How to Restore USB Drive to Full Capacity in Windows 10

by Radu

Yesterday, I was trying to create a recovery drive for Windows 10 using a USB flash drive.

But, as with the majority of things you try to do in Windows, it resulted in an error.

After the error, I noticed that my USB flash drive went down to 39 GB, which is not its full capacity.

It has 64 GB, therefore, it should have displayed around 59.7 GB of space.

Fortunately, I found a fix for that and I’ll share with you ladies and gentlemen.

Restore USB Drive to Full Capacity in Windows 10

Step 1

Open up cmd in Administrator mode. The easiest way is to right-click on Start (Windows icon) and select Command Prompt (Administrator).

The cmd should start with a default path that contains \WINDOWS\system32>.

The drive might differ, depending on where you have Windows installed: C:, D:, etc.

Step 2

Type diskpart and hit Enter.

The path should be changed from \WINDOWS\system32> to DISKPART>.

Step 3

Type list disk and hit Enter.

A list with all your disks/drives (internal or external) should appear.

Step 4

Type select disk # and hit Enter.

Replace **#** or **2** with the number of your own disk shown in the disk list table from step 3. In my example, it’s Disk 2.

Example: select disk 2

Step 5

Type clean and hit Enter.

If you get DiskPart has encountered an error: Access is denied, read the below section, then proceed with step 6.

Step 6

Type create partition primary.

Step 7

Check your USB drive. It should now be restored to full capacity.

Fix the “DiskPart has encountered an error: Access is denied” error

When you type clean (see step 5), you might get the following error:

DiskPart has encountered an error: Access is denied

This can happen because:

  1. You’re not using cmd in Administrator mode, as I mentioned in the first step;
  2. Or the drive is Read-Only, without Writing permission;
  3. Or some other weird Windows issue.

For the second problem, type this before you type clean again:

attribute disk clear readonly

I added extra select disk 2 commands because I’m paranoid and I wanted to make super sure it selects Disk 2. 😃

That’s a Wrap

I hope you found this guide useful and it helped you restore your USB drive to full capacity in Windows 10.

If some info is outdated or incorrect, or you have anything to add, say or ask, please contact me via Twitter or email.

About Radu

I've been working online, from home, for over 9 years. I learned a lot of different stuff related to websites. My main expertise is WordPress, but for some time, I started focusing more on web development.