Free Up Space on a Flash Drive Without Taking or Deleting Files

usb or flash drive

This is a common situation: Insert your favorite flash drive into a computer USB port, try dragging some files to the device, and find out your storage space is over. at this time? The most logical solution is to delete unnecessary old documents, but sometimes you don't want to (or can't) pull content stored on your device - and if you need help with partitioning, check out a very good offer from EaseUS.

Don't worry! Although many people are unaware of this alternative, there is a simple technique to remove a few megabytes of precious data from a full flash drive, leaving room for more files inside. The strategy we will teach you in this tutorial is to format the gadget for the NTFS file system and then enable Windows Disk Compression.

The first thing you need to do is to temporarily delete all documents holding the USB stick. Then open Windows File Explorer, right click on the device icon and select the "Format" option from the context menu. Under "File System" in the window that opens, configure "NTFS" alternate and return an OK. Wait until the operation is complete.

Freeing space on a USB
Format the flash drive as NTFS

Compressing files

Once your thumb drive is formatted as NTFS, restore all the files initially stored there. In our example, the drive we used to perform this tutorial had 7.61 GB of total document storage space, while 5.02 GB was in use. Compressing all this data will make it smaller than what we are doing now.

flash drive before file compression
flash drive before file compression

Right click on your flash drive icon and select the "Properties" option from the context menu. In the window that opens, sign the "Compress this disk to save space" checkbox and click "Apply". If the second screen appears asking for the magnitude of this attribute change, select the "Apply changes to drive, subfolders and files" alternative.

Freeing space on a USB
Select the correct option
As you can see in the image below, after the process is completed, 5.02GB has just moved to 27.2 MB. You can now save files in a flash drive without skipping past items. When you want to unzip a document, remove it from the drive, right-click, enter the "Properties", click the "Advanced" button and uncheck the box for compression.

flash drive after compression
flash drive after compression


It is important to note that while such a trick works and may be an emergency exit, there are some downsides to the method you need to keep in mind before reproducing the steps in this tutorial. The main problem is that the NTFS standard is only compatible with newer versions of Windows; Your USB stick will not be detected on machines with other OSes or in video games, SmartTVs etc.

In addition, as explained in this article , NTFS storage devices have a shorter life expectancy compared to FAT and FAT32 systems, since read and write activities are much more aggressive. Knowing these two details, think carefully before following the steps outlined above.

What if I want a simpler mode?

In this case there are several tools that can greatly help in managing disk partitions (including the USB sticks we use all the time). Want to meet some? Then try EaseUS  and find it easier to pack your files.

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