With a Windows tool we can recover the space of a USB memory that we have lost.
Normally a USB memory will have a single partition, usually in a format compatible with most systems like FAT32, exFAT, or even NTFS.
The funny thing comes when we plug in the memory and see that we do not have as much storage capacity as it puts in the box of the device; That there are a few GB of difference is perfectly normal, the complicated thing comes when there is directly available space that we cannot use.
When your USB stick seems smaller than before
If you use a lot of memory to install other operating systems, for example, it is possible that space has been left unpartitioned.
In my case, when I finished creating a USB stick with Windows 10, I discovered that the official program had created a partition for Windows of the exact size, leaving the rest of my 256 GB memory unused.
My first reaction was to start the Windows disk manager and re-partition memory from there. But he didn’t leave me; it is simply as if that space has disappeared.
As you can see, my memory of 256 GB (232 GB usable) has remained at just 32 GB. I can’t do anything with the unallocated space.
Fortunately, Windows itself offers a tool to recover that space without installing anything.
Is named Diskpart, and it is not exactly the simplest Microsoft program. To get started, only works in terminal and command base; but if you know the commands you have to use, it is easy to recover the space of a USB memory.
Recover the space of a USB memory, step by step
To start, we open the start menu and look for Command Prompt; we right click and we choose Run as administrator. We will have to accept that the application makes changes to the equipment.
Then we write diskpart and press enter.
Not much has changed, has it? it has only changed that instead of the route it now shows DISKPART>.
First of all we are going to see what units we have in the computer; for this we write the command list disk. Something like this should come out.
In my case, the USB drive that interests me is the last one, number 4. Depending on the number of SSDs or HDDs you have in the system, this figure may vary.
Next we select the USB drive to work on it; for this we write the command select disk (disk number). I mean, in my case it will be select disk 4.
A message appears that the disk has been selected.
Now we are going to clean the partition table. NOTE, this step will make you no longer able to access the files you have on the USB; so make a backup if you’re interested in keeping them.
To clean, there is a simple command: clean.
To reuse memory, we just have to create a primary partition; We can do this from Windows Disk Management, or with a new command: create partition primary.
There we go, we can close the terminal. Now we can open the Disk Management program, called Create and format hard drive partitions.
As you can see, now all the memory space is used by a partition.
Now we have to format it; we right click on the partition and Format.
The default options are valid for most users; but if you want to change the format (NTFS, exFAT or FAT32) you can do it from here. You can also choose to do a quick or full format; the second is slower but it can help you if you see that the memory gives errors.
There it is! You have the USB memory like new.