How to Erase a CD-RW in Windows 7

Written by michael roennevig Google
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How to Erase a CD-RW in Windows 7
You may not be able to wipe your disc if it's damaged. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

The whole point of shelling out on CD-RW discs is that you can erase their data and use them again. If you don't want to perform this action, you can save yourself some money by sticking to CD-R discs. If you have a CD-RW disc you want to wipe using your Windows 7 computer, check it to make sure it's not harbouring any files you wouldn't want to lose. Once you've erased your disc's contents, it'll be gone for good.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Insert your CD-RW into the disc tray of your Windows 7 device. If an "AutoPlay" Explorer window appears, close this down, unless you want to import your disc's contents using one of the methods displayed. Then click on the Windows "Start" button in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen and select "Computer" from your "Start Menu." You'll be presented with information on your hard disk drives and any devices connected to your computer with removable storage, including your CD/DVD burner.

  2. 2

    Double-click on the icon representing your CD-RW disc in the "Devices with removable storage" section. Review the content on your disc to make sure it doesn't contain anything you want to keep. If it does, open a folder and drag and drop the files you want to hold onto. These will be copied to your hard drive.

  3. 3

    Click on the "Back" button in the top right-hand corner of your Explorer window and hit "Erase this disc," making sure that your CD-RW icon is still highlighted. The "Erase disc wizard" will appear. Check the "Close this wizard after the disc is erased" box and then "Next." Windows will then wipe your disc. You'll be presented with a progress bar while this happens. Don't interrupt this operation. If you do, your disc could become unusable.

  4. 4

    Double-click on the CD-RW icon in your "Computer" Explorer window when the erase wizard has run its course. Select the option to use your disc "Like a USB flash drive" to format it. You'll then be free to use your CD-RW disc as though it were box-fresh, provided you've taken good care of it.

Tips and warnings

  • You can erase individual files from your CD-RW disc by right-clicking on them and selecting "Delete."

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