How to Fix Unreadable USB Flash Drive on Windows 10, 8, 7

How to Fix Unreadable USB Flash Drive on Windows 10 -Nowadays, USB has become a necessity when it comes to storage devices. Especially for those of you who often transfer data from one computer to another. Apart from being small and quite affordable, flash drives are also portable which makes it easier to access data on your PC/laptop wherever you are.

Even though flash drives play an important role in supporting productivity when in front of a PC/laptop screen. There are times when it just refuses to work normally. Given also that this tool is very vulnerable to damage or various errors that occur. Sometimes under certain conditions, you will experience a malfunction on the flash drive as if it is unreadable by the system.

An unreadable flash drive is indeed a problem that is often met by every PC/laptop user. Where the Windows system cannot detect the flash drive you are using. This circumstance is usually caused by several factors. If you want to find out, see the information on the cause and how to deal with a flash drive that is unrecognizable by the operating system.

The Cause of The Flash Drive being Unreadable

Generally, USB drive problems that are unreadable by the system occur due to certain factors. One of them is a problematic USB port or maybe a damaged flash connector. In addition, often the act of removing the flash from the USB port can also cause the flash to fail to be read by the system. Furthermore, you can refer to the following points.

1. Problem with the USB port

The main reason why USBs are often unreadable by the system is usually that the USB port itself has a problem. This usually happens on laptops that are not properly maintained. So the USB port has become corroded due to external conflicts such as water, dust, age, and so on.

2. The flash drive is broken

Apart from that, there is also a possibility that this problem is caused by your damaged USB drive. The duration of use can also affect the performance of the flash when active.

3. Unplugging the flash without ejecting it

Not a few PC/laptop users are negligent to eject/safely removed hardware. Even though this is very important and necessary when you are transferring data to a flash drive. If you often do this, over time it can cause the flash to fail/error.

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4. Problem with drivers

Even if you have installed the driver on your Windows PC/laptop. If you don’t update it regularly when updates are available, then this can also result in the driver not working properly.

5. There is a bug in the operating system

The existence of bugs in the operating system can indeed cause many problems on a PC/laptop. Because of this bug, it might make your flash drive very difficult for the system to read. To fix this bug problem, you can run Windows Update which will be explained later in the repair method.

How to Fix Unreadable USB Flash Drive on Windows 10,8,7

Below are various options that you can choose to fix an unreadable flash drive in Windows. You can start with simple methods, such as unplugging and plugging in the flash drive, cleaning the laptop’s USB port, and restarting your PC/laptop. Read and follow the steps below to fix it.

1. Unplug and reconnect the USB

The first way to deal with an unreadable flash drive in Windows is to just simply to unplug and plug the flash drive back into the USB port. The goal is to let the PC/laptop refreshes the device automatically. It looks simple, but this method is often useful to several people and has been proven successful in fixing the problem. See and follow the instructions below.

Unplug and reconnect the USB

  • First, click Start menu » and type Device Manager in the Windows search field.
  • After that, click Device Manager from the search results.
  • Next, expand on Disk drives » select and right-click the problematic USB disk drive » and click Uninstall.
  • After the uninstall process is complete, please unplug the USB device » and wait for 1 minute.
  • And then reconnect the USB into the Port » right click on Disk drives » select Scan for hardware changes, and see the results.
  • Done.

Apart from uninstalling, you can also update drivers to fix flash drives that don’t read properly. Please follow the steps below.

How to Fix Unreadable USB Flash Drive on Windows 10 2

  • Still on the Device Manager page.
  • Then right-click on the driver » and select Update Driver.
  • Then click Browse my Computer for driver software.
  • Navigate the “Search for driver software in this location” section, to the driver installation location that you downloaded » click Next.
  • Wait for the installation process for a while » click Close to close it.
  • For the driver to function properly and optimally, please restart it first.
  • Done.

If the flash drive does not appear in the “Disk drive” list, you can proceed to the next method.

2. Connect to a different USB port

After doing the previous method but the flash is still unreadable, try connecting it to a different USB port. Considering that every PC/laptop has more than two USB ports that are useful when one of the ports is damaged. The main reason is there is a possibility that a problematic port such as dust or rust is causing the problem. Which can originate from external elements such as water, dust, or others. Follow these simple tips.

  • Clean the USB port using an air compressor or similar cleaning tool.
  • Try reconnecting the flash drive to the USB port.
  • If that doesn’t work, also try connecting a device other than a flash drive to the USB port.
  • If the two devices are unreadable at all, then most likely the USB port has been damaged.
  • Visit a PC/laptop service center to repair the device.
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3. Try restarting your PC/laptop

The next repair step is to try restarting your PC/laptop first. Before you restart the device, temporarily disconnect all peripheral devices connected to the USB port. The goal is to avoid conflict problems between systems and devices. Even though it looks trivial, not a few Windows users think that this simple solution can solve the problem. The purpose of restarting itself is for the system to reload and the computer will run more optimally than previously. And if even after that the flash is still unreadable, you can try the following tips to fix it.

4. Disable the USB Selective Suspend feature

Next is turning off the USB Selective Suspend feature. This feature is a power-saving regulator that helps reduce battery usage by cutting power to your USB when in use. By disabling the USB Selective Suspend feature, power management settings won’t override the USB controller preventing Windows from detecting it. Follow the steps below to turn it off.

STEP 1: In the first step, please right-click the Battery icon on the Windows Taskbar. Or you can also press the Windows key + X » and then click Power Options.

STEP 2: Then click Change plan settings » select Change advanced power settings. Then click the (+) USB Settings icon » and click (+) USB Selective Suspension setting. Then change the options in the “On battery” and “Plugged in” sections to Disabled » click Apply » OK.

Disable the USB Selective Suspend feature

STEP 3: Before you connect the flash drive again, please restart the device first so that when it is reloaded it will run optimally without problems.

5. Format via Disk Management – How to Fix Unreadable USB Flash Drive on Windows 10

If the flash is still not detected, you can try formatting the flash. Given that there is a possibility that the data contained on the flash is corrupt or problematic. By formatting, it will delete the data inside permanently. Here’s how to format a flash drive via Disk Management.

Format via Disk Management

First, press the combination Windows + X on the keyboard » and select Disk Management.
If it appears, look closely at the list of available disks. You may find the name of the flash drive in the list.
Next right-click on the USB » select Format » OK.

Alternatively, you can also use third-party applications such as HDD Low-Level Format if the flash drive is not found in the Disk Management list. Follow the steps below.

6. Use HDD Low-Level Format – How to Fix Unreadable USB Flash Drive on Windows 10

Use HDD Low-Level Format - How to Fix Unreadable USB Flash Drive on Windows 10

  • First, download and install the application here.
  • Then connect the flash drive to the PC/laptop USB port.
  • After that, open the HDD Low-Level Format application » and click the name of the flash drive that you want to format. Ex: Toshiba or others.
  • Then click Continue to continue.
  • Then click the “Low-Level Format” tab, click Format This Device » and select the Yes option.
  • Wait a few moments for the format process.
  • After success, do Eject and remove your flash » and then restart your PC/Laptop to see the results.
  • Done.
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Apart from HDD Low-Level Format, you can also use other similar applications to fix errors on flash drives. For example, Kingston Format Utility, HP USB Disk Storage Format Tools, USB Write Protect, or Repair Neo.

7. Run the Windows update – How to Fix Unreadable USB Flash Drive on Windows 10

Running system updates is an important part of the Windows experience. Bearing in mind that by updating, not only you can experience the latest features provided by Microsoft but also be useful for increasing system protection and also fixing bugs/errors in previous versions. Here’s how to run it:

  • First, enter the Update & Security feature » Windows Update.
  • Then click Check for updates to see the latest Windows update version.
  • If available, you can update it.
  • After the update is complete, you can restart your laptop/computer.
  • Done.

Note: Before you run Windows Update, first make sure your Local Disc C storage is full or not. Because when the update is running, the system requires enough storage space so that the update process is under control and no problems occur.

8. Check the condition of the flash drive

The last option you need to do is to check the condition of the flash. If in a previous way you have confirmed that the PC/laptop USB port is not a problem, but the Windows system still cannot detect it. So there is a possibility that this problem occurs because your USB is damaged. Then how do you know if the flash drive is damaged or not? Easy enough, follow one of the following tips.

  • Install another USB that you have into the port – if the USB is detected by Windows, it is very likely that the USB you are using is damaged or has an error.
  • Insert the flash drive into the USB port of another PC/Laptop device – If your flash drive is not detected by the system, it could be that the flash drive is damaged.
  • Then what if the USB is damaged? Of course, like it or not, you have to give up all the data stored on the flash drive and have to buy a new flash drive. When you buy a new USB, you should always take care of it so you don’t experience error problems when used.

Closing How to Fix Unreadable USB Flash Drive on Windows 10

Experiencing a malfunction on a USB feels very annoying, especially when we need it when it’s urgent. This is what makes PC/laptop users confused if they experience a similar incident. Hopefully, of the methods that we have provided above, we can fix errors on flash drives that cannot be read by the Windows system. You can start with the simplest way, such as unplugging the flash drive or maybe restarting the device. That way, the flash can be reused for data transfer purposes.

If you have questions or other methods that you want to convey, please write them through the comments column below. Thank you and good luck!

Can corrupt files be repaired?

Of course, you can, one of the easiest ways to fix/restore it normally is to use the Repair Tools software. You can get this software for free or pay via Google search.

What are the main causes of corrupt files on a flash drive?

It could be that this problem is caused by an imperfect unplug eject process. Placing the flash drive around objects that have high magnetic waves. Or perhaps a virus which can also be the reason why the files on the flash drive are corrupt.

Why is the flash drive write-protected?

This error often occurs when you don’t safely remove hardware when using a flash drive, for example, if you remove the flash drive from the USB port. Besides that, there is a possibility that the main cause is a broken flash drive or a virus.

How to Fix Unreadable USB Flash Drive on Windows 10, 8, 7
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