How to check if drive uses GPT or MBR partition style on Windows 10

Drives can use two types of partition styles, and in this guide, you'll learn how to determine which style they're using on Windows 10.

Windows 10 MBR and GPT details
Windows 10 MBR and GPT details / Image: Mauro Huculak
  • To check if the drive uses GPT or MBR on Windows 10, open “Disk Management,” right-click the disk, choose “Properties,” open the “Volume” tab, confirm the “Master Boot Record (MBR)” or “GUID Partition Table (GPT)” style.
  • On Command Prompt (admin), run the “Diskpart,” then the “List Disk” commands, and confirm the partition style.
  • Run the “Get-Disk” command on PowerShell (admin) to determine if the disk uses MBR or GPT.

On Windows 10, you can find two partition style types, including the legacy “Master Boot Record” (MBR) or the newer “GUID Partition Table (GPT).” A partition describes how data is stored on the hard drive and its boundaries (start and end), and it includes the instructions to make the partition bootable.

MBR vs. GPT

The Master Boot Record (MBR) is the older style available on Windows 10, and it is the most compatible, but it has some limitations, such as support for drives of up to 2TB of storage per portion.

On the other hand, the GUID Partition Table (GPT) is the newer style that overcomes the limitations, which includes support for larger capacity drivers and an unlimited number of partitions. In addition, other advantages include data integrity check and self-recovery, and partition and boot data are stored in multiple places within the drive.

When to use GPT or MBR

You should use GPT:

  • Windows 10 32-bit version.
  • Legacy BIOS (Basic Input Output System).
  • Small drives (usually) under 2TB.

You should use MBR:

  • Windows 10 64-bit version.
  • Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) firmware.
  • Large drives over 2TB.

In this guide, I will teach you how to determine if a hard drive uses the MBR or GPT partition style.

Check MBR or GPT partition style from Disk Management

To check the partition style of a drive Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 10.

  2. Search for Disk Management and click the top result to open the app.

  3. Right-click the disk (not the partition) and select the Properties option.

    Disk Management properties

  4. Click the Volumes tab.

  5. Check the “Partition style” field to confirm if the drive is formatted using the “Master Boot Record (MBR)” or “GUID Partition Table (GPT)” style.

    Check MBR or GPT

Once you complete the steps, you will know which partition style the drive uses on Windows 10.

Check MBR or GPT partition style from Command Prompt

To determine if the drive uses GPT or MBR from Command Prompt, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following commands to determine the drive partition scheme and press Enter on each line:

    Diskpart
    List disk  
  4. If the drive uses “GPT,” you’ll see an asterisk character (*) under the “Gpt” column. If you don’t see the asterisk character (*), the drive uses the “MBR” scheme.

    Command Prompt check MBR or GPT

After you complete the steps, you will know which partition style the drive uses on Windows 10.

Check MBR or GPT partition style from PowerShell

To use PowerShell to determine whether the drive uses MBR or GPT, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following commands to determine the drive partition scheme and press Enter:

    Get-Disk
  4. Under the “Partition Style” column, determine if the drive uses the MBR or GPT scheme.

    PowerShell check MBR or GPT

Once you complete the steps, you will understand the partition style the hard drive uses on Windows 10.

Update February 6, 2024: This guide has been updated to ensure accuracy and include additional details.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.