Did you ever wonder why a USB drive or hard drive has less storage space than promised? Right from the moment, we have started using computers and smartphones, we have seen that every flash drive and hard drive comes with less storage than promised. If I talk about my Sandisk’s 16GB pen drive, it actually has 14.5 GB of storage. So where the remaining 1.5 GB storage has gone?

Some of you might have heard that USB Drives and other storage devices Keep some space reserved for system files. This is true to some extent but the major reason behind this less storage is something else.

So Let’s figure out the reason.

In Schools and Colleges, we have learnt

8 bit = 1 byte
1024 bytes = 1 KB
1024 KB = 1 MB
1024 MB = 1 GB
1024 GB = 1 TB


But the companies who make these storage devices face a lot of difficulty due to this 24 in every conversion. So they ignored it and started using different standards:


 8 bit = 1 byte
1000 bytes = 1 KB
1000 KB = 1 MB
1000 MB = 1 GB
1000 GB = 1 TB


I ‘ll take an example of my 16GB Pendrive.

From the manufacturer’s point of view, the 16GB will have 16*1000*1000*1000 = 16,000,000,000 bytes. However, our computers work on base 2 (binary) and for them, 16GB is actually 16*1024*1024*1024 = 17,179,869,184 bytes. So, my Sandisk pen drive that promised to have 16 GB storage space will actually show 14.9GB (approx) i.e 17,179,869,184 – 16,000,000,000 = 1,179,869,184 bytes (1.1 GB) less storage space when connected to a computer.

This difference in the method of computation is responsible for the “lost space”. However, It doesn’t matter when we purchase small storage devices like Memory Card, Pen drives but with hard disks, Look at the table below:

why pen drives shows less space than promised
I hope your doubts are now cleared. Thanks For Reading..!!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here