How to Fix "Can't Format USB Drive" in Windows 10

Can't format USB Drive

Encountering an error when trying to format a USB drive in Windows 10 can be frustrating. However, there are several methods you can use to resolve this issue. This guide will walk you through the steps to troubleshoot and fix the "Can't Format USB Drive" problem effectively.

Common Reasons for Formatting Issues

  1. Write Protection: The USB drive may be write-protected.
  2. File System Corruption: The file system on the USB drive may be corrupted.
  3. Physical Damage: The USB drive may be physically damaged.
  4. Drive Letter Conflict: There may be a conflict with the drive letter assigned to the USB drive.
  5. Malware or Viruses: The drive might be infected with malware or viruses.

Preliminary Checks

Before diving into advanced solutions, ensure that:

  • The USB drive is properly connected to your computer.
  • The USB port and the USB drive are functioning correctly.

Step-by-Step Solutions

Solution 1: Remove Write Protection

  1. Check for a Physical Switch: Some USB drives have a physical switch to enable or disable write protection. Make sure it's not set to the "Lock" position.
  2. Using Diskpart:
    • Press Win + R, type diskpart, and press Enter.
    • In the Diskpart command window, type:
      [list disk"]
    • Identify your USB drive from the list and note its number (e.g., Disk 1).
    • Type:
      [select disk 1]
      (Replace 1 with your USB drive's number).
    • Type:
      [attributes disk clear readonly]

Solution 2: Use Disk Management

  1. Press Win + X and select Disk Management.
  2. Locate your USB drive in the list.
  3. Right-click the USB drive and select Format.
  4. Choose the desired file system (e.g., NTFS, FAT32) and click OK.

Solution 3: Use Command Prompt

  1. Press Win + R, type cmd, and press Enter.
  2. In the Command Prompt window, type:
  3. List the disks by typing:
    [list disk]
  4. Select your USB drive by typing:
    [select disk 1]
    (Replace 1 with your USB drive's number).
  5. Clean the drive by typing:
  6. Create a new partition by typing:
    [create partition primary]
  7. Format the USB drive by typing:
    [format fs=ntfs quick]
    (You can replace ntfs with fat32 if needed).

Solution 4: Use a Third-Party Formatting Tool

Sometimes, built-in Windows tools may not be sufficient. You can use third-party tools like:

  • Rufus: A lightweight tool to format and create bootable USB drives.
  • HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool: A utility to format USB drives easily.
  • EaseUS Partition Master: A comprehensive partition management tool.

Solution 5: Assign a Different Drive Letter

  1. Press Win + X and select Disk Management.
  2. Locate your USB drive in the list.
  3. Right-click the USB drive and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  4. Click Change, choose a new drive letter, and click OK.

Solution 6: Scan for Malware or Viruses

  1. Use Windows Defender or another reputable antivirus software to scan your USB drive for malware or viruses.
  2. Remove any detected threats and try formatting the drive again.


If you've tried all the above methods and still can't format your USB drive, the drive might be physically damaged beyond repair. In such cases, consider replacing the USB drive. Always remember to back up important data regularly to avoid data loss due to such issues. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to resolve most formatting problems with your USB drive in Windows 10.



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shadowsocksph: How to Fix "Can't Format USB Drive" in Windows 10
How to Fix "Can't Format USB Drive" in Windows 10
Can't format USB Drive
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