[Answered&Solutions] Why Does My Hard Drive Not Show Full Capacity on Windows 10/11

“Why does my hard drive not showing full capacity?” You can find answers here. No matter your internal or external hard drive not showing correctly, you can try the given solutions.


By Irene / Updated on April 1, 2024

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Your hard drive is crucial for your computer function well - it's where all your important files and documents are stored. That's why it's so important to keep it in good shape. If your hard drive gets damaged or starts being problematic, it can cause all kinds of problems with your system like the hard drive not showing full capacity or missing space on the hard drive.

By the end of this article, you can have a better understanding of why is your hard drive not showing full capacity or showing right, and most importantly, you can know how to get it working properly again.

Why does my hard drive not show full capacity?

One common issue that Windows 10 and 11 users often run into is the "Hard Drive Not Showing Full Capacity" error. This pops up when the amount of free space on your hard drive is less than what your computer thinks should be there. It's a sign that your hard drive might not be able to hold all the data you need it to.

There are a few different reasons why your hard drive's capacity might not be displaying correctly. But don't worry, we'll go over the common causes and walk you through some troubleshooting steps to fix it.

The common causes of your hard drive not showing full capacity
The partitions on your hard drive might not be properly aligned. You can read this article to manage SSD partition alignment.
File system overhead like NTFS needs more space for using.
Some disk utility programs out there have a habit of rounding down the reported capacity to the nearest whole number. So it might look a little smaller than it really is.
Manufacturer practice. Sometimes advertises the unformatted drive size, while the OS reports the slightly smaller formatted capacity.
Bad sectors on your hard drive will exclude those areas from the total capacity.
Partition table issues. Drives initialized with the older MBR partition table can only support up to 2TB. If your hard drive is larger than this limits like 3 or 4TB, your internal or external hard drive will not showing full capacity.

How to fix hard drive not showing full capacity on Windows 10, 11,7,8?

Based on the possible reasons, here we recommend to try the following 4 simple solutions, which proven to be effective when fixing internal or external hard drive not showing full capacity.

Method 1. Convert MBR to GPT

If you initialized the hard drive larger than 2TB to the wrong partition scheme, like MBR when you first used it in Windows, don't worry. AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional offers the option to change the partition scheme to GPT without data loss. This has a unique advantage that allows you to avoid deleting all partitions on the target disk before conversion. You will not lose your important data or waste time backing up. This software can be compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7. If you are using a hard drive larger than 2TB, try this method to fix the problem now.

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Step 1. Install and launch the software, right-click the MBR disk you want to change, and then choose Convert to GPT or click the disk and choose Convert to GPT from the right column.

Convert Data Disk to GPT

Step 2. In the pop-up windows, click OK to continue.

OK to GPT Data Disk

Step 3. Click Apply > Proceed to operate, and then your disk will be changed into GPT disk style.

Apply to GPT Data Disk

With the help of the AOMEI Partition Assistant, it is quite easy to change a disk from MBR to GPT, or GPT to MBR without losing any data, and vice versa. To convert MBR to GPT without losing data on Server 2012/2016/2019, you need to turn to the Server Edition, which is designed for both Server and Windows OS.

Method 2. Check bad sectors on your hard drive

According to the possible reasons, the bad sectors on your external or internal hard drive will also cause hard drive not showing full capacity. AOMEI Partition Assistant also provides this powerful function. Just follow the steps blow, you can easily check and remove the bad sectors on your hard drive.

Step 1. Launch the AOMEI Partition Assistant application. Right-click on the partition you want to analyze and select the "Advanced" option, followed by "Check Partition".


Step 2. A pop-up window will appear, presenting three choices for checking errors. Select the first option, "Check partition and fix errors in this..." and click "OK" to proceed.


Step 3. After initiating the process, a new window will display the progress. Once the progress is complete, click "OK".


By following these steps, you can know whether the external or internal hard drive not showing full capacity is caused by the bad sectors.

Method 3. Update the disk driver

“Why does my hard drive not showing full capacity?” Apart from the reasons we mentioned before, another reasons like outdated disk driver may probably cause that as well. To fix that, you can try the following steps:

Step 1. Open the search bar and type "Device Manager", then press "Enter" to launch the Device Manager.

Step 2. Expand the "Disk drives" category, right-click on the hard drive that displays an incorrect capacity, and select the "Update driver" option.


Step 3. Click on "Search automatically for updated driver software". Windows will attempt to automatically update the driver for your hard drive.


If this method does still not resolve the issue, please consider trying the other provided solutions.

Method 4. Wipe the hard drive

If none of the previous methods are successful, maybe it is time to consider the last resort of running a permanent wipe of the hard drive. To minimize any potential harm and ensure overall health to the greatest possible extent, it is recommended to use the "Wipe Hard Drive" feature in AOMEI Partition Assistant. This feature can help prolong the hard drive's lifespan and maintain its performance to the greatest possible extent.

However, wiping the hard drive will erase all data stored on it, please make sure to back up any important files before starting.

Step 1. Right-click the external hard drive which does not show the size correctly and select "Wipe Hard Drive".


Step 2. A new window will pop up with different wiping methods to choose from. Go ahead and pick the first one on the list, and then click "OK" to move forward.


Step 3. Next, click "Apply" and "Proceed" to kick off the wiping process on your external hard drive.


After wiping is all done, your external hard drive will become unallocated space. That means you'll need to create a new partition using that available space. Once you've done that, your internal or external hard drive may can finally display the correct capacity.

Final words

In this passage, we answer your question about “why does my hard drive not show full capacity?” As you can see, AOMEI Partition Assistant can provide you various solutions in problems solving process. It is also recommended to use it for applications moving, rebuilding MBR, or cloning a hard drive to another hard drive.

Irene · Staff Editor
Irene is an Editor of AOMEI Technology. She devotes herself in giving insightful thoughts on common computer problems with simple and clear guidance. Irene loves to help people solve problems and explore more solutions on relevant issues. She loves reading, singing and travelling.