How to Restore USB Drive to Full Capacity in Windows 10 or 11

Sometimes, your USB drive has free space, but you cannot use it. In this case, the best practice is to restore USB drive to full capacity. Please take care of your data.


By Ivy / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Why Your USB Drive Is Not Showing Up Full Capacity?

You may get frustrated when you find there is free space on your USB drive, but you cannot use it. Here are some potential causes resulting in USB drive not showing up the full capacity issue:

  • Formatting errors, such as faulty formatting methods or incorrect configuration, are a big cause of drive inaccessibility.
  • Windows only recognizes the first partition even if you divide it into multiple partitions, thus reducing the capacity.
  • Hide or unallocated space cause the USB drive not to show full capacity.
  • Some viruses did damage to your flash drive.
  • Physical damage to your USB drive might change its capacity, either shrink or extend and make it inaccessible.

How to Restore USB Drive to Full Capacity in Windows 10 or 11

You can only replace your USB flash drive if it has physical damage. If not, try to format it with a compatible file system, such as NTFS, FAT32, FAT16, etc. Note this process will erase data on the disk. Please be sure your important data are safe.

Method 1: Restore USB Drive Back to Full Capacity via CMD

Step 1. Search cmd in the taskbar, select the top result, and Run as administrator.

Step 2. In the Command Prompt window, type diskpart and press Enter. It will launch this command line utility.

Step 3. Then, type list disk and press Enter to view all the available drives.

Step 4. Type select disk # and press Enter to select your USB drive. Replace "#" with the disk number of your flash drive.

Step 5. Type clean and press Enter to delete the entire disk and data onit.

Step 6. Type create partition primary and press Enter to create a new partition.

Step 7. Finally, type format fs=ntfs quick or format fs=fat32 quickand press Enter. It will format the newly created partition to the FAT32 file system. 

Format RAW Drive to NTFS

Method 2: Restore USB Flash Disk Back to Full Capacity in File Explore

Step 1. Go to File Explorer through taskbar. Locate and right-click your flash disk, select Format.

Step 2. In the Format window, it will display the capacity, file system, etc. Just leave them as default or select a preferred file system.

Windows Quick Format

Step 3. Then, click Start and Yes to format your flash disk quickly. To erase the disk thoroughly, uncheck the Quick Format option.

Method 3: Restore Flash Drive to Full Capacity in Disk Management

Step 1. Search for disk management in the taskbar and select Run as administrator.

Step 2. Locate and right-click on the USB drive, then select Format.

Step 3. In general, you just need to select a file system and click OK. It will perform a quick format automatically and give you a chance to recover deleted files if it is there.

RAW File System to NTFS

Step 4. To format this disk completely, uncheck the Perform a quick format option. It will run a full format and mark bad sectors as unused space.

Step 5. Wait for the process to reach 100%, and your USB drive will be formatted to its original state, regaining full capacity.

How to Recover Deleted Important Files from USB Drive 

If you format a disk without backup, but find there are some important data, try to employ one powerful data recovery software like MyRecover to get them back quickly. The following are key features of this software:

  • Recover files lost in any scenario, such as accidental deletion, formatting, virus infection, corrupted disk, etc.
  • Supports a wide range of file types, surpassing 200+ file formats. So you can use it to recover deleted Word/Excel/PPT documents, JPG/X3F/HEIF images, WMV/MXF/MP4 videos, and any common file types.
  • Multiple devices compatible: It is able to recover deleted files from USB drives, external hard disks, SD cards, etc.
  • Complete recovery: With two advanced scanning methods, you can find as many files as possible and recover them completely without losing their quality or corruption.
  • No technical expertise required and novice friendly. 

Now please download and install this professional data recovery software. Compatible with all versions of Windows systems (32bit and 64 bit), including Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, etc, and Windows Server.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. On the main page of MyRecover, hover the mouse over the USB drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.

Select Partition to Scan

Step 2. It will run Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically to search and display all the deleted or lost files, such as Word documents. To locate them quickly,  use the Filter feature or go to the original location in the left panel.


Step 3. Then, select the deleted Word documents and click Recover x files to retrieve your files. You will then be asked to select a location. Please select a new location instead of the original location to prevent potential data overwriting.



  • The restore button will display the number of selected files and their full size. You can use it to determine the integrity of the recovered files.
  • You can recover deleted files in Windows 10 or 11 for free, up to 500MB. To recover all files, please upgrade to the advanced editions.
  • In addition, you still can use this software to recover deleted files in Windows Server 2012, 2016, 2019, etc.

What If Your USB Drive Is Used on Mac or Linux?

Similarly, you can choose to format the disk on Mac or Linux. But the method varies on different systems.

Restore USB Flash Disk Back to Full Capacity on Mac

Step 1. Go to Applications > Utilities and open Disk Utility.

Disk Utility

Step 2. Select your USB drive and then Erase.

Step 3. Select MS-DOS (FAT) format and Master Boot Record scheme.


Step 4. Then, click Erase. Be sure there are no important data. Because this process cannot be undone.

Restore USB Flash Disk Back to Full Capacity or Linux

Step 1. Open a terminal. Type sudo su and press Enter to use fdisk utility.

Step 2. Type fdisk -l to list all the available disks.

Step 3. Type fdisk /dev/sdx to select your USB drive. Replace x with your drive letter.

Step 4. Type d to delete a partition. If there are multiple partitions, please type the disk number to select it.

Step 5. Type d again to delete another partition.

Step 6. Type n to create a new partition.

Step 7. Type p to make this partition primary.

Step 8. Type 1 to make the first partition.

Step 9. Type Enter twice to accept the default first and last cylinder.

Step 10. Type w to write new partition information to this disk and mkfs.vfat -F 32 /dev/sdx1. Replace x with your USB stick drive letter.


By following the methods outlined above, you can easily restore USB drive to full capacity in Windows 10 or 11. Also, there are methods for Mac or Linux users. Note the formatting process will delete all the data, whether it’s recoverable or not, depending on the formatting methods you used.

Try reliable data recovery software to recover data if you use a quick format method. Instead, if you use the full format method, you can only seek help from data recovery service. The price is quite high. So please make sure your deleted data are really important.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.