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Solved: How to Find and Recover Missing Space on Hard Drive in Windows

Updated on Dec 12, 2018 by Brithny to Partition Manager

Missing storage space on internal or external hard drive, or SSD? Is the hard drive not showing correct capacity? Read this page to find and recover the missing space on your hard drive in Windows 7/8/10!

Missing space on your hard drive

There are different capacities of the hard disk, including 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and so on. However, when checking the capacity of the newly bought hard disk in Windows Disk Management or by adding space of each drive, we may find the real disk size is always smaller than those manufacturers advertise. What's the reason? Where is the missing space?

In fact, for hard disk manufacturers 1 GB = 1000 MB, 1 MB = 1000 KB, and 1KB = 1000 B (byte), but actually 1 GB = 1024 MB, 1 MB = 1024 KB, and 1 KB = 1024 B. Therefore a 500 GB hard disk for manufacturers is just 465GB for user. Therefore, around 7% disk space missing on a hard drive is reasonable.

What takes up the missing space

What if the windows lose too much space on hard drive, PS3 hard drive, XBOX 360 and portable hard drive? To find out the missing storage on the hard disk drive or SSD, we need to first figure out what occupies the missing space. In general, there about 3 situations that cause windows missing space on hard drive.

Hidden partitions take up space

Most computers and laptops come with the hidden partition, such as OEM partition, recovery partition, and Microsoft reserved partition. You can see hidden partitions in Disk Management, or delete OEM partition if you have backed up the system.

System protection takes up much space

System protection is a feature that regularly creates and saves information about your computer's system files and settings. It creates restore points just before significant system events, for example, install a program or device driver. If the restore points set to half the drive capacity, much space will be taken. Check the “System Volume Information” folder to view the data.

There is unpartitioned hard disk space

A newly bought hard disk cannot be used to save data unless we partition it. To be specific, we need to create partitions on the disk. Only partitioned space can be visible in Windows Explorer, but we can see unpartitioned space or unallocated space in Disk Management.

Although you have found what occupies the missing space, you may want to know the way to recover the missing space and get the real capacity of your hard drive.

How to recover missing space and restore the hard drive to full capacity

Here we have two useful methods to make the hard disk shows its full capacity and regain the missing space for you.

Method 1. Recover the unallocated space manually

1. Right-click the unallocated space and select “New Simple Volume” to create a new partition with that space. You can create multiple partitions using this space, just choose the size properly.

manually recover the missing capacity od the hard drive

2. Alternatively, right-click the partition before the unallocated space and select “Extend Volume” to extend the partition to this space.


If you have a problem in partitioning the unallocated space manually, you can use a free partition software to finish the work easily.

Method 2. Restore missing space by using a partition tool

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 Windows 10 is supported


Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master

On the main window, right-click on the unallocated space on your hard drive or external storage device and select "Create".

Create partition on unallocated space

Step 2: Adjust the new partition size, file system, label, etc.

Set the size, partition label, drive letter, file system, etc. for the new partition and click "OK" to continue.

Set up new partition

Step 3: Confirm to create a new partition

Click on the "Execute Operation" button and confirm to create a new partition by clicking "Apply".

Confirm and keep all changes