Why does my 32GB SDcard have only 25GB of usable space?
Question by KamilKozyra /

I recently bought a brand new 32 GB SD card, but when I inserted it in, my PC said it has 25 GB max. How do I get those “invisible” gigabytes back so they can be used?

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Answers (7)
  • KamilKozyra

    Thank you for all the comments but it must have had a bad day since it says 29.7 GBs and not 25. Oops :(


    Hello, that is a lot of wasted storage space….If there is nothing stored in the card, have you tried doing a bad sector check? I would say you could try reformatting the card the see what space you get after reformatting.

  • ha14

    Click Start and then Run. Type cmd and then click OK. Type the following:
    chkdsk [sd card drive letter] /r
    this will Scan for and attempt Recovery of bad sectorsor
    chkdsk [sd card drive letter] /f
    this will Automatically Fix file system errors on the disk

  • Oron

    Kamill, this is indeed odd. You would expect a small amount of “waste” (around 10-15%), as suggested by iStoopKid, but you seem to have “lost” over 25%.
    The first question is whether there’s anything on the disc:
    Open “Computer” (or “My Computer” if you’re using Windows XP) and open “Folder and Search Options” (in Win 7 in the “Organise” menu, in XP under “Tools”).
    Click the /View\ tab and tick “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”. Click [OK]
    Now see if there are any hidden files in your drive.

    If not, back up the USB drive’s contents onto your hard disc and format it (right click on the drive, choose “Format…” and click on [Start].

    If that doesn’t help either, it’s possible that a large number of blocks on your drive are damaged.

    • Mike DeGeorge

      I actually have the same problem with my flash drive. “Files” are on the drive, but there’s nothing visible. I’ve tried showing hidden files/folders, but nothing shows up. Weirdness.

    • Maher Sabahi

      Hi Mr.Oron,

      You said in the beginning that it takes 10-15 percent of space when first inserted,so if I have a 32gb brought,a 30gb shown on screen is normal?

  • iStoopKid

    The “invisible” space being taken up is the space required to hold the formatting on the disk like it’s file structure architecture. my 16gb only has ~14gb free when empty. there are ways you can get the most memory out of your sd car but you run a huge risk of it messing up and losing all your data on it, or it will just corrupt alogether and your screwed until you get a new one or exchange. Trust me I tried before like in 08 with my psp. There was a program/script (idk the name) that allowed me to stretch the most out of my sandisk 4gb sd card. let’s just say I corrupted 2 of em and even my computer couldn’t read them. I just rolled over and bought an 8gb to fulfill my memory needs

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