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 Fix Windows Couldn't Format USB Flash Drive

If your USB drive cannot be formatted and prompts "Window was unable to complete the format" error. These errors indicates that USB drive isn't being recognized and the USB flash drive are inaccessible even can't be formatted. This post will give the solution about this issue.

unable to format usb

Part 1: The Main Cause that Windows can't Format USB Drive

Cause 1: Virus infection

If you plug USB drives into public computer, files are more likely to get damaged or infect virus. When usb drive infected with virus that can make USB drive stop working.

Cause 2: USB device has bad sectors

Bad sector means the sector is damaged and can't be read or written, thus bad sectors can disrupt the formatting operation as well as file recovery. The way to check for errors and repair bad sectors in USB drive see link page.

Cause 3: USB drive suffers physical damage

Physical damage is another reason that makes storage device inaccessible.

Cause 4: USB Disk is write-protected

Windows can't format a drive when it is in write-protected state. As formatting is kind of writing operation, so you need to remove the write-protection before formatting it. Way to remove the write protection see how to format a write protected USB flash drive using cmd.

Part 2: Fix Windows Couldn't Complete Format on USB Drive

Format USB drive via Disk Management. Do you know the damaged flash drives can be repaired with Disk Management tool? Following the steps below, you can make USB formatting procedure performed successfully.

Step 1: Open Disk Management.

Pressing Win + X shortcut key, then click Disk Management. (Apply for Windows 8/10)

open disk management

For windows 7, Right-click on My Computer and select Manage, under Storage, select Disk Management.

Formatted USB is recognized

Step 2: Right-click on Removable disk, and then select Format Volume. Then follow the instruction in the screen to complete formating process.


Step 3: After you Removable disk become Unallocated disk, right-click on it, and select New Simple Volume.

New simple volume

Step 4: The New Simple Volume Wizard will start, and it guides you recreate a new partition for the flash drive. Select the default settinfs and then click Next.

Keep default settings

Step 5: When the process is done, click Finish. You'll find the USB drive has been formatted and is properly recognized by Windows.


So that this drive is ready to use.