How To Restore USB Drive Back To Original Full Capacity in Windows 10

This post explains how to restore a USB drive to full capacity using Windows 10/11 OS.

Step-by-step Instructions

1. Run Windows tool DiskPart

Go to Start > Run command or press Windows + R.

Type diskpart and press Enter

2. Select disk

DISKPART> list disk

Identify the disk that corresponds to the USB. Be sure it is the one. We assume on this post that the correct disk is X.

Then type:
DISKPART> select disk X

3. Delete disk


4. Create partition

DISKPART> create partition primary

5. Format USB

Go to Computer and right click on the USB drive, then select “Format…”.

Select the desired options and click “Format”.

External References


  1. I tried above method and worked great on one flash drive. On the second drive I keep getting this message – Virtual Disk Service error:
    There is no media in the device.
    Why does Windows think it’s a virtual disk, and how do I change it’s mind?

    • Hi Randy,
      As I have read, it is possible that the USB has reached its end-of-life or USB records were damaged due to unsafe ejection.
      In any case, you can try any of these solutions:
      A. Go to Disk Management, find the USB, click on Action > Rescan Disks and reboot
      B. Go to Device manager, find the USB drive under “Disk drive”, right click on it and click on update USB driver
      C. Use a third-party app to fix USBs
      Hope it helps!

  2. After clicking format, my system keeps telling me: windows was unable to complete the format, please what next can I do?

  3. Thank you, this helped me to restore the USB back to its original size, which earlier had some partitions

  4. Additional help for people who get the “unable to format” error

    Repeat the steps from the top, but after step 4 please add the following lines in Diskpart:

    4. create partition primary
    5. format fs=fat32 [or if you want it in ntfs use: format fs=ntfs]
    6. assign

    The formatting in step 5 took a while for my 32gb USB, but it worked.

  5. It took me a mere 10 minutes to get it done after trying to get the job done with software and still failing. I truly appreciate the help.

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