Procedure to Format a USB Drive on Windows 10

How to Format A USB Drive on Windows 10?

Due to various reasons, users will format a USB flash drive in Windows 10. The reasons can be to increase drive speed, compatibility etc. This article provides some ways to format a USB drive on Windows 10 computer.

USB Drive

Windows 10 offers three file system options while formatting a USB drive: FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS.

Method 1: Format USB drive using File Explorer

The simplest way available to format your USB drive is by using file explorer. Know how to do it by following the below steps:

Format using File Explorer

  • Connect your USB drive to system
  • Go to This PC and locate your drive
  • Right click on it and select Format option
  • You can customize the formatting options that are: File system, Allocation unit size, volume label and format options. You can even Restore device defaults in case if your custom settings aren’t working.
  • To proceed with the formatting, make your selection, click Start followed by OK to confirm the formatting process

Note: If you have formatted the drive without maintaining a backup of important files then follow this link to know how to recover data from formatted USB drive easily and effectively.

In reality Windows 10 Disk Management tool only supports to format USB drive which is smaller than 32GB to FAT32. What if your USB flash drive is larger than 32 GB? In that case, you can format it using CMD command line.

Method 2: Format USB Drive using Command Prompt

Format Drive using CMD

  • In the start menu or Run tab just enter Then right click the command prompt icon and select Run as Administrator
  • When the command prompt is opened, type diskpart and hit enter
  • Then type list disk to see active drives on your machine
  • Using select command locate or choose your USB drive
  • Then enter select disk following by its disk number, for example, select disk 2.
  • Once you selected the disk, type clean command
  • It will display a success message on the screen
  • Then type create partition primary and active-this will create and activate the specified partition
  • Now it’s time to format your USB drive, for that enter format fs ntfs label “insert name of drive here” quick command
  • If you want to format your drive to FAT32 or exFAT, then simply replace NTFS with either of the two file formats in the command, and change the name of the drive.
  • Finally, enter assign command and exit the command prompt

Now your USB drive should be cleanly formatted and ready to use. Hope this page helped you in understanding different ways of formatting USB drives. Share your feedback about this page in the comment section below.

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