7 Ways to Fix Your Flash Drive When it`s Not Recognized by Windows/Mac

Scenarios When the Flash Drive is not Recognized

flash drive not recognised

There are many technical as well as non technical issues which result in a USB drive not being recognized. From corrupted USB ports to USB formatting issues, there is a long list that includes hardware as well as software related issues. It is also to be noted that the user, before applying any solution, should make sure that the root cause is analyzed and that the user determines the proper issue. The latter part of this introduction will list the top 5 scenarios users have faced. There are plenty of USB recognizing software programs online which make sure that the data is extracted, but these programs are not recommended as they can threaten security by possibly compromising data. The main scenarios that lead to issues are as follows.

  1. USB ports are not working
  2. USB drivers are not updated
  3. OS is not updated
  4. USB drive is malfunctioning
  5. USB firmware is corrupted

Factors That Might Result in an Unrecognized Flash Drive Problem

The following are some of the factors that may lead to this issue. It is to be noted that these issues should be resolved as soon as possible to make sure that the user doesn't face a prolonged issue:

1. USB Formatting Issue: This is the most common type of problem, where the user is not able to format the drive before the first use. The error message says that the formatting could not be completed.

2. Drivers Issue: The parallel port drivers are either not available or need to be updated.

3. Hard Drive Related Issues: If the hard drive of the OS and the related system are not working properly, this is likely the issue.

4. OS Related Issues: The OS, if not updated in a timely manner, also leads to these issues. The only solution is to update the components.

5. Port Related Issues: This could be both the hardware and software. If the parallel ports are not recognizing the USB, professional help is advised.

Part 1: 4 Ways to Fix the "Flash Drive Not Recognized" Problem on Windows

The following are four ways that should be applied to resolve USB recognition issues on Windows:

Way 1: Scanning for USB Issues

1. Insert the drive into the USB port of the system:

Flash Drive Not Recognized on Windows

2. Make sure that the removable disk is right-clicked in the My Computer section. Then open the Properties section:

7 Ways to fix Flash Drive Not Recognized on Windows

3. Access the Tools section:

how to fix Flash Drive Not Recognized on Windows

4. The user then needs to make sure that the "Check now" button is clicked so that the new menu appears. Here, both the options are to be selected and the start button should be pressed to scan the device and resolve the issue.

Flash Drive Not Recognized on Windows Issue

Way 2: Reformatting the USB

Follow this process:

1. Right-click the drive to select the format option:

7 Ways to fix your flash drive when it`s not recognized by WindowsMac

2. Now, the user needs to format using NTFS instead of FAT32 or vice versa to resolve the issue:

Solve the flash drive not recognized by problem

Way 3: Updating the Drivers

The process is as follows:

1. The user needs to access the run command and then type devmgmt.msc within the tab:

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2. The user will proceed to the device manager:

USB not recognized by Windows

3. The user then needs to find the Universal Serial Bus controllers:

fix USB not recognized by Windows issue

4. Lastly, the driver should be right-clicked and the option to update the driver should be selected to resolve the issue.:

fix USB not recognized by Windows issue

Way 4: Updating OS

To update the OS, follow these steps:

1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security

4 Ways to fix your flash drive when it`s not recognized by Windows

2. The user now needs to make sure that the "Check for updates" option is selected:

usb flash drive not recognized on windows

3. The OS will be updated;

windows fail to recognize usb flash drive

4. The user then needs to restart the system to make sure that the issue is resolved.

Part 2: 3 Ways to Fix the "Flash Drive Not Recognized" Problem on a Macintosh

Following are the top three USB related issues on Macs and their solutions.

Way 1: Manual Connection Issue

The process is easy if resolved according to the instructions below:

1. Go to Applications > Utilities

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2. Under devices, the option marked in the screenshot below is to be selected:

flash drive not recognized by Mac

3. The user then needs to navigate to the Devices menu > External Devices in order to connect the USB drive manually:

USB not recognized by Mac

Way 2: Reset the RPAM on the Mac OS

This is a one-step process in which the user needs to find the key as depicted in the screenshot below. The system will do the rest by itself.

how to fix usb flash drive not recognized by Mac

Way 3: Formatting a Drive on a Mac to Resolve the Issues

This is a common and straightforward process that is to be followed as described below:

1. The user needs to press the cmd + spacebar keys simultaneously and then type "applications" to access the application folder after inserting the USB. Find the disk utility:

how to fix your flash drive when it`s not recognized by WindowsMac

2. The USB that is to be fixed can be found on the left panel:

fix your flash drive when it`s not recognized by WindowsMac

3. The user then needs to press the erase button to make sure that the process ends:

7 Ways to fix your flash drive when it`s not recognized by WindowsMac

Part 3: Data Recovery Software for Hard Drive Data Lost

Once the user is able to get the data and the USB working, then it is advised to backup all important data, to make sure that the issue never occurs again. The user should also check that the folders are present within the drive and make sure that nothing is missing. Recoverit tool should be used to make sure that the data is found before it has been overwritten. It is the most advanced and state-of-the-art tool that has been developed specifically to help users facing this problem.

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