Uninstall Linux and GRUB from Windows 8 Dual-Boot

Linux is free, open source and a great operating system, but it will not suit each one of us. So, if you installed Linux (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Kali or any other) alongside Windows 8  just to check it out, here’s how to fully remove it from your system and boot Windows 8 normally without entering GRUB. If you don’t know what GRUB is, it is the default boot loader for majority of the Linux distros available today.
PS: This tutorial is only for a dual-boot setup in which you installed Linux in its own partition and GRUB was pushed to the MBR.

1. Removing the Linux Partitions

The first thing to do is to remove the partition(s) where Linux is installed. You may either choose to use those partitions as a separate drive or else extend the volume of your existing drives to use up the space generated by deleting the partitions.

Be sure to backup your data and delete only the Linux partitions. If you delete a partition with important data on it, it might become impossible to recover.
  1. Boot into your Windows install and type diskmgmt.msc. Hit enter.
  2. Once here, identify your Linux partitions (be very careful and verify if you’re not sure). They should usually be in the ext4 or ext3 format.disk management windows 8
  3. Right click on the Linux partition and choose Delete volume. Repeat this step if you have more than one Linux partition.
  4. Depending on your requirement, you can use this free space hence generated to extend another partition or else create a new partition.

2. Removing GRUB and reverting to Windows boot loader

Now we need to remove Linux’s GRUB boot loader and revert to the standard loader of Windows 8 with no OS selection menu. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Creating a USB Recovery Media – Skip if you have a Windows 8 installation media
    1. Boot into your Windows 8 install. Open the start screen, type recoverydrive.exe and hit enter.create recovery drive windows 8
    2. Plug in your USB Drive and click on next.
    3. Choose the USB Drive from Available drives and click next.
    4. Click on create.
  2. Restart your PC with the Windows installation media or Recovery media selected as the first boot device.
  3. When Windows setup loads up, choose Repair your computer.
  4. Click on Troubleshoot on the Choose an option page.
  5. Choose Advanced Options and finally Command Prompt. Type the following command in the command prompt window:
    bootrec.exe /fixmbr

    cmd bootrec fixmbr

  6. After it is successfully done, restart your system and it should be good to go with Windows booting up normally 🙂

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26 Responses to Uninstall Linux and GRUB from Windows 8 Dual-Boot

  1. Mayank June 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    This is not working for me.
    After I’ve done this, it gives me a screen with
    grub>
    waiting for command.
    That means grub has not been removed completely.
    What should be done now?

    • Leo July 4, 2015 at 9:03 am #

      I have the same problem. Bartender, can you help us out?

      • Leo July 4, 2015 at 9:04 am #

        Narender, not bartender.

        • Narender Singh July 4, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

          Oh. I know how auto-corrects call me Bartender LOL. Anyways, Leo, did you repair your Windows installation by following the steps?

    • Chezzy August 14, 2015 at 7:28 am #

      I had the same problem but the last answer (efibootmgr) on the page below fixed the problem. Just remember to change the number 3 in the last command to match the number next the HD Ubuntu install on your system.

      http://askubuntu.com/questions/245623/deleting-grub2-which-is-placed-in-sda-and-how-to-fix-two-ubuntu-entry-in-efi-bo

      • dimitar July 9, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

        thank you! this helped me solve my issue!

    • Jdawg December 10, 2015 at 11:20 am #

      I found that making sure Secure Boot (if your computer has it) makes it boot normally

  2. mike July 2, 2015 at 10:13 am #

    Thank you, for me the procedure worked fine. Nevertheless I noticed that a small fraction of the deleted partition space has not been freed. So I assume that the delete was not completely successful.

    But my computer is booting again with the Windows boot loader. If I have time I will have a closer look again.

  3. Manojay Kulkarni September 16, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    I have Dell Inspiron3542.Following method works for me.
    1.Enter in System Setup by pressing F2.
    2.Select “File Browsrr Del Boot Option” &press Enter.
    It will Show list of all partitions on hard Disk
    3.Select Linux(BackTrack) Partition You want to Delete & Hit Enter
    4.Now save all Settings by pressing F10.
    Now your PC will restart and Windows will start normally.

  4. kxaman October 5, 2015 at 2:05 am #

    I deleted kali linux swap partion and ext4 jurnalin partion and merged the free space with a partition. Then shut the pc down without removing GRUB…
    After starting then, I see : no such directory
    grub rescue>
    has it any solution?

    • Narender Singh October 5, 2015 at 10:56 pm #

      You need to fix the Windows loader using a recovery disk or use your UEFI options (if supported) to temporarily boot into Windows.

  5. MrTrever October 20, 2015 at 5:34 am #

    I have another problem, i cant create a recovery disk using de tool from windows (in another pc), and i cant go to my computer because its just blocked at grub 🙁 help me pls

    • pete December 22, 2015 at 1:11 am #

      If you already uninstalled the Linux system, install it again. Then, from Linux, update grub (you can google the specifics). The Windows boot manager entry should again be visible in the grub menu at boot.

  6. joeWindow January 5, 2016 at 12:16 am #

    Thanks! I followed this and can confirm it works almost exactly the same with Windows 10. A few prompts differ, but the steps are the same and the USB recovery UI is shockingly good.

    • Garrett January 29, 2016 at 7:53 am #

      I also have Win 10 and it worked just fine. #nomoreGRUB haha.

  7. TheGreatMan January 18, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

    Those people stuck in Grub prompt can use these 4 commands to get temporary access to thier windows partition. My windows partition 0 is in hard-disk hd0, so I have the following commands:

    grub> rootnoverify (hd0,0)
    grub> makeactive
    grub> chainloder + 1
    grub> boot

    change (hd0,0) to the appropriate partition.

    After which, you need ot fix MBR for which you can use ‘Fix the Windows Boot Loader’ topic in the following link –
    http://www.howtogeek.com/141818/how-to-uninstall-a-linux-dual-boot-system-from-your-computer/

    • Tussie_nickname August 5, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

      I don’t want to take chances. This is my main computer. (kind of, i use my Mac)
      Happened to me before too. Put install win 10 usb or dvd in, chose language, then click repair computer, also then click something like startup fix, then wait. All done later!

      TIP: Linux isos are smaller than Windows.

      Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: 1.5GB
      Windows 10: 4.9 GB

  8. Garrett January 29, 2016 at 7:51 am #

    This worked for me. Thank you!!!

  9. Glen D February 7, 2016 at 7:58 am #

    I was able to fix by changing my default boot loader order in my system BIOS. About to wipe Ubuntu and grub partitions now.

  10. arunganesh April 11, 2016 at 12:47 am #

    Thank you so much……
    It really helps me.

  11. Ed June 20, 2016 at 3:12 am #

    worked for me too, using windows 10, but I had to do an extra step (7): advanced options > startup repair: fix problems that keep windows from loading

  12. Jack August 20, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    Why don’t you just go to “boot/efi/efi” and you will see files like “kali” or “ubuntu” and then just remove the file .

  13. Captain canada October 21, 2016 at 8:53 am #

    I installed Linux on a thumb drive, I just want grub gone, not everyone has a windows 8.1 disc, doubt those exist anyway

    • Narender Singh October 21, 2016 at 9:19 am #

      Since you need to replace the windows leader back, you need the disk. You just need to create a recovery media which is of a few MBs.

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