How to fix USB flash drive showing less space than actual

Learn how to fix your USB drive when it's showing less space than actual on Windows 10 and 11 with this step-by-step tutorial.

Is your USB flash drive suddenly showing less GB in disk space than actual?

Did your 16 GB or 8 GB USB pen drive suddenly became 3 GB, 0.99 GB, 64 MB, 30 MB, or 4 MB?

Is your USB pen drive showing unallocated space?

Learn how to fix these problems without using special software. You can fix these problems using two tools already built into Windows 10 and 11.

The steps in this tutorial work for all USB pen drive brands, such as Kingston, SanDisk, Toshiba, Lexar, HP, PNY, Transcend, Freecom, and all other brands.

Restore USB flash disk back to full capacity

Important! Copy all data (documents, pictures, videos, music, etc.) from the USB flash drive to another USB pen drive or hard drive because all data will be erased.

Warning! Diskpart is a very powerful tool. You need to be 1000% sure that you select the right disk because if you delete the partition on the wrong disk you might delete the Microsoft Windows partition or another important partition.

Warning! Disk Management is a very powerful tool. You need to be 1000% sure that you select the right disk because if you change, format, or delete the partition on the wrong disk you might delete the Windows partition or another important partition.

1. Open Windows Command Prompt by clicking on the Windows start menu button Windows icon, typing cmd, and then clicking on Command Prompt when it appears in the search results.

You can also open Command Prompt by right-clicking on the Windows start menu button and then clicking on Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows Terminal (Admin).

You can also open Command Prompt by right-clicking on the Windows start menu button Windows icon, clicking on Run, typing cmd, and then pressing Enter or clicking on OK.

2. Type the following command:


diskpart

Open Diskpart

3. Press the Enter key on your keyboard.

4. Type the following command:


list disk

List Disk Diskpart Command

5. Press Enter.

6. Now you will see a list with all the drives of your computer and the USB drive that's connected to your computer. Take a good look and make sure you know exactly which one is your USB pen drive. In the example on this page, is Disk 1 my USB flash drive, but this doesn't mean that Disk 1 is also your USB thumb drive.

7. Type the following command:


select disk X

(replace X with the disk number of your USB drive)

Select Disk Diskpart Command

8. Press Enter.

9. Type the following command:


list partition

10. Press Enter.

Now you will see the partition(s) on the selected drive.

11. Type the following command:


select partition X

(replace X with the partition number you want to select)

Select Partition Diskpart Command

12. Press Enter.

13. Type the following command:


delete partition

Delete Partition Diskpart Command

14. Press Enter.

If you get the following message: Diskpart successfully deleted the selected partition, then continue with the following steps.

But:

If you get the following message: Cannot delete a protected partition without the force protected parameter set, then visit this page from HowToGeek (link opens in a new tab).

15. You can now close the Command Prompt or Windows Terminal window.

16. Open Windows Disk Management by right-clicking on the Windows start menu button Windows icon and then clicking on Disk Management.

You can also open Disk Management by typing disk management in the Windows search bar and then clicking on Create and format hard disk partitions when it appears in the search results.

You can also open Disk Management by right-clicking on the Windows start menu button Windows icon, clicking on Run, typing diskmgmt.msc, and then pressing Enter or clicking on OK.

17. Locate your drive.

Usually, it's easy to locate, because it will be shown as Removable with unallocated disk space.

18. Right-click on your USB drive and choose New Simple Volume.

Create New Volume in Windows Disk Management

A New Simple Volume Wizard window will appear.

19. Click Next.

20. Check if the maximum disk size is selected and click Next.

Disk Management Check Maximum Disk Space

21. Select a drive letter (optional) and click Next.

22. Make sure FAT32 is selected as File system.

23. At Volume label, you enter a label name.

Disk Management Format Options

24. Click on Next.

25. Click on Finish.

The Windows Disk Management tool will create a new volume and hopefully your problem is solved.