EaseUS Partition Master

How to Restore USB Drive Back to Full Capacity [100% Working]

Formatting USB flash drive is the best way to restore USB flash drive to full capacity. Try it to reclaim the lost or unallocated space when the USB flash drive is not showing full capacity.

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Updated on Apr 22, 2024

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
On Windows 10/8/7

Step 1. Select the USB drive to format. Connect the USB drive or pen drive to your computer...Full steps

On Mac OS X & macOS Step 1. Connect the wrong-size USB flash drive to your Mac and go to Applications > Utilities...Full steps
On Linux

Step 1. Delete all partitions. Open a terminal and type sudo su...Full steps

Overview of USB flash drive not showing the full capacity

Sometimes, users may find that their USB flash drive is not showing full capacity. For example, you have a 16 GB USB flash drive, but Windows shows only 3 GB. The same issue can happen to other storage devices like hard drives, pen drives, memory cards, Micro SD cards, etc. When you happen to come across such a problem, how can you reclaim the lost space and restore the USB flash drive back to full capacity or original size? Don't worry, even if you have no reliable solution. After introducing how to restore the SD card back to full capacity in the last article, here on this page, we will continue discussing the reasons and fixes for USB flash drives not showing the full capacity issue. 

EaseUS Partition Master Professional, with its format feature, makes it easy for Windows users to get back to full capacity on their USB drives. Windows users can follow the guide below and get a try.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Mac users can also turn to Disk Utility with its ease feature below to fix this issue with success.

How to restore USB drive to full capacity

According to the mentioned causes that will possibly result in a USB drive losing some disk space, the solutions to restore the USB drive back to full capacity should vary on different operating systems. In the following, you'll learn a full guide to getting back a USB flash drive's full storage size on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Format USB to Full Size on Windows 10/8/7

As some bad sectors or corruption issues will also cause the flash drive, memory card, or external hard drive not to show its original size, it might help to fix a corrupted USB flash drive using CMD.

To restore the USB drive, pen drive, or flash drive back to full capacity, you can use a third-party USB format tool to reformat the flash drive. EaseUS Partition Master allows you to format the USB flash drive, hard drives, pen drive, memory card, and Micro SD card and recover the lost disk space or unallocated space when the disk shows the wrong capacity in Windows. 

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Step 1. Select the USB drive to format.

Connect the USB drive or pen drive to your computer. Download and launch EaseUS partition software. Right-click the USB drive you intend to format and choose "Format".

Step 2. Set the drive letter and file system on USB.

Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Step 3. Check "Yes" to confirm formatting USB.

Click "Yes" if you see the Warning window. If you have important data on it, back up the data in advance.

Step 4. Apply the changes.

Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button first, and then click "Apply" to format the USB drive.

Formatting will erase all the data. Please make sure that you have made a backup before trying to restore the USB drive, pen drive, or flash drive back to full capacity.

To restore the data on your USB drive, pen drive, or flash drive, follow these steps:

If command line is not your ideal choice, you can apply this command-line alternative tool - EaseUS CleanGenius. Use this one-click tool to fix the file system error on your hard drive.

Step 1. Download EaseUS CleanGenius on your computer for free.

Step 2. Run the software. Click "Optimization" on the left panel, and then choose "File Showing" . 

select the file showing option

Step 3. Go to "Choose drive" and select the drive with a file system error. Check the "Check and fix file system error" option and click "Execute".

fix file system

Step 4. Wait the EaseUS CleanGenius completes the repairing process. After that, click the "here" to view the result.

fix file system

Erase USB to Full Size On Mac OS X & macOS

Step 1. Connect the wrong-size USB flash drive to your Mac.

restore usb drive back to full capacity mac step 1

Step 2. Go to Applications > Utilities > Double click and open Disk Utility.

restore usb drive back to full capacity mac step 2

Step 3. Select your USB flash drive on the sidebar, and choose Erase.

Step 4. Rename the USB flash drive, choose the format as MS-DOS (FAT) for Format, and Master Boot Record for Scheme. Then click Erase.

restore usb drive back to full capacity mac step 3

On Linux

Step 1. Delete all partitions

  • Open a terminal and type sudo su.
  • Type fdisk -l and note your USB drive letter.
  • Type fdisk /dev/sdx (replacing x with your drive letter).
  • Type d to proceed to delete a partition.
  • Type 1 to select the 1st partition and press enter.
  • Type d to proceed to delete another partition (fdisk should automatically select the second partition).

Step 2. Create a new partition

  • Type n to make a new partition.
  • Type p to make this partition primary and press enter.
  • Type 1 to make this the first partition, and then press enter.
  • Press enter to accept the default first cylinder.
  • Press enter again to accept the default last cylinder.
  • Type w to write the new partition information to the USB disk.
  • Type mkfs.vfat -F 32 /dev/sdx1 (replacing x with your USB key drive letter).

If you think these solutions are helpful for you to restore your USB drive to full capacity, you can click the button below to share it with someone who needs it!


Why USB Flash Disk Showing the Wrong Capacity

When your USB flash drives or other removable disks are not showing the original size, you may wonder how it happens or where the lost capacity disappears. Generally speaking, there are various reasons that will mistakenly display the actual disk space of a flash drive or an external disk. For example:

  • It's made to be a bootable USB disk with a portable Windows operating system.
  • The flash drive has more than one partition on it. Windows will only recognize the first partition.
  • There is a hidden recovery partition or unallocated space that does not show up on the PC.
  • The 64GB or 128GB USB flash drive is formatted with an improper file system (FAT32) in Windows.
  • Some viruses did damage to the removable disk, or the card reader/host devices are not well suited for some types of memory cards.

Check the instructive video below to learn how to format a USB pen drive using CMD:

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About the Author

Updated by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created over 200 posts that help users solve multiple issues and failures on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, and Macs. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interests.

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Written by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working at EaseUS for over ten years, starting as a technical writer and moving on to being a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over ten years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Product Reviews

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  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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