How to Restore USB Drive to Full Capacity in Windows 10



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.

we can't create the recovery drive windows 10

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

I’ll start by posting the screenshot with all the cmd commands that you need to type. Use it as a reference for the below steps.

restore USB drive back to full capacity in Windows 10 cmd commands

Step 1

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

However you do it, make sure you’re using it in Administrator mode to avoid errors!

command prompt windows 10

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

Make sure that the disk you select is the USB drive that you want to restore to full capacity! You can see which one is it by looking at the Size shown there.

Type select disk # and hit Enter.

Example: select disk 2

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.

Step 5

This will wipe the disk! So, make sure you made the correct choice pointed out in the previous step! Having Windows/files backed up would be a good idea, just in case.

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.

Final step

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

usb drive restored back to full capacity in windows 10

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
DiskPart has encountered an error: Access is denied windows 10

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 you have questions or thoughts, please leave a comment or send me a message using the contact page.

About Radu

I've been working online, from home, for over 8 years. I've learned a lot of stuff, such as SEO, web development, and so on, but my main expertise is WordPress.


  1. Diskpart in Windows 10 could not restore my Kingston USB key to its full capacity of 64GB. Now it is about 62GB. Before I installed a live linux on it and I suspect it is still there taking up about 2GB somehow.
    I tryed many of the USB disk utes, but to no avail.
    Well, it is only 2GB and a new one can be bought for not too much, but it is frustrating, isn’t? Why those linux programmers do it to many people.

    1. I replied to your email, but in case someone else is wondering the same thing, I’ll reply here as well.

      Storage devices, such as HDDs or flash drives, always show and use less space on Windows than the manufacturer says, especially when they’re formatted. There are more details on this post.

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