Difference between Delete and Format

Key Difference: The primary function of both is to erase the present data and make room for other data that is required to be saved by the user. The only difference between the two is that deleting requires the user to manually delete individual data or select only a part of the data that he/she want to delete, but format will take and delete all the data on the hard drive.

Deleting and Formatting are two methods of erasing data of a system or a hard drive. However, they both differ. There are many people who will tell you that it is better to format the data rather than delete, but what exactly is the difference?

Nothing! That’s right, there is no major difference between the two and they both perform the same function, albeit in different ways. The primary function of both is to erase the present data and make room for other data that is required to be saved by the user. The only difference between the two is that deleting requires the user to manually delete individual data or select only a part of the data that he/she want to delete, but format will take and delete all the data on the hard drive.

When choosing to delete something, the disk will take that file or folder and mark it as an empty space in the file index, claiming it as an empty space that information can be rewritten on. In format, the disk will completely erase the index and restore it to the original empty settings where the whole disk will be considered completely empty for rewriting.

Now, formatting does have an advantage over deleting if someone wants to completely empty their hard drive. When one deletes a file, it creates an empty space where the data was deleted, so let’s say you delete a file of 43KB, now if you want to add a file that is 34KB, it will place it in the place of 43KB and leave the rest of the space empty, so unless a file is less than the allotted amount, the space will remain empty. On the other hand in formatting, it allocates space again like the disk is brand new, filling file after file. Hence, if one needs to delete everything on their hard drive it is always faster and a better option to format it.

Comparison between Delete and Format:

 

Delete

Format

Purpose

Removes data from system such as hard drive

Process of removal

Removes data one at a time

Removes all data together

Erasing data

Simply removes the file from directory

Actually erases the data

Recoverable

The files that are deleted can be recovered if not rewritten on

Files that are erased can be recovered

Time

Takes time to delete as it deletes single files

Is faster as it erases the whole thing

Image Courtesy: basicblogtips.com, lifehacker.com

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