Are you missing storage space? Learn how to partition USB stick with Windows in this easy to do step by step tech guide.
Installing software on USB drives often creates invisible partitions there. TechMende shows how you can partition a USB stick/drive with on-board tools and use the full storage space again.
Check USB stick
- Connect the stick. In the example it is a USB stick with a capacity of 64 gigabytes that has been converted to a Windows setup stick using the Media Creation Tool .
- Make sure that only the affected stick is in the computer. Remove any other USB drives or memory cards.
- If there are still indispensable files on it, first copy them to the hard drive, as the stick will be completely erased later.
- Press the Windows key + X key combination and click on Disk Management .
- In the new window (see picture above) your stick will usually appear as “removable medium”. If it has two or more areas, as in the example, it has been divided into several partitions. In this case, reset the device as described in the next section.
- If that does not happen or if the storage space problems persist despite only one active partition, you should repair the USB stick .
- If the storage space is correct and only large files do not fit on the stick, see the section on Formatting the USB stick .
Empty the USB stick
- Press the keyboard shortcut Windows key + R and type in diskpart . Click OK and Yes .
- In the window that appears (see image above) type in list disk and press Enter. The program then lists the connected data carriers. Here the USB stick is labeled “Disk 1”.
- Enter the command select disk n , replacing “n” with the disk number determined in the previous step – in this case “select disk 1”. After that, press Enter to select the disk. Important: Under no circumstances should you select “Disk 0”, as this is your Windows hard disk, which you would otherwise delete. To be on the safe side, you can run the list disk command again : The selected disk then appears with an asterisk in front of it.
- Type in clean and hit Enter again.
If the message “The data carrier has been cleaned” appears, all partitions have been deleted, see picture above. Leave the window open and go through the next section.
Partition the USB stick
- To create a primary partition, enter the create partition primary command and press Enter.
- To format the new partition, enter format fs = ntfs quick or format fs = fat32 quick, depending on the file system you want, and press Enter. The more modern NTFS format is recommended for larger sticks and if files over 4 gigabytes in size are to be saved on the stick.
- The data carrier will then be formatted. If the message “DiskPart has successfully formatted the volume” appears as shown in the image above, type the exit command and press Enter.
You can also do the partitioning in Disk Management opened above. To do this click “Disk 1” with the example at right -click unassigned and New Simple Volume .
After three clicks on Next, select FAT32 or NTFS for “File system” , specify any name for “Volume label” and check the box for “Perform quick format”. After clicking on Next and Finish, the stick is partitioned and formatted.
It then appears directly as an empty disk in your Windows Explorer – but this time with the full capacity.
Format the USB stick
It is normal for Windows to omit around 10 percent when displaying USB drives and is due to the conversion from the decimal to the binary system.
If the storage capacity of your USB stick is specified correctly, it can still happen that large files with a size of more than 4 gigabytes will not fit on it, even though the free storage space is actually sufficient.
Then the stick is most likely formatted with the outdated FAT32 file system – with the corresponding restrictions. In this case, you do not need to repartition the drive, just convert it to NTFS format or reformat it.