Fix USB Flash Drive Not Working on Windows 10/7

Jean updated on Nov 18, 2020 to Data Recovery Resouce | How-to Articles

There are various symptoms that indicate your USB flash drive is not working. It could be your USB not being recognized by the computer, USB not showing up, and more. Follow to learn how to fix USB flash drive not working or the same issue on your pen drive, USB thumb drive without losing data files.

fix usb flash drive not working

How to Fix USB flash drive not working Windows 10/7?

Unplug the USB stick from the current port and computer, and try plugging into a different computer and/or USB port. If it works on the new USB port or computer, the USB port may be damaged or dead, or the computer itself may have a problem. And you can use EaseUS Data Recovery to recover data. Check if the port is clean, dust-free, and firm.

Learn more details...

With a portable USB memory stick and flash drive, we can transfer work documents, school papers, multimedia files easily from PC or between USB drives in order to keep them as a backup or just be able to access the files everywhere. Only when the USB flash drive is not working, we find ourselves in trouble.

Symptoms of USB Flash Drive Not Working on Windows 10/7

When a USB stick is not working, the situations vary. The commonest cases are:

Fix USB Flash Drive Not Working on Windows 10/7 Without Losing Data

The USB not working issues mentioned above are the most frequent ones people may encounter. To fix the specific USB errors, just click the link we left where the relevant solution has been provided.

In addition, it's necessary to learn the general troubleshooting methods in the following which show you what to do if USB flash drive is not working on Windows 10 or Windows 7.

First. Recover data when a USB flash drive is not working

Always give priority to your precious data in USB flash drive that is not working anymore. As long as Windows still detects the drive, you can download EaseUS hard drive recovery software to rescue your documents & large size multimedia files. Since there is the possibility of losing data during the fixes, it's highly recommended to recover data from your problematic USB in advance.

It only takes three steps to recover data from a USB flash drive that is not working with EaseUS recovery software.

Step 1. Run USB data recovery software.

Connect the USB flash drive to your computer and launch EaseUS USB data recovery software on your PC. Select your USB drive which marks as a removable disk, and click "Scan" to start finding your lost files.

Select USB to scan and find lost files

Step 2. Scan all lost files from USB.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will thoroughly scan your USB flash drive and find all your lost data on it. After the scanning process,  use the Filter feature to filter a specific file type. You can check and preview found USB files in this program.

Scan USB drive to find lost files

Step 3. Restore all lost files from USB.

A double-click will allow you to preview the file results. Choose the target files and click "Recover" to save them to a secure location on your PC or other external storage devices.

Restore lost USB data

Second. Fix a USB flash drive that is not working (in three ways)

There are three options available for you.

Method 1. Try a different USB port or PC

Inserting the USB stick into another USB port on your PC or connect it to another PC to exclude that the causes is not from the USB flash drive itself.

Method 2. Update USB driver

There's another chance that your USB flash drive has no problem, and the error is caused by an outdated driver in your PC.

Step 1. To check for a new driver, go to Computer, right click on your USB's icon and click on "Properties".

Step 2. Go to the Hardware tab and find "General USB Flash Disk USB Device". Select it and click the "Properties" button below.

Step 3. In the next pop-up, click the "Change settings" button.

Step 4. When a new pop-up appears, go to the "Driver" tab and click the "Update Driver" button.

Step 5. Next, select the first option "Search automatically for updated driver software" and follow the instructions.

Method 3. Check & repair USB drive partition error

When your USB flash drive is corrupted, damaged or there are bad sectors on it, your USB flash drive will not work properly for sure. If your USB flash drive is corrupted or damaged, you can follow the steps below to repair your disk using the free partition manager - EaseUS Partition Master. If there are bad sectors on your USB, learn how to repair bad sectors here.

Step 1. Insert your USB flash drive into your computer and launch EaseUS Partition Master. Right-click the partition on your storage device and choose "Check File System".

Check Error on SD Card/USB/External Hard Drive - Step 1

Step 2. In the new window, keep the option "Try to fix the errors if found" selected and click "Start".

Check Error on SD Card/USB/External Hard Drive - Step 2

Step 3. Then EaseUS Partition Master will automatically check and repair the file system error on your USB. When it has done, click "Finish" to end the whole process.

Check Error on SD Card/USB/External Hard Drive - Step 3

Method 4. Format the USB stick that is not working

Another effective way to fix the file system errors on your USB flash drive is to format it directly. By doing so, you assign a new file system to your storage device and it will be usable again. You can take the last measure to fix the USB flash drive that is not working problem by formatting the drive and use it as new.

Step 1. Open EaseUS Partition Master. Find your USB flash drive and right-click the partition you want to format and choose "Format".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2. Set a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3. Click "OK" on the pop-up window to continue.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4. Click the "Execute Operation" button on the toolbar, then click "Apply" to start formatting your USB drive.

The bottom line

When a USB flash drive is not working correctly, it could be quite annoying. However, if the device can still be detected by your computer, you should feel relieved since that means the files on it can be rescued with the help of data recovery software.

With the files kept safe somewhere else, you can continue fixing the not working error without worrying about any data loss. In addition to checking whether the problem is caused by other devices, it is useful to fix a USB that is not working by repairing the file system errors or formatting. I hope the issue with your USB can be successfully solved with the solutions provided here.

FAQs About USB Flash Drive Not Working

For those who have more questions about USB flash drive, you may follow and check answers below each question. 

1. How can I repair my USB flash drive?

Basically, there are three ways that you can apply to repair your USB flash drive. 

  • Method 1. Canning and Repairing with Windows chkdsk.
  • Method 2. Run Windows disk error checking.
  • Method 3. Formatting USB to FAT32

Both Method 1 and Method 2 are able to repair errors on your disk from the command line. Formatting can reset your USB flash drive file system. Afterward, with EaseUS data recovery software, you can get your data back from a failed pen drive without losing files. You may refer to USB flash drive repair tool for help. 

2. Why is my USB flash drive not showing up?

If a driver is missing, out of date, or corrupted, your computer won't be able to load or access to your drive. Thus, your computer may not be able to recognize it. 

Usually, the reasons for USB flash drive not showing are: 1). USB driver issues; 2). Drive letter conflicts; 3). File system errors. 

And you can try to update USB drivers, change USB drive letter or reset the file system to fix this issue. For more details, refer to USB Not Showing Up in Windows 10/8/7.

3. Why does my flash drive not work?

Be it similar to the USB flash drive not showing issue, when a USB flash drive contains errors, corrupted file system, outdated USB drivers, or even losing drive letter, it all may not work on a computer.

You can try any method as shown on this page in the main content to make your flash drive work again:

  1. 1). Check flash drive connection, change USB port or PC.
  2. 2). Update flash drive drivers.
  3. 3). Check and repair flash drive errors.
  4. 4). Format and reset flash drive file system.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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