Different USB Flash Drive Sizes – Choosing the Best Capacity for Your Needs

Not sure what flash drive size capacity you need?

Regardless of you’re a student, programmer, IT professional, journalist, recording artist, vlogger, or teacher; there are different USB flash drive sizes to choose from. You’ll be able to copy, store, and transfer various files with the perfect data storage device.

red USB flash driveChoosing flash drive sizes depends on the type of file, the number, and the file size you are storing, saving, or transferring. You’ll have to configure your flash drive to a file system that supports your type of file. In other words, it is about how much data you want to store.

Document files are considered basic small files while pictures and videos belong to the large files category so you need a higher size.

For example, a 1GB flash drive is enough to hold Excel or Word files, songs, and some videos. A wedding photographer may need 16GB to 32GB for all the event photos, while larger videos can require up to 100GB or more.

For a full backup of your files, the most recommended is 500GB. A Windows 10 backup file would need a size of around 8 – 10GB.


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How Flash Drives Are Sized

Have you ever been wondering why USB flash drives use GB or MB?

Megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB) are the measurements used to interpret the size of images, songs, and games. Bytes are tiny units of measurement that modern data storage and processing use. Since a byte is a basic unit of information, the more bytes you have on your flash drive, the more space you can use for storing information.

In short, your flash drive depends on the file you wish to store on it. Basic docs and a few photos are typically smaller files so a 64MB or 128MB will do. However, if you are storing large amounts of high-definition images, the most recommended size is 256MB or 512 MB, or 1GB+.

Choosing which flash drive size to get can be confusing if you don’t have even the slightest idea of USB storage capacities. It’s hard to guess how many actual files a certain USB flash drive model can hold. You can either get the size with not enough storage or one with too big space that you are not going to use.

Flash drives come in different capacities from 1 GB to 2000 GB capacities, or 128MB to 256 GB. Unless you understand how flash drives are sized, only then will you be able to determine the measurements of digital data.

Different USB Flash Drive Sizes

Megabyte (MB)

A megabyte consists of one million bytes of information storage or transmission. It contains 1,048,576 bytes for computer memory and one million bytes for computer storage. MB is used to indicate the size of JPEG images or MP3 songs.

Gigabyte (GB)

A gigabyte is one thousand bigger than a megabyte in the computer system. Also known as “gigs,” gigabyte is used to calculate the capacity of storage devices. For example, 1 GB is capable of holding more or less 900 documents, 600 photos, 200 songs, and roughly 2 hours of video. If you want higher capacity, you can opt for 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB sizes.


A terabyte generally measures the storage capacity of hard drives. In a whole scope, one terabyte is 1,000,000 times bigger than a megabyte and 1000 times bigger than a gigabyte.

Close-Up Photo of a Person's Hand Holding a Flash Drive

Here are the different flash drive sizes to get yourself familiar with. I have included some information to help you choose what size suits your needs:

The Megabyte Storage Capacity

Tick, Mark, Ok, Perfect, Check, Done64MB – Stores about 40 images, 15 MP3 (audio) files, 1200 Word document files, or 20 minutes of video.

Tick, Mark, Ok, Perfect, Check, Done128MB –As you can see, it doubles the amount of data a 64MB size storing around 80 images, 30 MP3 files, 2400 Word document files, and 40 minutes of video.

Tick, Mark, Ok, Perfect, Check, Done256MB – Can hold about 160 photos, 60 MP3 files, 4800 Word files, and 80 minutes of video.

Tick, Mark, Ok, Perfect, Check, Done512MB – The largest in the MB group that can hold 320 images, 120 MP3 files, 9000+ Word pages, and about 160 minutes of video.

If you need additional storage, get a larger flash drive size:

The Gigabyte Storage Capacity

Tick, Mark, Ok, Perfect, Check, Done2GB The most commonly used with the minimum storage capacity for basic files. It can hold up to 50,000 documents including more than 30,000 Word pages, more than 1,000 images, and over 600 minutes of video. While it’s not large enough to store large videos and MP4s, it can hold about 500 minutes of songs. 

Tick, Mark, Ok, Perfect, Check, Done4GB Obviously, this doubles the space of a 2GB flash drive designed when dealing with images, music, and video files. It can hold approximately 2,000+images, 900+ MP3 files, 75,000 Word documents, and 1,200 minutes of video.

Tick, Mark, Ok, Perfect, Check, Done8GB  An 8GB is ideal for backup or when storing documents and records that you want to keep in one single device. Stores approximately 150000 pages of Word documents, 5000+ images, 1900 MP3 files, and 2000+ minutes of video.

Tick, Mark, Ok, Perfect, Check, Done16GB The 16GB can take charge of transferring large data or media files. Holds about 10,000+ images, 3,000+ MP3 files, 300,000+ pages of Word documents, or 5,000 minutes of video.

Tick, Mark, Ok, Perfect, Check, Done32GB This multi-tasking flash drive holds thousands of data files, transfers larger amounts of HD video files, libraries of images, and music files, including several programs. Holds about 20,000+ images, 7000 MP3 files, 600,000+ pages of Word documents, or 10,240 minutes of video.

Tick, Mark, Ok, Perfect, Check, Done64GB – Another multi-tasker size that can hold approximately 40,000 photos, 15,000+ MP3 files, 1 million+ page of Word documents, or 20,000 minutes of video.

The following have higher storage which offers a whole lot of space and can store almost everything you need to save in just a single device:

Tick, Mark, Ok, Perfect, Check, Done128GB – Comes with 128 Gigabyte storage size which is a lot. It can hold 80,000+ photos, 30,000+ MP3 files, 40,000+ minutes of videos, and more than 2 million+ pages of Word documents. A 128GB worth of space is equivalent to having more than ten (10) full HD video files that are worth 8GB each.

Tick, Mark, Ok, Perfect, Check, Done256GB – This will give you generous storage and makes a year of cost-effective drive backup. This size can roughly hold 160,000+ images, 60,000 MP3 files, 4 million+ Word document pages, and 80,000+ minutes of video.

Now, do you know the different kinds of USB including USB ports, cables, and connectors? Are you familiar which is type A, type B, type C, mini B, and micro B?

Watch the video.



You have plenty of options for different USB flash drives sizes, again, depending on how many files you need to transfer or save. There are even fancy-looking designs if you like yours to look unique or fashionable. But before deciding to buy, always remember that the most efficient USB storage should always have a larger capacity to avoid running out of space in the middle of a project.


Frequently Asked Questions

1) How many files can I store on a drive?

This depends on the flash storage capacity. If you have a 1GB flash drive, that allows more than 2,000 pictures, more than 200 songs, and more than 300 minutes of videos. If you’re a photographer and require a large space for your photos, then an 8GB flash drive has a bigger storage capacity size that can save 19,000 images, more than 2,000 minutes of videos, and more than 1,000 songs.

2) Is a bigger capacity USB flash drive always better?

The answer is no. You only need larger capacity flash drives when you need a big space for videos and images. Besides it also costs you more. If you’re using a flash drive for basic storing, saving, or transferring of files, a smaller capacity will do. Go higher only when you know you needed it.

3) How much data can a flash drive store?

Again, the answer is entirely dependent on the size of the flash drive. Every flash drive has its special capacity that can hold documents, small to big amounts of images, audio, videos, and other types of files.

4) What can I store on my USB flash drive?

You can store just about anything on your USB flash drive:

  • Word Documents
  • High-Resolution Images
  • Songs and audio
  • Videos and movies
  • Apps and Software
  • Websites
  • Sound Tracks
  • All types of brochures
  • PowerPoint Presentations
  • .exe files and private data

5) Do all USB flash drives work with any computer?

Yes. USB flash drives are compatible with any laptop or computer as long as there are USB ports.

6) Does the use of my device often can shorten its lifespan?

Many users attest that a good-quality USB flash drive can last up to 10 years or more. However, since this device entails a lot of saving, erasing, writing, and deleting data cycles – it’s normal that the memory in the device will start to degrade. The more you delete, the more it can deteriorate.
However, with modern features today with improved efficiency, using your device sparingly with care for sure allows it to last longer with your data stored safely.

7) How do I know if my USB has been infected with a virus? 

Try this:

1. Plug your USB on your computer and open My Computer.
2. Find the USB icon and then right-click.
3. From the drop-down menu, left-click Scan for viruses.

8) Can my USB Flash Drive be infected by a computer virus?

Yes. USB Flash Drives work as a mass storage device making them vulnerable to computer virus infections. The best way to get rid of the virus is by using an anti-virus program to clean it.

9) What is the difference between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0?

  • USB 2.0 is the old version of the USB standard. Also referred to as Hi-Speed USB with a maximum transfer speed of up to 480 Mbps (megabits/s (60MB/s).
  • USB 3.0 is the newer version and is known for its better speed performance. It has a transfer rate of 5Gbps ( Gbit/s(625MB/S) which is 10 times faster than the 2.0 USB standard.

10) Are there disadvantages to using USB flash drives?

Other than the tiny size that makes it vulnerable to being misplaced, forgotten, or lost; USB flash drives are also prone to viruses. The reason is that they do not have any protection software against virus infections.


When using your phone’s hotspot and wanting to connect to another device or share mobile data, a USB can be a good option other than Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. 

Do you have any advice about USB size and capacities? How nice if you could share them in the comments.