Restore a USB drive back to its original full capacity/size


USB drives use flash memory for data storage and to connect and transfer data. Due to its multiple-use sometimes you may experience that the drive is not functioning to its best.


For example, the USB flash drive is showing less capacity after making it a bootable drive, or due to some unknown reasons, it is not working at its full capacity.

There can be several reasons for this:

  • Incorrect formatting of the drive
  • Creating multiple partitions of USB drive
  • The USB drive is corrupt
  • Physical damage


You can use the Command Prompt to restore USB Drive to its full capacity. Follow the below steps:

Step 1. Go to “Start” and navigate to the “Command Prompt (Admin)” option

Step 2. Once the Command Prompt window is open, here you need to process commands. Type “diskpart” and press Enter. After the given command is processed, type “list disk” and process it by pressing Enter.

The latest command should list all the drives and disks connected to your System, including the USB Drive you want to restore to full capacity.

Step 3. After this Enter the command “select disk #” to select the disk you want to restore to full capacity. (“#” in the command “select disk #” should be replaced with the Number or Letter of the Disk you want to restore.)

Step 4. After the selection of the disk, give in the command “clean” to wipe the disk. Once it’s cleaned successfully type the command “create partition primary” and hit Enter. This will form a new partition on your USB Drive.

Step 5. Once the partition is created, you need to Enter the command “format fs=fat32 quick” to format your newly created partition to the FAT32 file system.



Another method: You can format the drive using Disk Management.

Step1. Search for “Disk Management” or “diskmgmt.msc”.

Step 2. On the “Disk Management” window, locate the USB Drive that you want to restore to full capacity. Right-click on it, and click on the “Format” option from the context menu.

Step 3. You will see a pop-up window. Configure the parameters for formatting, choose FAT32 or exFAT file system, uncheck the “Quick Format” option and click “OK”. This will initiate the formatting process including the treatment of Bad Sectors on your Drive.



Once completed, your USB Drive will be formatted to the original state and to the full capacity.



Source :

Wayne Sue, Staff at Wondershare