How Much Memory Is in a 2GB Stick?

Written by david perez
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How Much Memory Is in a 2GB Stick?
A thumb drive-type memory stick (usb stick memory image by dinostock from

Manufacturers of data storage sticks, such as flash drives, express storage capacity in bytes. A gigabyte (GB) is 1,073,741,824 bytes. However, this does not mean that a 2GB memory stick has 2,147,483,648 bytes of space available to store your files.

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Data storage devices do not contain the exact amount of memory their manufacturers state, according to For simplicity, manufacturers round up to the highest integer when reporting total storage capacity. This is part of the reason 2GB sticks have approximately 1.8GB of available capacity.


Of the actual amount of memory on the stick, not all of it can be used for your files. Part of it goes to the file system. This is necessary for dividing up the stick's memory and making files easily retrievable, and it is another reason storage sticks have less memory available than their reported capacity.

File Types

Different file types take up different amounts of memory. A one-page text document takes up approximately 20KB, while an image from an 8MP camera takes up about 3MB. Thus, a 2GB stick could hold nearly 100,000 one-page documents but only just over 600 8MP images.

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