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Fixes for ‘The USB Storage Device Cannot Be Used’ on PS4

Updated on Jul 12, 2019 by Jean to Partition Manager

Here are two quick fixes for PS4 error 'the USB storage device cannot be used. the file system is not supported.' Both could solve the problem with ease. Try them one by one until the USB drive works properly on the game console.

Problem description

"The USB storage device cannot be used. The file system is not supported."

"This is the exact error I received when I plugged in a Toshiba USB external hard drive to the PS4 in hopes of being able to add more storage to it, which is out of storage now. What happened to the USB stick? It works fine on my computer. Please help me fix the trouble. Thanks."

Do not worry too much because it's not a big problem. The full error message indicates an unsupported file system on the USB flash drive. To use the storage device properly on the PS4 game console, try to format the device following the instructions provided below.

the usb storage device cannot be used ps4

Reasons and solutions for PS4 cannot use this USB storage device

What's the standard file system of USB stick for PS4? Only two file systems are supported, which are exFAT and FAT32. Now you should realize the failure that PS4 says it cannot use the USB stick you're trying to connect.

The truth is that all USB flash drives come with NTFS, which is not considered to be compatible with the PS4 system. Therefore, you must apply some proper tools to format internal drive, external hard drive, USB flash drive or SD card for PS4, for the purpose of expanding storage space, data backup and other significant usages.

How to format the NTFS USB drive to FAT32

Both formatting methods in the following would erase data on the USB drive, so make sure that you have transferred the data to somewhere safe.

First, delete all partitions on the storage device.

Download EaseUS free partition manager, which is a capable disk & partition management software that fulfills the demand of basic disk & partition management in Windows 10, 8 and 7. Now, attach your external USB hard drive to a Windows computer and wait until Windows recognizes it.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported


Step 1: Run and enter EaseUS Partition Master interface. Here you can right-click on the HDD or SSD disk and select "Delete All".

select delete all

Step 2: Click "OK" to make sure that you want to delete all partitions on the selected disk.

select the disk

Step 3: Keep all changes on your computer.

By clicking "OK" you will add a pending operation of all-partitions deletion. Click "Execute Operation" and "Apply" to delete all partitions.

delete all partitions by clicking Apply

Now, the USB disk will be displayed as the unallocated space.

Then, create a FAT32 partition on the USB storage device.


Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master

On the main window, right-click on the unallocated space on your hard drive or external storage device and select "Create".

Create partition on unallocated space

Step 2: Adjust the new partition size, file system, label, etc.

Set the size, partition label, drive letter, file system, etc. for the new partition and click "OK" to continue.

Set up new partition

Step 3: Confirm to create a new partition

Click on the "Execute Operation" button and confirm to create a new partition by clicking "Apply".

Confirm and keep all changes

For the first attempt to format an NTFS partition, you perhaps see it clearly that EaseUS Partition Master doesn't provide the possibility to convert NTFS to exFAT. 

How to Format NTFS USB drive to exFAT

Only Windows Disk Management allows users to convert NTFS to exFAT by formatting. But the first step does not change, you have to delete all partitions by using EaseUS Partition Master Free. Afterwards, follow the detailed guide to format NTFS USB drive to exFAT without any hassle.

There are multiple ways to open Windows Disk Management. Here, you can access it via Run, which is applicable to all Windows platforms.

Step 1: Press "Windows key + R" simultaneously to open "Run", type diskmgmt.msc in the box and click "OK".

open disk management in the run

Step 2: Right-click on the USB's unallocated space and select "New Simple Volume".

create new simple volume to fix ps4 error the usb storage device cannot be used

Step 3: Follow the New Simple Volume Wizard and format the volume with the given settings, including File system (choose "exFAT"), Allocation unit size, volume label and check the box "perform a quick format". Click "Next".

choose exFAT as file system to fix ps4 error the usb storage device cannot be used

Step 4: After completing the process, click "Finish". The NTFS USB flash drive has successfully converted to exFAT.

The suggested two ways would solve the problem of PS4 error 'the USB storage device cannot be used. The file system is not supported' without much effort. Do not hesitate to have a try.