How to Remove a Windows Boot Camp Partition from a Mac
Boot Camp allows you to dual-boot between a Windows partition and OS X on a Mac. Dual booting multiple OS’s is incredibly useful and has plenty of purposes, but if you decide you no longer need to run Windows on a Mac you’ll probably want to remove the Windows Boot Camp partition so that you can recover the drive space. Some users wind up formatting the Mac drive and restoring from a Time Machine backup, but that’s not necessary, instead you can choose to remove only the Windows Boot Camp partition while preserving OS X untouched.
Before beginning, be sure to back up the Mac with Time Machine. This makes it easy to recover everything in the unusual event something goes wrong. It’s also important to remember that this not only removes the Windows installation, but also any files or apps that were stored on the Windows partition, so be sure to backup anything critical on the Windows side of things beforehand too.
Done backing up? Great, here’s how to remove a Boot Camp partition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 while maintaining the original Mac OS X installation:
- If you haven’t already, reboot the Mac back into OS X by holding down the Option key and selecting “Macintosh HD” – you can’t remove the Boot Camp partition from Windows
- Open the “Boot Camp Assistant” app, found within the /Applications/Utilities/ folder of the Mac hard drive
- Click on “Continue” and check the box for “Install or remove Windows 7 or later version” – be sure all other options are unchecked, then click “Continue” again – not the language may vary slightly depending on the version of Boot Camp and OS X
- Choose “Restore disk to a single Mac OS partition” and click “Continue” again
- Confirm the changes at the “Restore Disk” screen and choose the “Restore” button to start the removal process
- When finished removing Windows, you can quit out of Boot Camp Assistant
Basically what this is doing is removing the Windows partition and repartitioning the Mac, similar to what you can do from Disk Utility. The major difference from going that route alone is that by going through Boot Camp Assistant, it also removes the Boot Camp utilities that aid Windows dual booting and the accompanying boot loader, providing for a cleaner removal process.
If “Install or remove Windows 7 or later version” is greyed out and the check box can not be selected, you probably have already messed with the partition table or haven’t installed the latest Boot Camp drivers. If that is the case, simply resize the boot volume to accommodate the available space, or remove the remaining unnecessary partition from the Disk Utility apps Partitions panel.