On this page, you'll learn how to format USB using CMD or an easier CMD alternative in Windows 10/8/7 successfully. Pick up the suitable USB format tool for help now:

USB Format Tool Pros 
1. Format USB Via CMD Alternative
  • Format to NTFS/FAT32/exFAT/EXT4/3/2
  • Convert FAT32 to NTFS without formatting
  • For all levels of users, beginners' best choice
2. Format USB Using CMD
  • Format to NTFS/FAT32
  • For professional users

Applies to: Format corrupted USB, fix SD card won't format, format BitLocker encrypted drives, and format USB to NTFS/FAT32,exFAT/EXT, etc. devices.

Supported OS: Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7 and Windows XP/Vista, and all Windows Server systems.

The 2 ways can both format a USB; CMD is too difficult for beginners. Hence, formatting a USB using CMD alternative is a better and easier choice. Click the button below to one-click format USB.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Back-Up Data before You Format USB Using CMD

Here are some tips that you can follow to get everything ready before formatting your USB using CMD:

#1. Backup USB Essentials

As formatting will remove all saved data on the USB drive, if your USB is accessible, make sure to back up valuable USB data to another secure location in advance. You can either manually copy files from USB to another device or turn to automated & free file backup software - EaseUS Todo Backup Free to create a full backup of everything on your USB at one time.

#2. Pick a Reliable USB Formatting Tool - CMD or Its Alternative

If you prefer an easy and quick way to format USB or you need to format to Ext 4/3/2, pick up CMD alternative - EaseUS Partition Master for help.

Experienced Windows users can directly run the CMD formatting commandformat fs=ntfs quick or format fs=fat32 quick to format the USB drive.

Let's start to format your USB using the CMD alternative tool or CMD command lines to make the RAW, inaccessible, unreadable, and even corrupted USB flash drive, pen drive, and memory stick work normally again. 

Format Pen Drive Using CMD Alternative

Although you can format a USB from cmd, it's not user-friendly for most Windows beginners. Also, any improper operation may cause data loss on other storage devices. Here, we would like to recommend you try third-party CMD alternative software, a free partition manager tool, EaseUS Partition Master Free Edition. 

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

EaseUS Partition Master Free Edition is a perfect CMD alternative tool for USB formatting. With an easy-to-use interface and precise operation, you can use it to format USB easily in only a few clicks. All levels of users can apply this tool to format USB. Here are the detailed steps: 

  • Right-click the external drive or USB you intend to format and choose "Format".
  • Set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and Cluster size, then click "OK".
  • Click "Yes" to continue.
  • Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button and click "Apply" to format the hard drive partition.

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Aside from replacing CMD to format the USB drive, EaseUS Partition Master is also a great hard drive format tool that you can apply to format and set up any type of storage device for different purposes, as shown below. 

How to Format USB Using CMD (Command Prompt)

USB flash drive is worldwide used for storing data and transferring files. However, sometimes, USB may corrupt or become inaccessible due to RAW or invalid file system, bad sector, or other errors. A quick way to resolve these problems is to format USB using CMD or low-level format USB.

Format USB Using CMD

The following are two detailed guides, illustrating how to format a USB flash drive from Windows Command Prompt that you should strictly follow.

Steps to Format USB (to NTFS or FAT32) Using CMD

#1. Format USB using CMD in Windows 11/10:

Step 1. Connect USB to your PC and press Windows + R keys.

Step 2. Type cmd in the Search box and hit Enter to bring up Command Prompt.

Step 3. Type the following command lines one by one and hit Enter each time:

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk + number (Replace 2 with the number of your USB drive.)
  • list volume
  • select volume + number (Replace 10 with the volume number of your USB flash drive.)
  • format fs=ntfs quick (You can also replace NTFS with FAT32 or exFAT.)
  • exit

Format USB using cmd

CMD also works to fix Windows was unable to complete the format error in your computer hard drive, USB, or other storage devices.

Read AlsoFormat A USB Drive That Doesn't Show Up

#2. Format USB flash drive using Command Prompt in Windows 8/7:

If you are using a Windows 8/7 system, here are the steps that you can follow to format USB using the command prompt:

Step 1. Connect your USB drive to the computer.

Step 2. Open File Explorer and remember the drive letter of your USB drive.

Step 2. Right-click the start menu and select "Search."

Step 3. Type cmd right-click Command Prompt and select "Run as Administrator".

Step 4. Enter Command Prompt and type the following command lines one by one, and hit Enter each time: 

  • format /FS:NTFS J (You relace J with the drive letter of your USB.)
  • exit

format using cmd

Bonus Tip: Clean and Format USB Using CMD

If you want to clear everything on your USB drive and re-use it for other purposes, you can try the listed steps here for help by using CMD:

Step 1. Right-click the Windows icon or Start menu, type cmd, right-click command prompt and select "Run as Administrator".

Step 2. Type the command lines below one by one and hit Enter each time:

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk 2 (Replace 2 with the number of your USB drive.)
  • clean
  • create partition primary
  • format fs=ntfs
  • assign
Format USB using cmd in Windows 7

After this, exit DiskPart, and you can save data to your USB flash drive again. However, as the Linux file system Ext2/3 is not compatible with Windows OS, you can refer to a UBS format tool in Part 1 for help.

Do you think the guide mentioned above is helpful? If you indeed solve your problems, you can share this article to help your friends who are facing the same situation



Video Tutorial on Formatting USB via CMD

Here, this video covers the above two methods, and you may follow them to reset your USB flash drive or USB external disk as fresh as new:

Fix Existing Errors While Formatting USB from Command Prompt

Some USB users reported that they encountered some errors while formatting the USB from CMD.

Here, we've collected two common errors in formatting USB using CMD; if you get the same errors, don't worry. You can follow the provided solutions to resolve them:

Error 1: Diskpart format fs=ntfs stuck at 0, 10, 11, 12...

CMD format error - stuck at 0 percent completed

If the formatting process gets stuck in DiskPart, as shown in the message, don't worry. You have two ways to go:

  1. #1. Just wait for the formatting process to complete.
  2. #2. Close CMD and turn to EaseUS Partition Master in Part 2 to format your drive.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Error 2: Diskpart has encountered an error: Access is denied. See the System Event Log for more information.

CMD format error - access is denied

If you come across this issue, click the link below to get rid of the problem:

related articles

Diskpart Has Encountered An Access Denied Error

Data Recovery is not a challenge anymore. EaseUS serves as a dependable data recovery application to retrieve lost data with simple clicks.


The End Line

Due to its portability, flexibility, large storage size, and reasonable price, the USB flash drive is still the No.1 external storage device around the world. 

While using USB for data transfer or storage, USB flash drive problems also increase. Formatting a USB flash drive is one of the top issues.

We included two USB formatting tools on this page to help you format USB using CMD or CMD alternative - EaseUS Partition Master. You may pick up a suitable tool and follow the respective tutorial guide to make your USB flash drive work normally. 

For an easy and free formatting resolution, take EaseUS Partition Master as your first choice. It's a perfect CMD alternative tool that can help you anytime.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

People Also Ask About Format USB Using CMD

Some of you may have more questions about formatting USB. Here, we collected some top questions of concern and listed the answers below. If you have the same doubts, check out the answers now.

1. Why do you need to format a USB flash drive?

Usually, HDDs and SSDs are widely used for OS installation and data storage, and removable storage devices like USB flash drives are used more for data transfer and storage. But the USB flash drive may become inaccessible, and you'll need to format it so as to make it work again.

Here is a list of reasons why you and other USB users need to format the flash drive:

  1. 1. RAW, invalid, or unrecognized USB file system
  2. 2. USB flash drive corruption
  3. 3. Virus infection
  4. 3. USB is write-protected
  5. 3. Change the USB file system to NTFS, FAT32, or Ext 2/3/4 by formatting

2. How to format USB using cmd?

The process of formatting a bootable USB flash drive is almost the same as the process shown on this page. You can apply CMD to format it with the listed steps here:

  1. Type "diskpart" and press Enter. This command will open a diskpart window.
  2. Type "list disk" and press Enter. This command will list all your disks on the computer.
  3. Type "select disk [Your disk]" and press Enter. Replace Your disk with the correct disk label or number.
  4. Type "clean" and press Enter. Wait a little bit while Command Prompt formats your USB drive.
  5. Type "create partition primary" and press Enter. This command will create new partitions on your USB.
  6. Type "format fs=ntfs" and press Enter. This command will format your USB to ntfs format.
  7. Type "assign letter=[letter]" and press Enter. This will give an exact letter to your USB drive.
  8. Type "exit" and press Enter. This command exits diskpart.

3. How to format write-protected USB using cmd?

Here are the steps that you can follow to format a write-protected (read-only) USB using the command lines below:

  1. Step 1. Press "Win + R," and type cmd to open "Command Prompt."
  2. Step 2. Type diskpart and hit Enter.
  3. Step 3. Type list disk and hit Enter.
  4. Step 4. Type select disk 2 and hit Enter. (Replace 2 with the write-protected device number) and hit Enter.
  5. Step 5. Type attributes disk clear readonly and hit Enter.
  6. Step 6. Type exit to close the diskpart window.

Once the write protection removal process is complete, you can format the USB drive again. You can either apply EaseUS Partition Master, Windows File Explorer, or even the CMD command as shown in Part 2 to format the USB drive.

4. Windows was unable to complete the format, how to fix it?

When you use File Explorer to format the USB flash drive, it warns you that 'Windows was unable to complete the format', don't worry. Here are 7 ways that you can try to fix this error:

  1. #1. Use EaseUS Partition Master
  2. #2. Use Diskpart Command
  3. #3. Use Disk Management
  4. #4. Clear Virus and Complete the Format
  5. #5. Remove Write Protection and Complete the Format
  6. #6. Fix Disk Errors and Complete the Format
  7. #7. Repair Bad Sectors and Complete the Format

Note that you can try the above two tutorials to format your USB flash drive and resolve this issue. 

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Updated by Oliver

Oliver is an EaseUS professional writer who dares explore new areas. With a passion for solving tech issues with straightforward guides for common users, Oliver keeps honing his writing craft by developing in-depth solutions for disk and partition management, computer boot-up issues, file transfer, etc.

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Written by Jean

Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices.

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