How to restore GRUB Bootloader in Ubuntu

In this article I’ll show you how to restore your bootloader, your grub loader that allows you to switch between Windows and Ubuntu – now the bootloader or the grub loader can disappear for a number of reasons. If you have Ubuntu running on your computer but you decide to install Windows after you install Ubuntu, the Bootloader will be erased. Once you turn off your computer and then turn it back on, you will be landing on Windows !

That’s a serious issue because we want to be able to switch between Ubuntu and Windows.

In order to fix this issue we would need to create a bootable USB flash drive or hard drive of Ubuntu. Visit the Ubuntu website and download your Ubuntu flavor type. It is recommended to download the 64 bit version though. The download will take a while…

Read: Best Partition Managers for Linux Users

In the meantime we’re going to download the program called universal USB installer here. Once you have downloaded the USB installer file, click on it and then press Yes on any prompts.

Now if the Ubuntu file has finished downloading, you can select the Linux distribution from the drop-down. Make sure your USB is plugged in . Specify your USB drive as shown below and check the box “We will format [your USB drive ] as FAT32” :

Make sure beforehand to back up any important files. Click on Create and press Yes. We are creating a USB because we want to get into Ubuntu Bootloader and try to fix it so that we get a boot menu to switch between Windows and Ubuntu.

Read: How to Access Recovery Mode in Ubuntu Linux 22.04

Wait about 15-20 minutes as it completes the creation of the USB. Now you can restart your computer and make sure to open the boot menu and boot into your USB storage device [make sure it has the priority as shown below] :

Read: How to install and uninstall applications on Ubuntu ? A Beginner’s guide

Ubuntu boot repair

Once you are ready to make your selection, choose ‘try Ubuntu without installing’ and wait until it loads up. This will bring you to a trial of Ubuntu to a version where basically it lives on that USB storage device. Open up a terminal and type in the command :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair

And then

sudo apt-get update

and finally write :

sudo apt-get install boot-repair

This latter will simply install boot repair. So go ahead and type in the command :


This will open the boot repair program (see below). You would need to wait a little until it loads up.

Boot repair Ubuntu

Read: How to fix Ubuntu boot issues

Now click on Recommend Repair .This will take a few minutes…

You will get a popup window asking you to boot up your computer. So go ahead and restart your machine. In the boot menu you will hopefully find Ubuntu along with your windows installations.

Customizing GRUB Bootloader

In this section, we are going to customize the grub loader so that we would be able to add our own menu entries and delete duplicates.

So go ahead and log in into Ubuntu. Open up a terminal and type in the command

sudo fdisk – l

This will show us all the available partitions on the current device. An example output is shown below:

Now issue the command :

cd /boot/grub/

And then

sudo gedit grub.cfg

Which will open up the file grub.cfg. Now we look up for a windows menu entry. One of the partitions should contain the windows files which you can check by displaying its content. Below you can see two windows menu entries :

Here is an example output with a Fedora installed :

You can delete the entry you wish to remove by making a selection as shown above. This will delete the corresponding menu entry. You can also remove other menu entries that you don’t really use . The next time you reboot, you will notice in the boot menu that the entry is gone.

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amin nahdy

Amin Nahdy, an aspiring software engineer and a computer geek by nature as well as an avid Ubuntu and open source user. He is interested in information technology especially Linux based ecosystem as well as Windows and MacOS. He loves to share and disseminate knowledge to others in a transparent and responsible way.

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