the GPT partition table.

Here are the allocated identifiers for Linux partitions in a tabular format:

Partition TypeGlobally unique identifier (GUID)
Linux filesystem data0FC63DAF-8483-4772-8E79-3D69D8477DE4
RAID partitionA19D880F-05FC-4D3B-A006-743F0F84911E
Root partition (x86)44479540-F297-41B2-9AF7-D131D5F0458A
Root partition (x86-64)4F68BCE3-E8CD-4DB1-96E7-FBCAF984B709
Root partition (32-bit ARM)69DAD710-2CE4-4E3C-B16C-21A1D49ABED3
Root partition (64-bit ARM/AArch64)B921B045-1DF0-41C3-AF44-4C6F280D3FAE
/boot partitionBC13C2FF-59E6-4262-A352-B275FD6F7172
Swap partition0657FD6D-A4AB-43C4-84E5-0933C84B4F4F
Logical Volume Manager (LVM) partitionE6D6D379-F507-44C2-A23C-238F2A3DF928
/home partition933AC7E1-2EB4-4F13-B844-0E14E2AEF915
/srv (server data) partition3B8F8425-20E0-4F3B-907F-1A25A76F98E8
Plain dm-crypt partition7FFEC5C9-2D00-49B7-8941-3EA10A5586B7
LUKS partitionCA7D7CCB-63ED-4C53-861C-1742536059CC
Reserved8DA63339-0007-60C0-C436-083AC8230908.
GUID Partition Table for Linux Partitions

For a comprehensive set of identifiers for different operating systems, you can refer the GUID Partition Table Wikipedia page.

9. By examining this list, you can identify the specific partition types associated with Linux partitions on your system. In my case, partition 8 has UID "0657fd6d-a4ab-43c4-84e5-0933c84b4f4f" which is a Linux swap partition.

Now that you know the method to find Linux partition. The next step is to delete the Linux partitions.

10. From the Disk Management utility, select a Linux partition, right click and click "Delete volume".

Delete Volume
Delete Volume

A warning message will appear. To continue with the deletion of the volume, click "Yes".

Delete Volume Confirmation
Delete Volume Confirmation

After you've deleted all the Linux volumes, the space will become unallocated. You can either reassign this unallocated space to any existing Windows volume, or use it to create a new volume. In my case, I opted to leave the space unallocated.

Unallocated Space After Removing Linux Partitions
Unallocated Space After Removing Linux Partitions

Step 3 - Remove Linux Entry from UEFI

During the Linux installation process, the bootloader adds an entry for Linux in the UEFI. You should clean it to make sure it is not a dangling entry.

First, you need to get the identifier for the Linux entry. Open the command prompt with administrative privilege and run the following command.

bcdedit /enum firmware

The bcdedit /enum firmware command is used in Windows to display the entries in the firmware boot manager.

List Entries in Firmware Boot Manager
List Entries in Firmware Boot Manager

As you can see in the above output, there is an entry for Linux, specifically the Ubuntu distribution.

To remove this entry, copy the corresponding identifier and execute the following command:

bcdedit /delete <identifier>

This command will remove the given identifier from the Windows Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store. Make sure to replace <identifier> with the actual identifier associated with the Linux entry in your system.

Remove Identifier from Windows Boot Configuration Data
Remove Identifier from Windows Boot Configuration Data

To confirm the successful removal of Linux, you can verify the absence of the Ubuntu boot entry by accessing the BIOS settings. Restart your machine and press the appropriate shortcut key or follow the steps provided in the first section to enter the BIOS settings.

From the below image, you can see that there is no trace of Ubuntu boot entry under the Boot Sequence section.

Boot Sequence After Removing Ubuntu
Boot Sequence After Removing Ubuntu

Frequently Asked Questions

Here's a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about removing Linux from a dual-boot configuration:

Q1: Can I remove Linux from my dual-boot Windows system without affecting my Windows installation?

A: Yes, it is possible to remove Linux without impacting your Windows installation. However, it is essential to follow the proper steps and backup your data to minimize any potential risks.

Q2: Will removing Linux delete my files and data?

A: Removing Linux from a dual-boot setup should not delete your Windows files and data. However, it is always recommended to back up your important files as a precautionary measure.

Q3: How can I back up my personal data before removing Linux?

A: You can back up your personal data by copying it to an external storage device, using cloud storage services, or utilizing backup software. Ensure that all your important files are securely saved before proceeding with the removal process.

Q4: What happens to the disk space occupied by Linux after removal?

A: After removing Linux, the disk space previously occupied by the Linux partition(s) becomes unallocated. You can utilize this freed-up space to extend your existing Windows partitions or create new ones.

Q5: Can I revert back to a dual-boot configuration after removing Linux?

A: Yes, you can reinstall Linux and set up a dual-boot configuration again if desired. However, this would involve reinstalling Linux and configuring the boot loader accordingly. Check our Windows and Ubuntu Dual Boot guide for more details.

Q6: Are there any risks involved in removing Linux from a dual-boot setup?

A: While the process of removing Linux is generally safe, there are risks involved. It's crucial to carefully follow the steps and ensure that you are selecting and deleting the correct partitions to avoid unintended consequences.

Q7: Can I remove Linux without accessing the BIOS or UEFI settings?

A: Yes, you can remove Linux partitions from within Windows Disk Management. However, adjusting the boot order and cleaning the EFI entry might require accessing the BIOS or UEFI settings.

Q8: Is it possible to keep Linux as a standalone operating system and remove Windows instead?

A: Yes, you can choose to remove Windows and retain Linux as the sole operating system. The specific steps may vary depending on your Linux distribution and setup.

Q9: Can I seek professional assistance to remove Linux from my dual-boot system?

A: If you are unsure or uncomfortable with the process, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from an experienced technician or IT specialist who can guide you through the removal process safely.

Conclusion

In this guide, we have provided a step-by-step instructions to safely remove Ubuntu Linux from your dual-boot configuration. Whether you no longer require Linux, need to reclaim storage space, or prefer a Windows-only operating system environment, the process of removing Linux is achievable with careful steps and considerations. Good Luck!

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2 comments

Dustin October 25, 2023 - 11:45 pm

Hey, i followed your tutorial and thougth i have completed it. I removed the entry for ubuntu with bcdedit /delete and it said “operation completed successfully”. After that i run the bcdedit /enum firmware command again and the ubuntu entry was gone. But when i checked the UEFI there was still the option for boot into Ubuntu. And after i restarted windows and run bcdedit /enum firmware again the ubuntu entry appeared again with a different identifier. Do you have any idea what else i could try?
Dustin

Reply
sk October 26, 2023 - 1:02 pm

If the Ubuntu entry keeps reappearing in the UEFI firmware despite successful removal with `bcdedit`, it’s possible that the UEFI settings are being overwritten or there might be another issue. Here are some additional steps you can try to address the problem. Before trying these methods, please make a backup of important data. We have deleted the dual setup a long time ago, so the commands might be incorrect. Please verify the commands before you run.

1. In some cases, you might need to use the `/deletevalue` option with `bcdedit` to remove the reference to the Ubuntu boot entry. Open a Command Prompt or PowerShell with administrative privileges and run the following command:

bcdedit /deletevalue {bootmgr} path \EFI\ubuntu\shimx64.efi

2. Sometimes, computers have multiple boot managers installed, which can lead to conflicts. To check for this, follow these steps:

Open a Command Prompt or PowerShell with administrative privileges. Run the following command to list all the installed boot managers:

bcdedit /enum all

Look for any additional boot managers that may be responsible for the Ubuntu entry. If you find any, you can try to remove them using `bcdedit /delete`.

3. If none of these solution work, try to reset the UEFI settings to default or load the default settings.

Again, please make sure the commands are correct and do backup of your important data.

Reply

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