[Fixed] USB Not Showing Up in Windows 11/10

Home > HowTos > Troubleshooting Tips Updated by Nancy on May 11, 2024 | Approved by Cesar C

For many people, plugging in a USB flash drive is a simple matter of plug-and-play, but what to do when USB drivers don't show up? Fortunately, this is a common issue that can be remedied quickly. You can get your USB devices working again with some patience and technical know-how. For this, you can check out the solution for USB not showing up in Windows 11/10 provided by this blog post.

Quick Navigation
Part 1: Why is My USB Stick Not Showing on My PC?
Part 2: Check if your USB drive appears in Disk Management
Part 3: Repair USB Not Showing Up in Windows 10/11 File Explorer but in Disk Management
Part 4: Fix Flash Drive Not Detected in File Explorer and Disk Management
Part 5: How to Avoid USB Flash Drives Not Recognized by PC
Part 6: FAQs

Why is My USB Stick Not Showing on My PC?

One common issue with external storage devices is Windows 10 and Windows 11 not detecting USB. Many reasons may cause such problems, such as port problems, driver failures, configuration errors, file system corruption, etc. The causes of the issues will usually determine the specific solutions that will work to resolve them. Your USB drive may show up in Disk Management but not in File Explorer, and sometimes, it may not appear in both places. Whatever the reason, troubleshooting and trying different solutions to open USB on Windows 11/10 and running again is always a good idea.

Check if your USB drive appears in Disk Management

To check if your external drive is showing in Disk Management, navigate to 'This PC' and then to 'Manage' and 'Disk Management. From here, you can check whether the USB drive is seen. You don't have to worry if you can't see your flash drive in Disk Management. We will look at the various solutions to the issues associated with USB not detected in Windows 11 and 10.

How to Repair USB Not Showing Up in Windows 10/11 File Explorer but in Disk Management

It can be frustrating when you plug in your trusty USB stick is visible in Disk Management but not showing up in Explorer. Some factors, such as file system errors, drive letter conflicts, or USB driver issues, can cause this issue. But fear not; With some troubleshooting, you can fix the USB drive not showing up in Windows 11/10 and reaccess your essential files.

Solution 1: Update USB Drive

The driver is the communication bridge between the computer and the external storage device. If it fails, you can't see USB drive in Windows 11 or 10. In this case, you can try the following methods to update it to the latest version.

  1. Connect your USB drive to the PC and right-click on This PC and select Manage.
  2. Click on Device Manager and expand the Disk Drives. Locate the USB drive with the issue and right-click on it. Select Update Driver.
  3. Click on Search Automatically for drivers.

The driver will be updated and your PC will reboot. After this, you can reconnect the USB drive to the computer and check if it’s visible in File Explorer.

Solution 2: Reinstall Disk Driver

Another solution to resolving the question of why is my USB not showing up in Windows 11/10 is to reinstall the disk driver.

  1. Hold down the Windows + R keys and type devmgmt.msc.
  2. Double-click Disk Drives and select the USB that has the issue.
  3. Next, right-click select Uninstall Device.
  4. You will be prompted to confirm the option and Click Uninstall.

Wait for the process to be complete. Restart the PC and reconnect your USB flash drive. When the PC restarts, the disk drive will be installed automatically.

Solution 3: Change Letter Conflicts

You will be unable to see your USB drive in Windows File Explorer if it shares the same drive letter with the computer's hard disk partition. To resolve this issue of the external hard drive not showing up on Windows 11, 10, 7, and more, you have to assign another drive letter to the USB drive. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to This PC and right-click on it. Select the Manage menu and then Disk Management.
  2. Right-click on the volume of your USB drive and choose Change Drive Letter & Paths....
  3. Click Change in the new window.
  4. Choose a new drive letter for your USB drive and click the OK button.

Solution 4: Unhide Empty Drives

  1. Press the "Windows + E" keys simultaneously
  2. Click View > Options on the top menu of Explorer.
  3. Switch to the "View" tab in the Filter Options window.
  4. Deselect "Hide empty drives."

Solution 5: Disabled Power’s USB Selective Suspend

Enabling the power plan’s USB Selective Suspend may also cause your USB flash drive not showing up in Windows 11. Therefore, you can use the steps below to turn it off.

  1. Navigate to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options
  2. Click "Change plan settings" behind the "Balanced" option.
  3. Click "Change advanced power settings."
  4. Expand USB settings > USB selective suspend setting
  5. Finally, select "Enabled."

Solution 6: Modify the USBSTOR

The registry of a Windows PC is a system database that records software and hardware configuration information. If something goes wrong with the settings of the removable storage device, then the USB drive you plug into the computer will not appear in Windows 11/10. Therefore, you can follow the steps below to resolve this issue.

  1. Press the "Windows + R" keys and type "regedit" in the open window.
  2. Expand "Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR" in turn
  3. Double-click the "Start" item on the right side of the page and change the number to "3."

Solution 7: Format USB Drive to Fix the System Error without Data Loss

File system errors can also cause the flash drive not showing up on Windows 11, 10, and 7. If this is the case, the device will show up as a RAW drive, which will not be accessible. To repair it, you must format the drive to assign a new file system. However, to protect your essential data, you can use the following steps to recover files from corrupted USB and format it.

  1. Download and install this data recovery software for USB drives
  2. Select your damaged flash drive to start scanning.
  3. After completing data extraction, select all items and click Recover to save them.
  4. Right-click on Search icon and type Computer Management.
  5. Open this app and select Disk Management.
  6. Right-click on the "USB hard drive" and choose Format to erase the USB drive.

Part 2: Fix Flash Drive Not Detected in File Explorer and Disk Management

Solution 1: Try Another USB Slot

Problems with the USB port can also make your USB or pen drive not detected in Windows 11, 10, and 7. Therefore, you should check the USB connection and move it around. There are multiple USB ports on a PC. You should try other ports to see if the USB will be recognized.

Solution 2: Check Plug and Play Services

It is a service for computers to detect plug-and-play storage devices and establish communication with them. If it is accidentally disabled, the Windows 11/10 USB drive not showing up. You can check its status by following the guide below to do this.

  1. Right-click the "Start" icon in the lower-left corner of the screen and select "Computer Management."
  2. Click "Services and Applications" on the left menu.
  3. Choose "Services" in the expanded options.
  4. Check the status of Plug and Play. If it is off, then please enable it.

Solution 3: Ask for Help from the Retailer

If the problem of the Windows 11 USB drive not showing up persists after using all the solutions provided in this manual, it may be that the drive is damaged or corrupt. If this is the case, you will need to seek the help of a retailer for manual repair.

How to Avoid USB Flash Drives Not Recognized by PC

Have you ever experienced the frustration of plugging in your USB drive only to have your computer not recognize it? This is a common issue that can happen for various reasons, but luckily there are tips to avoid it.

These simple steps prevent the dreaded "USB not showing up in Windows 11" error and seamlessly access your essential data.



Whether USB flash drives are not detected, you should try the abovementioned ways to make them readable. Only by that the USB drive is functional. Otherwise, you have to ditch it for a new one. This article detailed everything you need to know about resolving the issue of a USB not showing up in Windows 11 or 10. Once again, you need to pay more attention to your essential files trapped in the USB drive, preventing them from losing.