How to delete a hard-drive partition on a Mac

It's time to remove the partition you created for the public beta of OS X El Capitan.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read

If you got a head start with OS X 10.11 El Capitan this summer and followed my advice to install the public beta on a partition, then it's time to reclaim some hard-drive space by getting rid of that partition now that Apple has released the final version of El Capitan. Deleting a partition is a simple, two-step process using Disk Utility, which received an overhaul with El Capitan.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Step 1: Erase partition

To get started, open Disk Utility by searching for it using Spotlight or finding it in Applications > Utilities.

Next, click on the partition that you want to delete in the left panel.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

With your partition selected, click the Erase button at the top of Disk Utility. This will bring up a window with an Erase button. Click Erase and then click Done.

Step 2: Remove partition

With the data erased from your partition, you still need to delete the now-empty partition in order to reallocate its space to the rest of your hard drive.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

To do so, select your hard drive from the left panel and then click the Partition button at the top of Disk Utility. On the pie graph on the left, click the wedge that represents the partition you just erased. Click the "-" button and then click Apply.

After a minute or so, Disk Utility will finish applying changes to your drive and deem the operation successful. Click Done to complete your work here.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

For more, get all you need to know about OS X El Capitan.