Free up 4GB of Space on your Windows RT device!

By default the Surface and other Windows 8 tablets have 4GB of disk space used up by the Recovery partition. Microsoft has provided a way to transfer the recovery partition to a 4GB USB drive and free up the space. It’s fairly simple to do as well.

A minimum of a 4GB USB stick will be required for this. You will not be able to use this USB stick for anything else after you finish this process, unless you want to completely get rid of your recovery disk which is not recommended. The stick will be reformatted and you will lose anything you have on it, so make sure to back it up if it used to have any important data.


  1. Go to desktop mode
  2. Open the right hand charms bar by swiping from right to left
  3. Go to Settings
  4. Touch the text that says “Control Panel”
  5. When your control panel opens up, make sure it’s in categories mode and touch it says Systems and Securities
  6. Click on File History
  7. In the bottom left corner it says “Recovery” touch that
  8. Make sure your USB stick is inserted
  9. Go through the prompts Microsoft provides
  10. At the end of the process the dialog will ask you if you want to delete the Recovery Partition, touch yes.

Congratulations! Now you’ve freed up 4gb of space on your Surface! This is important if you have only 32gb of space since the internal drive is the only one you can install applications on.

Now I recommend you make a back up of that Recovery USB stick, make a copy in a folder on your Desktop PC, on the Internal MicroSD card in your Surface, or on another USB stick. I’m personally keeping a back up of the USB sticks data on my 64GB MicroSD card and my Desktop Computer. Point being you need to take very good care of that USB Stick in case something ever goes wrong with your surface!



About Jurgen

I'm a Mechanical Engineer, maker, mobile enthusiast, cyclist, hacker, gamer, and foodie who has been following the mobile product scene since the first Palm Pilots. I've been a chronic early adopter for well over a decade now and see a lot of potential for Windows RT.