How To Recover Storage On A USB Device

Many of us must have probably run into this problem a few times where your flash drives' capacity gradually reduces with each use.

While USB flash drives are great for storage, they have multiple uses too. I've used mine for anything from exchanging media files or using them as a bootable device for ISO files.

It wasn't until my 8 GB flash drive started reading 1,7 GB capacity where I sought a solution that didn't involve disposing of it altogether. After fervent Googling and trial and error of different approaches, I found a really simple solution. It would seem that an issue with the partitions left most of the space on the drive "inaccessible".

We are going to reset all the partitions on the drive to a single one. This will result in a hard format so please make sure that all your remaining data, corrupted or otherwise, is backed up. Unfortunately, you will need to run Windows for this particular method to work.


Step One

In the Start Menu, search for and launch DISKPART.

Step Two


list disk

to see all current disk volumes on your system.

Step Three

Plug in your USB drive and type list disk again. Write down the new volume listed.

Step Four

Please pay careful attention to this step so as to avoid wiping the incorrect partition.

select disk #
where # corresponds to your USB drive’s volume number.

Step Five



to wipe the volume of all partitions.

Final Step


create partition primary

to make a new partition with all unallocated space.



to finish.

I hope this method works for you as it did for me.
If not, or there are any other methods I missed, please share in the comments below.