Top 6 Fixes to USB Flash Drive Not Recognized Error Windows

by Klaus on June 5, 2021

in Articles

USB flash drive is a common movable storage device used often in people’s daily work and life. However, issues will happen every now and then. For example, you may encounter USB flash drive not recognized when connecting it to computer. This is a hot topic in many related forums. Do you know how to solve it? 

Why USB Flash Drive Not Recognized by Windows

USB flash drive will not be recognized by your Windows under these circumstances:  

  • USB port or cable is faulty. 
  • USB driver is corrupted or outdated. 
  • File system of USB flash drive goes corrupted.
  • There is something wrong with USB drive, such as bad sectors.
  • USB flash drive is infected by viruses or malware.

Of course, besides these main reasons, other factors also can lead to USB flash drive not recognized error. And usually coming along with the error message, you may be in the risk of losing data. 

Don’t worry, however, as we are going to show you how to fix USB flash drive not showing, and how to rescue USB data in Windows. Please go on reading.

Part 1 – How to Recover Data from USB Flash Drive

To ensure data security, you are suggested to recover data from USB flash drive first. Then, a data recovery program is needed. Here, we take MiniTool Power Data Recovery as an example. 

Step 1: Install the Software

Download MiniTool Power Data Recovery from its official website and install it on your Windows. Then, plug the USB flash drive into the same computer. 

Step 2: Scan USB Flash Drive

Run the software to reach the main interface. Choose This PC or Removable Disk Drive to begin. Find the connecting USB drive and click Scan.

Step 3: Select Items to Recover

When the scanning process comes to an end, you may see a list of scanning results. Open and browse each of them to pick out what you need. Next, click Save and choose a path as storage location to keep the selected data. 

After finishing USB data recovery, you can get down to dealing with USB flash drive not recognized error in Windows.

Part 2 – Solve USB Flash Drive Not Recognized in Windows

Fix 1: Check Hardware Connection

First of all, you may troubleshoot the connection between USB drive and computer, like USB port or USB cable. Remove the USB flash drive from computer and reboot Windows. And then, reconnect it computer to see if it can be visible in Windows. 

Fix 2: Check USB Drive in Disk Management

Disk Management is a Windows inbuilt utility to manage your disk and partition. Open it to see whether USB drive can be found there. If the USB drive is shown as unallocated space, you can choose to assign a drive letter for it, or create new partitions to make it usable. 

Fix 3: Disable Power Save

① Go to Device Manager.

② Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers. Then, right click USB Root Hub and choose Properties from menu.

③ Shift to Power Management tab. Next, let the option Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power unchecked. Click OK to execute.

Fix 4: Update Device Driver

When USB driver is outdated or corrupted, USB flash drive not recognized error may happen. In this case, you may follow this tutorial to have a try. 

① In Device Manager window, find Disk drives and expand it.

② Right click the target USB flash drive and choose Update driver from the list.

③ Select a way to search for driver, and complete the work by following the prompts. 

Fix 5: Run Troubleshooter

① Enter Settings window with corresponding methods depending on different Windows OSs.

② Choose Update and Security

③ Then, go to Troubleshoot > Hardware and Devices > Run the troubleshooter

④ Exit the window until the process 100% completes.

Fix 6: Reformat USB Flash Drive

File system error of USB drive also can be a cause for USB not recognized problem. Why does file system get corrupted? Sudden USB ejection is one of reasons. 

In order to fix USB file system error, you may try reformatting it to a file system that is compatible with your computer system and programs. Don’t forget to back up USB data using the methods mentioned in part 1. Then, format the USB flash drive with Disk Management. 

However, if you need to format a USB drive larger than 32GB to FAT32, Disk Management will not work. You can choose a professional partition manager in this case. Partition Wizard can assist you to achieve it. 

Final Words

To sum up, we’ve demonstrated 6 different methods to fix USB flash drive not recognized in Windows computer. Now, you may choose some of them to have a try. If this post helps you, please share it with more friends. 

Comments & Leave a Comment

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ewertom June 28, 2021 at 20:45

I constantly have some of the issues with my USB flash drive that you presented on this list. So I you always check this post hen needed. Thanks for it!

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