How to Fix USB Drive Not Formatted Error [2023]

Updated to File Recovery Tips by William on Nov 30, 2023 | Approved by Daryl Baxter

When you see a pop-up tell you the USB drive is not formatted. It is an error which you can fix. Try to fix it on another computer, or make use of the computer system, and recover files from it with iBeesoft Data Recovery (you can download it first) and format it later. Follow the guide below to learn the details.

Download for Windows Download for macOS

Does USB drive not formatted error appear each time you plug your thumb device? Are you worrying that formatting will erase the content? Well, you can forego these things with a simple solution. Usually, the error appears due to the following reasons:

You will see the error due to a lack of support from the operating system to the USB drive’s file system. Because of this, the operating system asks you to format the storage device. While you can format by clicking the "format" option from the message, it will permanently erase the drive's contents.

In this case, the best way to solve the problem is not simply formatting the USB flash drive. Try to fix the USB is not formatted error before using the last resort. Check out the details below.

Solution 1: Inspection of USB Drive in Another Computer

There is a possibility that your operating system is unable to recognize the USB drive. A better method to ensure that the drive is functioning is by checking its functionality on another computer. Follow the steps to inspect the drive on a different computer:

  1. If you have connected the USB drive to your system, disconnect the same.
  2. Press Windows + X together to open the options window. From the list, choose "Disk Management".
  3. Now proceed to connect the USB drive to the computer. If you notice that the formatting message appears on this system, click the "Cancel" button.
  4. Open the File Explorer and check whether there is a letter assigned to the storage device. If there is no letter assigned, you will notice the unassigned RAW partition displayed in the window. Select it, right-click, and click "Change Drive Letter and Paths" option.
  5. You can now assign a new letter to the drive and click "OK" to apply the changes. Minimize the Disk Management Tool and check whether you can access the drive. If you cannot access, then proceed to the next solution.

Solution 2: Use CHKDSK to Fix USB drive not formatted error

You can clear the USB drive is not formatted error displayed by your computer by following these steps:

  1. Click Windows + R to open the search bar. Type "cmd" and press "Enter" key.
  2. From the list, choose the Command Prompt feature, right-click on the same, and select "Run as Administrator".
  3. Input the following command in the window: Chkdsk /r /f X. The X here stands for the letter assigned by the operating system to the USB drive.
  4. The size, interface, and type determine the time to complete the scan.

After completion, unplug it, reconnect, and check whether you can access the storage device. If your computer still shows the error, head to the final solution.

If the above mentioned 2 ways not workable, you must format the hard drive. before you begin the process o, it is crucial to recover the data. You might be wondering how you recover data when your computer is showing USB is not formatted error? The answer is simple.

Solution 3: Recover Data from USB Drive and Format USB Drive

As you still get the USB drive not formatted error, it is time to use iBeesoft Data Recovery to retrieve all the data and then format the drive. The recovery software is an effective method to get back data with ease. The robust algorithm helps you in searching for different file types and get back everything. The essential features include:

Your Safe & Effective Recover Formatted USB Drive Software

(Trust Score 4.7 by 1695 Users)
  • Retrieving lost data from USB drive due to improper operation such as removing drive during operation, accidentally formatted, file system displayed as RAW, deleted, and other reasons.
  • Recovery from lost or hidden partitions in Windows/Mac.
  • The free unformat software supports almost all file types like pictures, videos, music, documents, etc.
Download for Windows Download for macOS

How to Recover Data from USB Drive with Not Formatted Error

  1. Before proceeding to use the software to clear the USB is not formatted error, download the trial version of the software from its website. Installation is a simple process, and it is standalone software. Also, connect the USB drive to the computer.
  2. The next screen shows you the different locations that you can select for scanning. You will also see the externally connected USB drive. Select the storage device and press the "Scan" button to allow the software to scan for the data that you want to recover.
  3. The time to complete the scan depends on the size, type, and selected file format. After completion, the program shows the files it can recover according to their file format. You can use the directory tree management in the left pane to browse the file format to see the recoverable files. Use the preview to select files. Mark all the essential records and click the "Recover" key. The program will ask you for a location to save the data. Create a folder on your computer hard disk and press "Ok". After iBeesoft completes the recovery, you can continue to the next step to format the USB drive.

Guide to Format the USB Drive with Not Formatted Error

  1. Open File Explorer. Click This PC from the left pane.
  2. Under the "Devices and driver" section, select the connected USB drive, right-click to open the properties window, and click the "Format" option.
  3. Use NTFS as the file system. Select "Default allocation size" under the allocation unit size. Input a name to the drive under the volume label section.
  4. Under the format option, opt for the quick format. The format deletes the file system table. However, it is possible to recover data. If you uncheck the option, a full format will occur that replaces the bad sectors with zeroes. It, thus, erases entire data.
  5. Click "Start". Then click "Yes" in the next pop-up message.

Once complete, you can use the USB drive to store pictures, documents, files, etc. See, it’s not hard to fix the USB drive not formatted error. Once you successfully recovered data from the USB drive with iBeesoft Data Recovery, you can fix it soon.