How to check partition style (GPT or MBR) on Windows 11

Is your computer using MBR or GPT partition style on the drive? Here's how to find out on Windows 11.

Windows 11 check MBR or GPT
Windows 11 check MBR or GPT

On Windows 11, a partition can use one of two styles, including Master Boot Record (MBR) or GUID Partition Table (GPT), and in this guide, you will learn the steps to determine this information on your installation.

A partition defines the space where the data will be stored on the hard drive, and it stores the instructions to make the partition bootable (active). In the world of Windows, you have two partition styles including MBR and GPT. The “Master Boot Record” is the legacy style that is more widely supported. However, it has some limitations, such as support for drives of up to 2TB of storage per portion and up to four primary partitions.

On the other hand, the “GUID Partition Table” is the newer partition style that overcomes the limitations of the legacy style, which includes support for larger capacity drives and an unlimited number of partitions. Also, GPT provides some additional benefits, such as integrity check and self-recovery, and partition and boot data are stored in multiple places within the drive.

On Windows 11, the main drive should already be set to the GPT style, because it’s a 64-bit version and as per the hardware requirements, the computer should already be using Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) firmware. However, it could be times, when you may have to work with secondary drives that could use either style for the partition.

This guide will teach you the steps to determine if a hard drive is using the MBR or GPT partition style on Windows 11.

Check MBR or GPT from Settings on Windows 11

To check if a drive is using GPT or MBR partition style on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 11.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click the Storage tab.

  4. Under the “Storage management” section, click on Advanced storage settings.

  5. Click the Disks & volumes setting.

    Disks & volumes

  6. Click the Properties button for the drive (not the partition).

    Drive properties

  7. Under the “Partition Style” section, confirm whether the drive is using GPT or MBR.

    Windows 11 check partition style

Once you complete the steps, you will know the partition style of the drive on Windows 11.

Check MBR or GPT from Disk Management

To check the partition style on Windows 11 from Disk Management, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Create and format hard disk partitions and click the top result to open the Disk Management 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 find out if the hard 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.

Check MBR or GPT from Command Prompt

To determine if the drive uses GPT or MBR with 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 the asterisk character (*) is missing, the drive is using the MBR scheme.

    Command Prompt check MBR or GPT

After you complete the steps, you will know which partition style the volume uses on Windows 11.

Check MBR or GPT from PowerShell

To check whether the drive uses MBR or GPT with PowerShell, 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, you can determine if the drive uses the MBR or GPT scheme.

    PowerShell check MBR or GPT

Once you complete the steps, you will have an understanding of the partition style that the hard drive is using on Windows 11.

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. Email him at [email protected].