How to increase Flash Drive Capacity


increase Flash Drive Space

How to increase Flash drive space ? There are many types of file system, like FAT, FAT 32 and NTFS. But NTFS file system has the advantage of compression option.

Thumb drives or flash drives when you buy one, are ready to use. Formatted and ready for your use. And usually formatted in FAT32 file system.

The Flash drives are almost always formatted in FAT32 system (File allocation table).The FAT 32 system has much larger cluster size. The NTFS (New technology file system) is more stable and has smaller cluster size , thereby indirectly increases the storage capacity. 

Besides the disadvantage with FAT32 system is that it can handle file size up to 4GB only. Which means if you try to copy files larger than 4GB you will not be able to do so even if you have space in the flash drive. Instead Windows will show the message you get the message “There is not enough space“. This is because of the limitations of FAT32 system.

You can try yourself.

So, if you need to copy files larger than 4GB, make certain that the file system on the Flash drive is NTFS and not FAT32. 

So how do we go about formatting the thumb drive in to NTFS? if you try to format in windows explorer, you may not get the option to format in NTFS.

Reason being windows by default configures your USB drive for safe removal policy. so you don’t loose your data if you accidentally pull out your USB drive. But there is a way.


increase Flash Drive Space

To format the USB Flash drive to NTFS file system to increase the capacity indirectly…..

Insert your Flash-drive. In windows explorer right click in the thumb drive icon, than click on properties



As you can in this screen shot the Flash-drive is formatted in FAT32 system.




Now click on the Hardware tab. Select your Flash drive from the list, than click on properties at the bottom




This will bring the following screen (applicable to windows7, 8, 8.1) in windows XP it will be one step less.



Here click on “change settings”, this will bring the following window

Here click on Policies, under “removal policies” you will see two options, Quick removal this is the default and Better performance, select the second option, than click OK and apply.

Remove Flash drive, than reinsert. After it is detected in windows explorer, right click in Flash drive icon, choose format, now you should see the option to format in NTFS.

Format the Flash Drive in NTFS format.

Due to smaller cluster size in NTFS File system, we can save more files. There by increase Flash drive space.
CAUTION: as you know formatting will delete all your existing files in your Flash drive, so back up your data if there is any.

NTFS is the default file system from windows vista onwards.Windows XP supports both FAT32 and NTFS.

Update: Converting your pen drive file system to NTFS also increases file transfer speed.