USB Drive Not Showing Up in Windows 11/10/8/7

"Hello, I can reach the USB from the device manager and format it. I have tried updating drivers and troubleshooting devices, and hardware and nothing came up. I formatted the drive to FAT32, but it still doesn't appear in the explorer file. I have 10 of the same brand/size USB drives, and I may have accidentally put a boot drive in my system while it was running (thinking it was a different USB). Other USB will read in my file explorer, just not these 64GB thumb drives." - from Reddit.com

USB Flash Drive

Preliminary Checks on Your USB Drive

Many users have encountered this problem - USB not showing up on Windows 10. Generally, a USB drive not showing up means the drive is disappearing from File Explorer. It might be that the drive is visible in the Disk Management tool.

To verify this, go to This PC > Manage > Disk Management and check whether your USB drive shows up there. Depending on whether it shows up or not, use an appropriate section below to fix your issue.

Here, we offer multiple solutions as there are two possible scenarios where your PC does not detect your USB. These methods should help you fix your issue without making you lose any data. If you have this issue on a Mac, check out our flash drive not showing up on the Mac guide to resolve your issue.

Fixe USB Drive Not Showing Up in Windows 10/11 File Explorer

If your USB drive shows up in Disk Management, it means Windows can still detect your drive. But, the USB not showing up in Windows 10 File Explorer frequently happens for some reason. Some possible reasons are:

The solutions vary based on the causes, but all the solutions are detailed below. Follow these solutions, and your issue should be gone.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Seek Repair Services The most reliable way to fix this error is to ask experts for help...Full steps
Fix 2. Update USB Driver Connect a USB flash drive to your PC, right-click "This PC", choose "Properties", select "Device Manager"...Full steps
Fix 3. Reinstall Disk Driver Right-click "This PC" > click "Properties" > "Devices Manager". Click disk drives...Full steps
Fix 4. Create New Partitions If your USB shows up as unallocated space in Disk Management, you can create a new partition...Full steps
Other Solutions Assign a New Drive Letter to the USB > Fix File System Errors...Full steps

You can check this video tutorial to see the methods of fixing USB not showing up on Windows PCs.

  1. 00:00 - USB Drive Not Showing Up
  2. 00:41 - Update USB Driver
  3. 01:22 - Reinstall USB Driver 
  4. 01:56 - Create New Partitions
  5. 02:41 - Assign New Drive Letter
  6. 03:43 - Fix File System Errors
  7. 05:17 - Drive Not Showing in Disk Management

Method 1. Seek USB Flash Drive Repair Services (Recommended)

The computer cannot read or recognize the USB flash drive? The most reliable way to fix this error is to ask experts for help. We provide you with an effective manual disk repair service. You can repair your flash drive errors with simple clicks. Contact the experts and get help as soon as possible.

Consult with SalvageData's experts to retrieve data from inaccessible or corrupted data from all brands and formats of digital media.

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Method 2. Update USB Drive Driver

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

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

Step 2. Select Device Manager and expand Disk drives. Find and right-click the problematic USB drive and select Update driver.

Step 3. Click Automatically search for driver software online on the following screen.

Step 4. Wait for the driver to be updated. Then, reboot your computer. Afterward, you can try to reconnect your USB drive to your 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 help solve disk-related issues like "The system cannot find the file specified."

Method 3. Reinstall Disk Driver for USB Drive

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

Step 2. Click on Disk drives, right-click on your USB drive that is not showing up in File Explorer, 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 4. 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. Right-click This PC 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

Your USB drive should now show up in Windows as usual. You can copy the files you recovered to your USB if you want.

Method 5. 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. In this case, you need to assign a new drive letter to your USB drive.

Step 1. Right-click This PC 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 window that opens, click Change.

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

Fix USB drive not showing up - change drive letter

Method 6. 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 or damaged file system caused by misoperations or improper formatting. To fix the file system error, you must format the drive to convert RAW to NTFS or FAT32.

When you format your USB drive, all data will be deleted. Therefore, you should first protect your data by making a copy of it. Use a file recovery tool like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover files from your USB drive before you format them. This program works even when your USB drive is not accessible.

EaseUS Data Recovery Software

  • Restore lost data from hard drive, emptied recycle bin, memory card, USB flash drive, digital camera, and camcorders
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Download it now and follow the guide below to easily restore data from your USB flash drive.

Step 1. Choose the USB drive to scan

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and choose your USB drive where you lost important files. Click "Scan" to start.

select the USB drive

Step 2. Check and preview USB drive data

When the scanning is finished, you can quickly locate a specific type of file by using the Filter feature as well as the Search option.

Scan and find lost flash drive files

Step 3. Restore flash drive data

After checking and finding lost USB drive files, click "Recover" to restore them. You shall save the found files to a safe location on your PC rather than to your USB drive.

Restore lost files from USB drive

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

Step 1. Open the Start menu, search for Computer Management, and click Computer Management in the search results.

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 your USB flash drive and select Format to format the drive and make it usable.

USB drive not showing up - format the USB

Check out the fixes below if you have similar issues with your hard drive.

Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Up in File Explorer/Disk Management

If your hard drive is not showing up in both Windows File Explorer and Disk Management, the reasons could be:

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

Follow these simple tips to fix your issue.

Method 1. Fix Driver Issues

Whether your USB drive appears in Disk Management or not, you can potentially fix this issue by updating or reinstalling your USB drivers. Refer to the first two methods in the last part of the linked guide to learn how to do that.

Method 2. Change USB Connection

Connection failure is a possible cause. It's a hardware problem you can identify by checking the USB connection. Generally, there is more than one USB port on your computer. Try another USB port on the same computer, switch from the front to the rear USB port, or connect your USB drive to another computer and check whether the problem persists. Similarly, you can change the USB cable 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, there is likely physical damage or corruption on your USB flash drive or external hard drive. This is a tough issue to fix, and your best bet is to send your USB drive in for repair.

The Bottom Line

When a USB flash drive does not show up on your Windows PC, it means the computer has failed to read the USB drive. Therefore, to get a USB drive to show up, you should make the USB readable again.

There are many methods for making an unrecognized USB drive show up on a PC: update the USB flash driver, change drive letter, use Windows' built-in Disk Management tool to detect the USB, and more. Hope one of these methods fixes your USB drive issue.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.6

USB Drive Not Showing Up Windows 10 FAQ

If you still have problems, read the answers and questions about USB drives to get additional help.

1. Why is my USB not showing up on my computer?

Reasons why a USB flash drive is not showing up in Windows 11/10/8/7:

  • The drive is powered off
  • The drive isn't seated properly in the port
  • The USB port on the computer is bad
  • The USB drive itself is broken
  • The file system of the USB is not compatible with your device

2. How do I force my computer to recognize my USB?

To fix USB drive not recognized:

  • Open Device Manager and then disconnect the USB device from your computer.
  • Wait a few moments, and then reconnect the device.
  • Connect the USB device to another USB port.
  • Connect the USB device to another computer.
  • Update the USB device drivers.

3. How do I get my USB drive to show up?

  • Insert the flash drive into a USB port on your computer. 
  • You should find a USB port on your computer's front, back, or side.
  • A dialog box may appear depending on how your computer is set up.
  • If it does, select Open folder to view files.

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Approved by Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh is an experienced computer tech writer. He's been writing tech how-to guides for about 8 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to teach people how they can get the most out of their devices.

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