Fixed: USB Flash Drive not Showing Up in Windows

A USB drive not showing up in Windows is one of the commonest issues related to external storage devices. USB drive not showing up in Windows may result from various causes. We will show you the symptoms, causes and corresponding fixes for the issue and provide you the useful way to recover data from your USB drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

Table of Contents

USB Drive Not Showing Up in Windows

"I've tried all the methods I can think of to connect this USB flash drive to my PC, but my computer still does not show up any signals of the drive. All of my projects from this semester are stored on the drive, how can I get to my files?!”

USB Flash Drive

Preliminary Checks on Your USB Drive

Many users have encountered such a problem, that is their USB flash drive not showing up on the computer. Generally, USB not showing up means it disappears from File Explorer. Is your USB drive disappear in Windows File Explorer but can be seen in Disk Management? Or is it missing from both places?

To make it clear, go to "This PC" > "Manage" > "Disk Management" and check whether your USB drive shows up. Specify your situation and choose the corresponding tips to follow.

Since there are two scenarios of USB not detected by a PC, we offer a number of solutions. Follow these methods and get your missing USB drive back without losing any data. If you are a Mac user, having the same problem, follow this page to fix USB flash drive not showing up on Mac with ease.

Fixes for USB Drive Not Showing Up in Windows 10 File Explorer Only

If your USB drive shows up in Disk Management, it means Windows can still detect your drive. But due to some reasons, the USB cannot show up in File Explorer as expected. The reasons are:

  • USB driver issues
  • Drive letter conflicts
  • File system errors

The solutions vary based on the causes but all detailed below. Follow to fix your problematic USB with ease.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Update USB Driver Connect USB flash drive or external USB to PC...Full steps
Fix 2. Reinstall Disk Driver Right-click "This PC", click "Properties", "Devices Manager"...Full steps
Fix 3. Recover USB Data Connect USB flash drive to PC, run USB data recovery software...Full steps
Fix 4. Resolve Drive Letter Conflicts Right-click "This PC", select "Manage" > "Disk Management"...Full steps
Fix 5. Fix File System Errors Right-click on the "Start" icon > Type computer management...Full steps

Method 1. Update USB Drive Driver

This method works when your USB drive not shows up in File Explorer and may show up as unallocated space under Disk Management. Follow the detailed steps below to make your USB drive usable again.

Step 1. Connect the USB flash drive to PC, right-click on "This PC" and choose "Properties".

Step 2. Click "Device Manager" then expand “Disk drives”. Find and right-click the problematic USB drive and select "Update driver"

Step 3. Click "automatically search for driver software online".

Step 4. Wait for the driver to be updated, then reboot your computer. Afterward, you can try to reconnect your USB drive to the PC and check whether the USB drive shows up or not.

Fix USB drive not showing up in Windows 10 -  Update Driver

This method can also be helpful in solving disk-related issues like "The system cannot find the file specified"

Method 2. Reinstall Disk Driver for USB Drive

Step 1. Right-click "This PC" and choose "Properties" > "Devices Manager".

Step 2. Click on "Disk drives", right-click on your USB drive that is not showing up, and choose "Uninstall device". 

Step 3. In the prompt asking you to confirm the removal, click "OK". (Wait patiently and let the process finish. If it takes too long, you can remove the USB flash drive from the PC.)

Step 4. Restart your computer and reconnect the USB flash drive/external hard drive to the PC. After the computer restarts, the driver will be automatically installed.

Fix USB drive not showing up in Windows 10 -  Reinstall Driver

Method 3. Create New Partitions

If your USB shows up as unallocated space in Disk Management after updating or reinstalling the driver, you are recommended to create a new partition to make it ready for data storage.

To create new partitions on the USB drive:

Step 1. Go to "This PC", right-click it, and choose "Manage" > "Disk Management".

Step 2. Right-click the unallocated space and choose "New Simple Volume".

Step 3. Follow the wizard to finish the remaining process.

Fix USB drive not showing up in Windows 10 -  Create New Volume

Now your USB drive should show up in Windows as usual. You can copy the files you recovered back to your USB according to your needs.

Method 4. Assign a New Drive Letter to the USB

If the drive letter of your USB drive is the same as one of the drive letters of your computer's hard disk partition, you won't be able to see it in Windows File Explorer. Besides, you will see the drive has no drive letter in Disk Management. You need to assign a new drive letter to your USB drive.

Step 1. Go to "This PC", right-click it, and choose "Manage" > "Disk Management".

Step 2. Right-click the volume on your USB flash drive and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths".

Step 3. In the new window, click "Change".

Step 4. Assign a new drive letter to your USB and click "OK".

Fix USB drive not showing up - change drive letter

Method 4. Fix File System Errors

If your USB flash drive has file system errors, it will show up as RAW and become inaccessible. Here the file system error refers to an unsupported file system or a damaged file system caused by misoperations or improper formatting. To fix the file system error you need to format the drive to convert RAW to NTFS or FAT32. 

But hold on.

When you format your USB drive, all data will be deleted. To protect your data, we highly recommend you to use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover all the data before format. It allows you to restore data from an inaccessible, RAW, or formatted USB drive and other devices with simple clicks.

Download it now and follow the guide below to restore data from your USB flash drive easily.

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

After storing your data in a safe place, you need to format the USB drive to convert the file system back to NTFS or another Windows-compatible file system.

Step 1. Right-click on the "Start" icon > Type computer management > click on "Computer Management".

Step 2. Click "Disk Management" in the bar on the left-hand side, then find the device in the drive viewer.

Step 3. Right-click on the USB flash drive, select "Format" to directly format the USB drive to make it usable.

USB drive not showing up - format the USB

If you are having a similar issue on your hard drive, you may directly try the fixes below. 

related articles

How to Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Windows

Are your hard drives, be it new or old, internal or external, not showing up in File Explorer or Disk Management? Follow to learn how to make your hard drive showing up again in Windows 10/8/7 without losing data.

Hard drive not showing up

Fixes for USB Not Showing Up in Windows File Explorer and Disk Management

If your USB is not showing up in Windows File Explorer and Disk Management simultaneously, the reasons could be:

  • USB driver issues
  • USB port/cable error
  • Physical corruptions of USB

Follow to fix your problematic USB with ease.

Method 1. Fix Driver Issues

Whether the USB drive shows up in Disk Management or not, the USB not showing up issue caused by problematic device drivers can be potentially solved by updating or reinstalling the USB driver. For the detailed steps, you can refer to the first two methods in the last part.

Method 2. Change USB Connection

Connection failure may be the root cause. It's a hardware problem that you can easily identify by checking the USB connection. Generally, there is more than one USB port on your computer. Try other ones on the same computer, switch from the front USB ports to the rear USB ports, or connect your USB drive to another computer and check whether the problem remains. Similarly, you can also change another USB cable if you are using an external hard drive.

Method 3. Fix Physical Corruptions

If the tips above fail to fix your USB drive that is not showing up in Windows, it's highly likely there is physical damage or corruption on your USB flash drive or external hard drive. This is the toughest situation and the only suggestion for you is to send the USB drive for manual repair.

The Bottom Line

When a USB flash drive does not show up on your Windows PC, it means that the computer has failed to read the USB drive. Therefore, in order to get a USB drive to show up, we must make the USB readable again. There are many methods for you to make an unrecognized USB drive to show up on PC: update USB flash driver, change drive letter, use Windows’s built-in disk management tool to detect the USB, and more. Hope one of them can be helpful to fix your USB drive.

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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