Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Jan 17, 2016 8:22 AM by Richmaster3000
br121 Level 1 (20 points)

My USB thumb drive won't update the amount of free space. It's constantly saying it is full, even if I delete the files on it.


It's the same on all of the thumb drives I use.


It there a "refresh" button - to get it to update the amount of data on it?


I transfer large video files between an iMac and PC computer.


Any suggestions?

iMac 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, iPhone OS 3.1.2, Mac OS X Lion 10.7
  • br121 Level 1 (20 points)

    It appears that I will have to format my thumb drives upon every use of them, once they are full - so that I can get more data on them again. There's got to be an easier way to do it.

  • radio50 Level 1 (70 points)

    If you delete files on the thumb drive, they'll go into the trash on the thumb drive, and thus will take the same amount of space (I think).



    After you delete the files, and with the thumb drive still plugged-in, empty the trash.  That should recover the space.  Then you can finally eject the thumb drive.


    If you were to eject the thumb drive and then try to empty the trash, it won't work, because the computer can't find the trash on the thumb drive itself.

  • babowa Level 7 (29,930 points)

    You don't need to reformat; simply empty your computer's trash bin as suggested while the USB drive is still attached. Space is not recouped until the trash is emptied.

  • Knoddix Level 2 (150 points)

    I know this is an old post but Just a heads up this issue tends to be caused by hidden files ( ie when you delete some files for some reason or another the files become hidden away in the trash folder but anyway the root cause is not important however the simple solution/work around is so basically we need to be able to view hidden files in the finder now you could use terminal but I wouldn't recommend that for the everyday mac user as it can cause some serious damage if you type the wrong thing into it and if your advanced enough to be using terminal then I would recommend you google how to enable hidden files in the finder using terminal.

    Now for those of you who are still reading I would recommend you download invisiblix using the following link then follow the instructions on the site to install the app once installed open the app switch to show hidden files mode them open the flash drive and delete anything in the trash folder and that's it you should have now freed up the space you were looking for without the hassle of erasing the drive


    Ps . Hide files / folders after you have finished because most hidden files are hidden for a reason (ie they are needed for the computer to function properly)  and secondly if you are running OS X 10.8.x then you might need to hold control and then click on invisiblix then select open because of OS X 10.8.x gatekeeper feature


    Good luck people

  • TechartteacH Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for this!...I read your comment after I had ejected the thumbdrive.  However, I plugged it back in, deleted a few more items from the thumbdrive, then emptied the trash on the Macbook Pro. All free memory was then restored on my thumbdrive. YEaH! It seems that when I went back to move more to trash off the the thumb drive, it was able to find it the drive and the old trash.  Thanks again  

  • JanetBalaam Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes you are right, I removed my 'usb flash drive'before emptying the trash, so I pluged it back in, deleted somthing off of it that I knew I could easily put back again and the new 'trash' found the old 'trash', great.  I then empted the Trash and my space was clear again.

  • Shabab28 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks! Worked like a charm!

  • Will Cheng Level 1 (0 points)

    I had that problem and I followed your instructions, and yes it worked! Thank you very much! That was extremely helpful!

  • whatthewhatisthat Level 1 (0 points)

    You helped my solve my problem. What a weird idea that even after you send your files to the trash off of the thumb drive you still have to delete the trash can or space is still being used on the flash drive.

  • muckiz Level 1 (0 points)

    well I'm in the camp with those who emptied the trash after the thumb drive was ejected - and for some reason neither the empty nor empty free space formatting function in Mac utilities works either - my flas drive shows that it's 'empty' but now it won't open...50 bucks down the drain I guess?

  • banjofred Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for solving this long standing problem. I am going through all of my thumb drives now and sorting them out!!


    So just to recap - plug in the usb drive and empty the trash its that simple. then when you go to get info suddenly the free space has increased.


    I think part of the usb flash drive problem is that many of us are too lazy to eject them we just take it out then expect it to work well!!!  I try not to do it but still forget at times.


    Thanks Again.

  • banjofred Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks again on this issue. my usb sticks are all now ok to use properly.


    Except one....


    i have a 280 gb usb stick and it wont store working copies of mp4 files.  they work fine on the imac and on smaller sticks like 32gb and 64gb.   but on this one they say it wont play and might be corrupted etc


    i have tried reformatting the usb stick as exfat and other formats and even reformating on a pc, but its the same reult - some movies work and others do not.


    any ideas?



  • Iabestever Level 1 (0 points)



    Try formatting the usb drive as Mac OS Extended(Journaled)




  • joneve Level 1 (0 points)

    To radio50
    Great! I've been looking for this answer and -- finally!!! Thank you!

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