How to Erase CD/DVD Media in Windows 10

Back in the days when blank CD-R and DVD-R disks were a little costlier than they should have been, I used the re-usable CD-RW disks to write and re-write the data many-many times. The re-writable CD-RW and DVD-RW disks can be erased and used once again just like a regular USB disk. In the past, I have used such disks to create system repair disks, bootable antivirus rescue disks, Linux installation disks and so on. Although the rewritable optical disks are not as popular as they once were, Windows 10 still supports erasing and reusing such disks. Here is how you can erase a CR-RW/DVD-RW disk in Windows 10 and re-use it once again:

  1. Insert the CD-RW or DVD-RW disk in the optical drive of your Windows 10 PC and wait for it to be recognized.
  2. Open Windows File Explorer from its taskbar shortcut, select This PC from the left-side and then select the CD/DVD drive icon.Windows 10 Erase CD-RW DVD-RW disks
  3. Expand the ribbon-bar, switch to the Manage tab and then click on the Erase this disc icon.
  4. Click Next to start the disk erase wizard. Only the re-writable disks can be erased, otherwise the wizard will fail.Windows 10 Erase CD-RW DVD-RW disks
  5. As the disk erase wizard starts to delete the files and their file records, you will be shown a progress bar. This will take a few minutes. In the end, you will be shown a confirmation and you will have a blank disk – ready to be used once again.Windows 10 Erase CD-RW DVD-RW disks

Windows 10 provides full support for all kinds of hardware. It includes in-built support for erasing re-writable optical disks (CD-RW or DVD-RW) although your optical drive should also support writing to these disks as well.


  1. I have a windows PC from Dell. The drive says it’s a DVD RW drive. I also have an external Memorex DVD Rewritable drive.
    I try to erase and re-use DVD RW disks and no matter what I do, the “erase this disk” button is grayed out. I have tried every program there is and none of them will erase a rewritable disk.
    The message always says “The disk is not erasable” or ” The drive doesn’t support this” It is a DVD with RW printed on it, and the drive says it’s a rewritable drive.

    I also have a 2 year old Dell laptop with Windows 10, and it won’t allow rewriting either.

    I can write a new blank DVD RW all I want to.

    1. Use ImgBurn from Choose any mode like “Write Image to Disc”. On the side information you will see “Erasable: Yes” for a RW disc. At the bottom you can also see the capabilities of your DVD writer. If it fails to show RW in either case, then it could be hardware or software driver problem.

      Aging is also a big factor. Many times the discs have become too old and cannot be erased or written. The dye on the CD/DVD is already chemically altered over time and cannot be burned anymore.

  2. no such option in Windows 10 soo, what program have you added?? The Erase DVD RW is not available!!!!

    1. The option appears only for RW discs. Just checked with CD-RW in Windows 10 version 1803 – it is working. Perhaps your CD/DVD is not being recognized as RW.

  3. what exactly is the difference between cd-r and cd-rw?
    as others have stated, there is an issue with a grayed out erase option. much appreciated any help at all. I’m trying to make a backup (had it working last night, then someone stopped it in the middle and so I tried restoring the disc and now it’s memory is completely full). >:(
    really hating Microsoft right now. so much for Windows 10 being “the best OS EVER GIT GUD WINDOWS HAT3RZ”

    1. CD-RW can be erased and used again, while CD-R is one-time write only disk. But even in CD-RW if writing is interrupted during lead-in/lead-out, then it becomes useless. This is too much headache and the reason why people have moved on to USB pen-drives and memory cards.

      1. Makes sense, thanks. Yeah I just have left over discs nobody evet used because my brother has my 16g flash drive, at this point I’m not even sure that’d be enough memory because I’ve already filled 4 discs before it quit out on me and the backup was still around 30 percent done… will probably have to invest in a few flash drives if it can be backed up over multiple drives

        1. If you want to backup large data, then I suggest you get a portable external hard drive. It connects via USB cable, gives large capacity and great data transfer rates. You can find them on Amazon. They cost a bit more, but will give large capacity and last for years.

  4. Hi, I tried to erase my DVD-R using file explorer according to the steps you laid out however, my DVD-R has a “music” sub folder that keeps getting created when I burn the DVD-R using Window Media Player. I don’t see how to remove the sub folder since the erase option is grayed out. Am I missing something? I’d like to be able to reuse the DVD-R. And to burn my files into the root directory on the DVD-R. Any help you can give me would be much appreciated because I’m stuck for the time being. Thanks.

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