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How to format a USB flash drive in Windows 10 easily and quickly? step by step guide

UPDATED ✅ Do you want to format a USB flash drive on your PC with Windows 10 operating system? ⭐ ENTER HERE ⭐ Learn Everything! FROM ZERO! ⭐

Also known as flash drive, a USB flash drive It is a data storage unit that connects to computers or other electronic devices. A) Yes, save files on a portable device for easy transfer.

Today, almost everyone has a USB flash drive to move files from one computer to another, share documents or play content. But sometimes, reveals certain issues and needs to be formatted.

Via a Windows 10 PC, it is very easy and fast to format a flash drive in order to assign it any type of use. Indeed, here we will teach you how to do it correctly and we will even show you how to solve certain failures during this process.

When should I format a USB flash drive?

When should I format a USB flash drive?



As its name indicates, the term “format” refers to a set of operations that are performed to restore to its initial configuration a certain element that hosts data. That is, to its factory state or original state, deleting all the information it contains. Consequently, the fact of formatting a USB flash drive allows you to clean the drive completely so that you can install anything else on it.

Since, it takes care that device memory is rewritten with new information. Thus, formatting a flash drive is an ideal method to format the drive in question and prepare the USB stick, with the aim that it can store new data. Taking into account that, in addition, this action helps to change the file system that is used. Therefore, there are several reasons why a USB flash drive should be formatted, since it depends on the requirements of each user specifically.

However, the main causes for carrying out a formatting process on a flash drive are the following:

  • the usb stick is infected by a virus.
  • The device presents formatting errors.
  • capacity limit is saturated.
  • The unit features problems storing new data.
  • The pen drive contains personal information that must be completely destroyed.

Learn how to format a USB flash drive in Windows 10

Fortunately, the W10 operating system provides the facility to format a pen drivea hard drive and even an external partition with great ease. Since, does not require the installation of additional tools to be able to run it. However, you can do this as long as the storage device use any of the file systems supported by Windows (ie: NTFS, FAT32 and ExFAT).

Next, we explain what you must do to format a USB flash drive from Windows 10 with the help of our step-by-step guide:

  • Initially, you have to connect your pendrive through a USB port in the computer.
  • Now go to Windows Explorer Y search for “This team” to view connected drives. Over there, right click on the device to use and click on “Format” from the dropdown menu.

Learn how to format a USB flash drive in Windows 10

  • in the window of Format USB Drivego to the section of “File System” and through the menu, click on “ExFAT”. We recommend you select shower option because it is the most modern, optimized and compatible file system for pen drives (or any external drive).

Learn how to format a USB flash drive in Windows 10

  • Then in the field that says “Volume label”, enter the name you prefer to identify it. If you don’t want to do it, Windows itself takes care of adding a volume label.

Learn how to format a USB flash drive in Windows 10

  • Later, in the Format Options section, you can Check the “Quick Format” box which deals with creating the file system structure without checking the integrity of each sector and is the most recommended method for any disk known to have no bad sectors. Otherwise, uncheck that box to opt for Full Format.

Learn how to format a USB flash drive in Windows 10

  • Done all of the above it is time to go to the bottom of the pop-up window and click on the “Start” button. With this, the process of formatting your storage unit will begin and that’s it.

Learn how to format a USB flash drive in Windows 10

Problems and solutions when formatting a USB in Windows 10

Although, in most cases, the process of formatting an external drive in Windows 10 provides satisfactory results; the truth is, sometimes, certain inconveniences arise to be able to do it. Consequently, we want to emphasize the two main failures that occur during this, which are: USB cannot be formatted and USB is not recognized by Windows.

So, next, you will know how to solve it quickly, if this is your case:

USB cannot be formatted

Yes, after clicking on “Start” to start the process of formatting your USB, the system displays a message that says “Could not complete format”; automatically, you will be able to intuit that the pendrive exhibits certain problems.



Typically this is due to:

  • bad sectors in unity.
  • Physical damage of the flash drive
  • Infection because of viruses.
  • Incompatible file system with Windows.
  • Protection against writing.

Nevertheless, Windows provides an alternative to modify this USB format error via CM. Which is the OS command interpreter and allows you to fix the error of “Cannot format USB flash drive” easily.

The steps to follow to carry it out are:

  • Plug the USB flash drive into your PC and subsequently, press the shortcut “Win ​​+ R” to open the dialog “Run”.

USB cannot be formatted

  • Next, enter the term “cmd” and press the Enter key.

USB cannot be formatted

  • After open the command prompt, select the option “Execute as an administrator”place “diskpart” and press Enter.
  • Followed by it, type “listdisk” and press Enter to display all disks on the computer.
  • Now, type “select disk X” (X is the drive letter of your USB) and press Enter again.
  • In this point, type “Clean” and press Enter. For later, write “create partition primary” and touch Enter.
  • Later, to reset the USB drive to FAT32 or NTFS, type “format fs=fat32” or “format fs=ntfs quick” respectively and press Enter.
  • So next you have to type the term “assign” and provide a new drive letter to your USB stick.

USB cannot be formatted

  • To end, type “exit” and this will finish the process.

Windows does not recognize USB

Secondly, If Windows can’t recognize your USB stick and/or you have not been able to format it correctly, it is most likely that there is a problem in the operating system or a fault in the pendrive itself.

To solve this, first of all, you have to try to determine what the problem is. In case it is a difficulty of Windows itself, it must be solved reinstalling USB drivers. Whereas, if the problem exists in the external memory, must be completely formatted via the “diskpart” utility used in the previous part.

Indeed, start by deciphering the cause of the problem that Windows does not recognize the pen drive, in the following way:

  • Plug in the USB stick and open Disk Manager: Press the keys “Win + R”write “diskmgmt.msc” and look for your USB stick. If it appears in the list, it means that it is not formatted correctly and you will have to format it to solve the problem. On the contrary, if it does not appear, you must use other methods detailed below.
  • Plug the USB stick into another USB port: Before doing this, check that the port is directly on the PC, without USB hubs or extensions. If it works perfectly on another port, means that the first port has been damaged and therefore you should avoid using that port in the future. But if it doesn’t work, discard the next alternative.
  • Plug the USB stick into another computer: If, when you connect your flash drive to another PC, it still does not appear on the new computer, it means that the flash drive is damaged and must be replaced by another. Whereas, if the drive appears on this computer; it means that the other is experiencing problems with the drivers and they have to be reinstalled.

Here, we explain how to remove and reinstall the drivers in Windows 10 so that your computer can read the USB memory without problems:

  • From the desktop, press the keyboard shortcut “Win + R” and enter “devmgmt.msc.” to open Device Manager.

Windows does not recognize USB

  • locate the category “Disk drives” and double click on it. When it expands, locate your USB.

Windows does not recognize USB

  • On the USB drive, right click and choose “Uninstall device” option. Drivers for USB drives will be automatically removed from the system.

Windows does not recognize USB

  • Now, you must disconnect the pendrive and reconnect it to the PC; With this action, Windows takes care of installing the drivers automatically.
  • Finally, if you see a yellow exclamation mark next to any of the devices, it means that they are not working properly and you must update them. To do this, right-click on the item that doesn’t work and Click on “Update Driver Software”follow the instructions and reinstall the drivers.

Operating systems

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